Maulers/Former Steelers of the USFL
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|This page is dedicated to the short lived United States Football League. The below players either played for the 1984 Maulers or played for the Steelers. Cliff Stoudt does not have a Steeler card to the best of my knowledge.|
What's a Mauler, anyway?
It's a steelworker who forges the product by hand with a hammer.
The Maulers and coach Joe Pendry struggled through their only year in the league with a 3-15 record. Actually, Pendry didn't even make it through the whole year as Ellis Rainsberger took over the helm midway through the season. Not even the presence of Heisman Trophy winning running back Mike Rozier could right the Maulers' ship. Pittsburgh only managed victories over the Oakland Invaders and the Washington Federals twice.
Many of their problems could be blamed on a defense that gave up a league-leading 492 points. Cornerback Jerry Holmes and defensive end Sam Clancy (16 sacks) were two bright spots in a sea of mediocrity. On the offensive end, former Cowboy backup Glen Carano struggled at QB, throwing 19 interceptions to just 13 touchdowns. Wide receiver Greg Anderson caught 63 passes for 994 yards and six TDs.
Despite their pathetic performance, the Maulers managed a respectable showing at the gate and even sold out their first home game against the Birmingham Stallions. Many of the fans came to boo and throw things at Stallions and former Steeler QB Cliff Stoudt, but a sell out is a sell out. Edward Debartolo, father of the owner of the 49ers, was forced to pull the plug, though, when the league announced its move to the fall.
Ex-Maulers to honor their USFL year in Pittsburgh
If weirdness counted in the standings, the Pittsburgh Maulers might have been champions of the United States Football League. They won just three games in their lone season. Only Noah dealt with more rain.
The Maulers joined the USFL as one of six expansion teams in 1984 and did not make it to the league's third and final year, the only one of the six teams that didn't.
When it seemed certain the USFL would shift its season from the spring to the fall, owner Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. backed out, and the team's equipment went to auction in the spring of '85. DeBartolo lost $11 million, and the team never so much as screened its highlight film, such as it was.
Now those greats and near-greats plan to meet again in Pittsburgh June 25 for a 10-year reunion, a tradition begun by the Philadelphia/Baltimore Stars and carried on last year by the Michigan Panthers.
Quarterback Glenn Carano is expected, along with linebacker Ron Crosby, a Pittsburgh native and team co-captain. What of Mike Rozier, Sam Clancy, Ira Albright and the many other Maulers?
"I've found about half of them," says Ida D'Errico, who worked in marketing and public relations for DeBartolo, helped put together the Maulers' cheerleading squad and organized this party. "I'm hoping the rest will contact us."
Thanks to the NFL Alumni Association, NFL Players Association and her tireless digging, D'Errico found about 50 players, most of the coaches and front-office staff. They'll party at Three Rivers Stadium, tell stories and preview the highlights film 10 years after.
They'll talk of their season opener, played in a steady downpour in Tulsa against the Oklahoma Outlaws. They'll remember their home opener, which kicked off under blue skies and finished in a blizzard that allowed fans to hammer ex-Steelers quarterback Cliff Stoudt, then of the Birmingham (Ala.) Stallions, with snowballs.
They'll recollect their last game, in Jacksonville, Fla., in a rain that demanded an ark.
What's a Mauler, anyway? It's a steelworker who forges the product by hand with a hammer. And anyone who ever saw that animated John Henry-esque one on the scoreboard (and heard that stunning clang of the hammer on the anvil) won't ever forget.
Remember the USFL - Andy's web site