The Michigan Panthers were named as a charter member of the United States Football League (USFL) on May 11, 1982. A. Alfred Taubman, one of the nation’s leading real estate developers, headed the ownership group that included Judge Peter B. Spivak and Max M. Fisher. The Panthers named former CFL executive, Jim Spavital as their General Manager on August 26, ...
In the playoffs, the Panthers hosted the Western Division champion Oakland Invaders before a USFL-record crowd of 60,237. The Panthers’ decisive 37–21 victory vaulted them to the inaugural USFL Championship Game in Denver, Colorado. On July 17, 1983, the Panthers captured the USFL’s first championship with a 24–22 win over the Atlantic Division champion Philadelphia Stars. QB Bobby Hebert hit ...
It turned out to be the Panthers’ last game. After the 1984 season was over USFL owners, largely under the influence of New Jersey Generals owner Donald Trump and Chicago franchise owner Eddie Einhorn began talking seriously about moving to a fall schedule in 1986. While the Panthers had developed a loyal following, Taubman was a strong believer in the ...
The Michigan Panthers were one of eight teams that were officially announced as a USFL franchise on The Herd with Colin Cowherd on November 22, 2021. On January 27, 2022, it was announced on The Herd with Colin Cowherd that former NFL Head coach Jeff Fisher was named the head coach and general manager of the Panthers.
History of the Panthers
During its brief three-year existence, the Michigan Panthers were among the most successful teams in the United States Football League (USFL). The team was founded in 1982 by real estate mogul and NFL Hall of Famer Joe Cribbs, who envisioned bringing professional football to Detroit. After a solid inaugural season, the team went on a fantastic run from 1983-1985 that included two USFL championships and three conference championship appearances. During this time, they also set numerous league records for attendance and merchandise sales. They had some of the best players ever seen at that level, such as quarterback Bobby Hebert, wide receiver Anthony Carter and running back Herschel Walker.
The Michigan Panthers' success did not come without controversy, though; their home-field advantage was legendary due to their passionate fans known affectionately as "the Zoo." This led to several complaints from opposing teams about the unfair treatment, which ultimately resulted in fines being levied against both sides after heated arguments between players on each side broke out during games at times. Despite these issues, though, it is undeniable that no other USFL franchise could match what Cribbs had built with his beloved Panthers - an organization whose legacy lives on even today amongst sports fans across America who remember them fondly for their thrilling victories over rivals like Los Angeles Express or Jacksonville Bulls every Sunday afternoon throughout those glorious years when professional football still played its games outdoors under natural light instead of indoors under artificial lights like it does today!
In 2022 however, there will be another chance for Panther's faithful everywhere when a new version takes up residence once again inside Ford Field, playing alongside other American Alliance Football (AAF) members. It remains unclear if this reincarnation can replicate any semblance of past success. Regardless, all eyes will be watching closely, hoping history repeats itself so future generations can experience what made those original Panther squads so special: winning championships while entertaining thousands upon thousands!
Pontiac – Oakland
1983 – 1985, 2022 - Present / United States Football League
1983 – 1985 / Oakland Invaders
1983 – 1984, 2022 - Present / Michigan Panthers
Panthers – The Michigan Panthers are a professional American football team based in Pontiac, Michigan. The team was founded in 1983 as part of the United States Football League (USFL). While the USFL only lasted three seasons, the Panthers remain one of its most memorable teams due to their unique name and logo. But where did this nickname come from?
When founder William "Bud" Huchul first created his franchise, he wanted it to stand out from other teams in looks and feels. He decided on an animal mascot that would be fierce yet noble - something that could represent strength while still being appealing to fans. After much deliberation, Huchul chose Panthers as his team’s namesake because they embody all these qualities perfectly: power combined with gracefulness and agility.
In addition to representing strength through their physical abilities, panthers have symbolic meaning for many cultures worldwide; they often symbolize courage or protection against danger among Native Americans or royalty among African tribesmen. To further emphasize this symbolism, Huchul designed a logo featuring two roaring black panther heads facing each other above-crossed swords – conveying an image of power and ferocity. This instantly recognizable design has become synonymous with USFL and professional football today!
In conclusion, the Michigan Panthers’ nickname is rooted in its creator's desire for a solid yet attractive mascot choice and long-standing cultural symbols associated with these majestic animals. Whether you love or hate them, they've undoubtedly made quite an impression over the years!
USFL Championship 1
1983 – 1985 / Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum
2022 - Present / Protective Stadium/Legion Field (Birmingham, Alabama)
1983 – 1984 / Pontiac Silverdome
1985 / A. Alfred Taubman and Tad Taube
1983 – 1984 / Tad Taube
2022 - Present / National Spring Football League Enterprises Co
1983 – 1984 / A. Alfred Taubman
To qualify as the greatest player for this team, the player must have played one season for this team. If not, we will remove the player.
* verifies that player has played for this team as an added player by a fan.
1985 / USFL Championship Game (vs Baltimore Stars 24 – 28)
1983 / USFL Champions (vs Philadelphia Stars 24 – 22)
1985 / Conference Champions (vs Memphis Showboats 28 – 19)
1985 / Division Champions (vs Tampa Bay Bandits 30 – 27)
1984 / Division Championship Game (vs Los Angeles Express 21 – 27 OT)
1983 / Division Champions (vs Oakland Invaders 37 – 21)
Averaged 31,211 in 1983, 23,644 in 1984 and 17,509 in 1985 (56,057 seat stadium)
*Blue is this team’s history