The United States Football League founder Donald Dixon was a strong proponent of a USFL franchise in Washington, D.C., and insisted on one despite the dominance of the National Football League′s Washington Redskins in the Washington market. Real estate magnate Marvin Warner originally was slated to own the Federals, but when the USFL announced it was fielding a team in ...
History of the Federals
The Washington Federals were a professional American football team that played in the United States Football League (USFL) from 1983 to 1985. The team was founded in 1982 and based out of Washington, D.C., with home games being held at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium. They were one of the original teams when the USFL began to play in 1983 but folded after three seasons due to financial difficulties and declining attendance numbers caused by competition from other local sports teams, such as Major League Baseball's Baltimore Orioles and NHL's Washington Capitals.
In their first season, they finished with a record of 7-11 under head coach Ray Jauch; however, they would improve significantly over their next two seasons, finishing 11-7 under Joe Walton in 1984 before making it to a 12-6 record and an appearance in the conference championship game against Los Angeles Express during 1985 season despite playing without star quarterback Doug Williams who had left for NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers before the start of the regular season. Unfortunately for fans of this short-lived franchise, they lost 34–23 ending any chance at winning the league title or playoff berth, leading them toward eventual demise following the conclusion of that year’s playoffs.
Though its brief existence did not bring much success on the field, Washington Federals are remembered fondly by many former players & coaches and those who attended games & cheered on the franchise throughout its time at USFL. Despite being only part league 3 years, this group still holds a special place within the hearts of many people throughout the region even today, more than 35 years since the last game was played there stadium located near the Capitol Hill District Columbia area, where their legacy will live forever regardless outcome future attempts revive defunct football leagues like USFL ever again or not.
Washington D.C. – Orlando
1983 – 1986 / United States Football League
1985 – 1986 / Orlando Renegades
1983 – 1984 / Washington Federals
Federals – For sports fans, the Washington Federals have a unique and exciting history behind their nickname. The team was founded in 1983 as part of the United States Football League (USFL). When it came time to choose a name for the franchise, owner Berl Bernhard wanted something that would reflect his hometown of Washington D.C., and pay homage to his beloved country - hence why they chose “Federals” as their moniker.
The USFL had originally intended for all its teams to be named after patriotic symbols or figures from American history; however, only two other franchises followed this plan – New Jersey Generals and Chicago Blitz – while most opted for more traditional names such as Bulldogs or Invaders. As such, when Bernhard decided on Federals, he was trying to stand out among his peers by choosing something genuinely original that celebrated America's past simultaneously!
The word "federal" itself dates back centuries before even George Washington himself took office in 1789; it comes from Latin origins meaning "about the league," which is fitting given how closely associated with unity this particular football team became during its three-year run in DC starting in 1983 through 1985 season before folding up shop due primarily financial issues caused by poor attendance numbers at games despite having some talented players like running backs Kelvin Bryant & Anthony Allen on the roster along with quarterback Doug Williams who later went onto win Super Bowl XXII MVP honors playing for Redskins following '87 season. With so much pride wrapped up into one simple yet powerful name choice, there's no doubt why many folks still remember fondly today what once made them proud to be called “Washington Federals”!
Original USFL Team
Final USFL Team
Team’s Final Outlook
Bernhard was in a desperate situation, as he knew that he stood no chance going head-to-head with the Redskins. A few days later, Tampa Bay Bandits part-owner Donald Dizney stepped up and ended Bernhard’s suffering. Dizney bought the Federals, moving them to Orlando and renaming them the Renegades.
USFL Championship 0
1985 / Citrus Bowl Stadium
1983 – 1984 / RFK Stadium
1985 / Donald Dizney
1983 – 1984 / Berl Bernhard
1985 / Lee Corso (5 wins – 13 losses)
1984 / Dick Bielski (3 wins – 14 losses)
1983 – 1984 / Ray Jauch (4 wins – 15 losses)
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.
Averaged 13,850 in 1983 and 7,694 in 1984 (54,794 seat stadium)
*Blue is this team’s history