30 for 30 (2009–2017)
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Small Potatoes: Who Killed the USFL? 

The story of the rise and fall of the United States Football League, focusing on two owners: John Bassett, who wanted the league to compete in the spring; and Donald Trump, who wanted to take on the NFL and play in the fall.


(as Mike Tollin)


(as Mike Tollin)

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From $1.99 (SD) on Amazon Video



Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Himself - Director
Himself - Owner, New Jersey Generals (as Donald Trump)
Harry Usher ...
Himself - USFL Executive
Steve Ehrhart ...
Himself - USFL Consultant
Himself - Announcer (archive footage)
Howard Cosell ...
Himself - ABC Sports (archive footage)
Peter Spivak ...
Himself - Acting Chairman, USFL
Chet Simmons ...
Himself - USFL Commissioner
Himself - Running Back, New Jersey Generals
Dom Camera ...
Himself - Marketing Director, USFL
Charley Steiner ...
Himself - Broadcaster, New Jersey Generals
J. Walter Duncan ...
Himself - Owner, New Jersey Generals
Vister Hayes ...
Himself - Player (archive footage)
Himself - Actor, The Fall Guy (archive footage)
Jim Lampley ...
Himself - ABC Sportscaster


In 1983 the upstart United States Football League (USFL) had the audacity to challenge the almighty NFL. The new league did the unthinkable by playing in the spring and plucked three straight Heisman Trophy winners away from the NFL. The 12-team USFL played before crowds that averaged 25,000, and started off with respectable TV ratings. But with success came expansion and new owners. This included a certain high profile and impatient real estate baron whose vision was at odds with the league's founders. Soon, the USFL was reduced to waging a desperate anti-trust lawsuit against the NFL. This yielded an ironic verdict that effectively forced the league out of business. Now, almost a quarter of a century later, Academy Award-nominated and Peabody Award-winning director Mike Tollin, himself once a chronicler of the league, will showcase the remarkable influence of those three years on football history and attempt to answer the question, "Who Killed the USFL?" Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

20 October 2009 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

Who Killed The USFL? Donald Trump!
27 January 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Wow, two things really stood out in this entertaining look back at the United States Football League: 1 - It had a ton of talent in a short period of time; 2 - One man - Donald Trump - ruined the league.

In the end, this is a sad story and everyone who played in the league, or had a part of it, laments the demise of it and the bitterness against Trump is more than obvious. This episode does not make "The Donald" and his ego look very good.

Watch this episode and check the great players who were a part of it; you'll be amazed.

Overall, this was a very entertaining and eye-opening story.

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