Wednesday, October 21, 2009

What the USFL Teahes Us...

Last night I watched the ESPN 30 for 30. They highlighted the USFL. It was a start up football league in 1981 that was going to rival the NFL. They enlisted Herschel Walker, heisman winner from UGA, among other notable players that are now in the NFL hall of fame. They met and exceeded all their goals for the first year. The television viewing audience was high, their attendance was record at games was also high. They did this by having a "fun" league that was high energy and added great entertainment. Fans had fun at the games. It offered something different from the NFL. Their first championship was a sellout audience and excitement was building.
But I had to keep watching to find out how the USFL failed.

In the midst of excitement and growth they attracted Donal Trump who bought the New Jersey Generals, which was the team Herschel Walker played for. He brought in NFL stars to the team and pushed the league forward.
In the midst of the excitement, they added 8 new teams to the league their second year.
They also made the decision in 83' to attempt to move into the fall and compete with the NFL.....

So, that was the story of the USFL. They disbanded in 1983 with millions of lost dollars, hopes and dreams.


Apply this to starting a movement. Here are some principles of why they failed:
1) They got caught up in the emotion as growth came. They were not able to stick to a viable plan for sustaining growth. There will always be seasons of growth and their will always be seasons of decline.
2) They expanded too quickly. Many of the league officials will tell you this diluted and destroyed them. Do not outgrow your resources that fuel the system.
3) They got conceited and thought too much of themselves. They went up against the NFL. They lost. Don't think you are that good. Those who have success worked for it. You will too.

Applying it to Starting a Movement:
It is not how good we look when we start. The key as leaders is to be able to make a viable, God-led, plan that we stick to. Emotional fervor cannot make decisions for us. We must not get "too big for our britches." We must slowly grow into what God has for us. Don't jump out too soon. I have never heard a leader say, "I took it too slow. I waited too long. I saved up too much money." But you will always hear the opposite.

Let's learn from the USFL. Look it up on the internet.

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