I wish I could be excited for the upcoming return of the United States Football League (USFL) but I'm not.

If you haven't heard, the USFL is planning to return in the spring of 2022. So break out your parachute pants, painter's caps and put on the Thriller album to celebrate.

Listen, I am as much of a football fan as anyone but I know when enough is enough. In the springtime, my thoughts turn to baseball not more football.

I have hazy memories of the original USFL. I can remember my dad calling it generic football when the league was first announced. I can't tell you if I watched any of the games. I do remember watching the highlights of Pittsburgh Maulers' fans pelting former Steelers' quarterback Cliff Stoudt with snowballs and ice balls when Stoudt returned to Pittsburgh after he left the Steelers to play for Birmingham. I didn't understand why the Pittsburgh fans were so upset Stoudt joined the USFL when his career in Pittsburgh was mediocre at best.

If you want a deep dive on the USFL, I recommend watching the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary "Small Potatoes: Who Killed the USFL?"

The documentary details how the league was growing incrementally but exorbitant salaries and a questionable attempt to move play from the spring to the fall doomed the generic football league.

The USFL filed an anti-trust suit against the NFL alleging the NFL had a monopoly over the television broadcasting rights as well as access to stadium venues in some cases.

The shocking thing is the USFL won the case but was only awarded $1 in damages. Once the suit was over, so was the USFL.

What the USFL and its owners failed to realize is; you don't take on the NFL and win. There has been many a league over the years which have challenged the NFL and failed. Included in that list are the World Football League, the USFL, the World League of American Football, the XFL (twice).

The NFL has had the government in its pocket since the early 1960s. Then NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle knew television was the key to growing the game. And he knew the games needed to be on national television. Rozelle also understood the NFL needed to negotiate for the television rights package as one entity instead of 14 teams (the number of teams in the NFL in 1961) negotiating for their own TV deals.

The problem Rozelle and the NFL faced was pooling broadcast rights in this manner was illegal. The NFL got the United States congress to pass the Sports Broadcasting Act of 1961 which allows professional sports teams to negotiate TV deals as a whole.

When the NFL and the American Football League merged in the mid-1960s, the merger had to be approved by congress. The NFL was able to work with then U.S. House of Representatives Majority Leader Hale Boggs of Louisiana to get the merger approved. If Boggs approved the deal, New Orleans would get an NFL expansion franchise.

See, these senators and representatives know what having an NFL team means to a community and they are not going to do anything to mess with the NFL.

If you want to read more about the history of the NFL, I suggest reading Michael MacCambridge's book "America's Game: The Epic Story of How Pro Football Captured a Nation."

This edition of the USFL will have eight teams representing eight cities. However, those eight teams will play all of their games in one city. At this moment, it looks like all of the games will be played in Birmingham, Ala. The eight cities represented are Tampa Bay, New Orleans, Houston, New Jersey, Michigan, Birmingham, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. And the teams will have the same team names they had during the USFL's original run with Pittsburgh reviving the Maulers team nickname.

Moreover, the league will have a dedicated broadcast network in Fox. According to reports, Fox owns a minority stake in the league. When the USFL started up the first time, the league was broadcast by ABC and this little cable startup ESPN.

I guess I get not having the teams play in their home cities because the teams would need to secure stadium locations and there would be travel expenses for the teams. However, having all the teams play in one city sounds like something out of a post-apocalyptic novel. It's like "Rollerball" but with Joe Buck on the microphone.

There have been few details released about the USFL so far but I'm sure that is because they are taking a wait-and-see approach, which is wise.

I'm sure there will be some interest in the new USFL but I can't see myself being in the interested group.

In other news, the College Football Playoff committee released its newest Top-25 rankings and the biggest change from last week's rankings is that Cincinnati moved up one spot to No. 4 which means if the season was to end today, the Bearcats would be in the College Football Playoff. Being in the top four at this stage of the season means if Cincinnati wins out, they will be in the College Football Playoff.

However, another Group of Five team Boise State looked like it was going to make a case to be in the BCS championship game (the BCS was the precursor to the College Football Playoff) in 2010 but Colin Kaepernick (before he was making terrible documentaries for Netflix) led Nevada to a stunning 34-31 overtime win over the Broncos. Boise State was No. 4 in the BCS poll before the game and the Broncos had an outside shot at a BCS title game berth. So the moral of the story is; don't look past anyone on your schedule.

The biggest key for the Bearcats is they have a head-to-head win over Notre Dame which is ranked No. 6 in the current poll. So the Bearcats don't have to worry about the Fighting Irish jumping over them if Cincinnati goes undefeated. Also the No. 5 team in the poll, Michigan, is likely going to get thumped by No. 2 Ohio State this week and the Wolverines will go a tumbling down the poll.

I really can't see a scenario where unbeaten Cincinnati gets aced out of a playoff spot.

Now that I got that off my chest, let's peer into the high school crystal ball. The crystal was cloudy last week as I went 1-1 in my picks. I thought Union/A-C Valley was going to pull the mild upset and they would have too if it wasn't for those meddling kids.

Anyway, my record for the year is 89-22. It's good but not great. Maybe this week I can get over the 90-win line but I wouldn't bet on it.

PIAA Class A quarterfinal

Northern Bedford (9-3 overall) vs. Redbank Valley (11-1) at Clarion University's Memorial Stadium, Friday (Nov. 26), 7 p.m.

As mentioned earlier, the Bulldogs claimed their second-straight District 9 Class A title with a 28-21 win over Union/A-C Valley. Redbank Valley deserves credit for not letting the Falcon Knights' momentum overwhelm them as Union/A-C Valley rallied from a 21-0 first quarter deficit to tie the game at 21-21 in the third quarter.

The best news for the Bulldogs heading into their PIAA quarterfinal matchup with Northern Bedford is Redbank Valley will have its full roster of players available. According to Bulldogs' head coach Blane Gold; it will be the first time all season he won't have any players missing from the lineup.

Northern Bedford took down Reynolds 35-22 last week in the PIAA first round. It was the Panthers' eighth win in a row after starting the season 1-3.

Northern Bedford is a young team as its starting quarterback (Eion Snider) and top running back (Adam Johnson) are sophomores while their top receiver (Aaron Bowers) is a freshman.

Last year, the Bulldogs were the new kids on the PIAA block as it was the program's first advance to the state playoffs since the mid-1990s. This year, Redbank Valley is seasoned and might be the surprise team on the western side of the PIAA bracket.

Redbank Valley 37, Northern Bedford 21

PIAA Class 2A quarterfinals

Farrell (10-0) at Karns City (11-1), Friday (Nov. 26), 7 p.m.

Karns City gets the benefit of playing its first PIAA playoff game on its home turf but I'm afraid that's the only thing the Gremlins are going to enjoy Friday night.

Farrell has outscored its opponents 534-62 this season and reports are Farrell's offensive line is larger in size than the Pittsburgh Steelers' offensive line. I guess it's ironic Farrell's team name is Steelers as well.

For Karns City to win, the Gremlins are going to have to play the perfect game plus have Farrell make some mistakes.

Farrell 45, Karns City 20

CLARION - It was beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Clarion University's Memorial Stadium Friday night (Nov. 26) as the snow was falling at a healthy clip and even though there was no tree or tinsel, the Redbank Valley football team got what they were wishing for.

EAST STROUDSBURG The Golden Eagle volleyball team claimed the third Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) championship in program history on Saturday afternoon, defeating top-seeded Gannon 3-0 (25-14, 25-19, 25-17) at East Stroudsburg's Koehler Fieldhouse. It is the Golden Eagles' fi…

MECHANICHSBURG - To win a state title is special in itself but to win two in a row puts a team in rarified air.

CLARION - Redbank Valley's bid for a second-straight District 9 Class A title was at a crossroads late in the Bulldogs' title tilt with Union/A-C Valley as Redbank Valley was tied at 21-21 with the Falcon Knights and faced a fourth-and-11 at the Union/A-C Valley 21 but the Bulldogs' Tate Min…

SLIPPERY ROCK - For about a half an hour Tuesday night (Nov. 16), the Clarion Area High School volleyball team looked like they were in serious trouble as WPIAL champ Bishop Canevin went on a 9-3 run to take a 20-14 lead in Game One of the PIAA Class A semifinals but in the end, the Bobcats …

SLIPPERY ROCK - You'll have to excuse the Clarion Area High School volleyball team if they weren't awed by the PIAA quarterfinal stage on Saturday afternoon (Nov. 13) at Slippery Rock Area High School but the Bobcats have been here before.

RIMERSBURG - For three-straight years, the Union/A-C Valley football team was close to breaking into the playoff win column but the Falcon Knights always seemed to fall short.

KNOX - Familiarity plays a significant role when it comes to a team's comfort on a playoff stage which is what likely aided the Keystone High School volleyball team in their District 9 Class 2A semifinal against Karns City.

CLARION - Clarion is headed back to the District 9 Class A championship game and the PIAA playoffs after a convincing 3-0 sweep of rival Clarion-Limestone Tuesday night, Nov. 2, at Clarion High School.

WEST SUNBURY - On a night when it was hard to tell who was who due to the amount of mud caked to players' jerseys, three Keystone players stood out Friday night (Oct. 29) on a sloppy field at Moniteau.

CLARION TWP. - There was no shortage of excitement in the early going of the Clarion-Limestone boys' soccer playoff game with visiting Elk County Catholic, unfortunately for the Lions most of the early fireworks came from the Crusaders.

RIMERSBURG - Years from now, when someone looks at the score from Friday night's District 9 Small School showdown between Redbank Valley and Union/A-C Valley they'll think it was one-sided blowout but those in attendance at Vidunas Stadium on that rainy Friday night will attest it wasn't qui…

Wow, what a weekend of racing to complete the 2021 season. Lernerville Speedway held their Steel City Stampede which featured 10 different divisions plus a 100-lap Enduro. The event took place over three days as Thursday night was practice for all drivers in all the divisions.

NEW BETHLEHEM - If there has been one constant in the District 9 Small School field over the past six weeks, it has been the Redbank Valley football team beating the stuffing out of all comers.

It's chaos

CLARION - Central Clarion freshman Jase Ferguson had a big night as he threw for three TDs to help the Wildcats overcome five lost fumbles on the way to a 33-14 victory over Ridgway at Clarion University's Memorial Stadium Oct. 8.

KNOX - If there is one thing that can be said about the 2021 edition of Union/A-C Valley football team is the Falcon Knights are a resilient bunch.

CLARION - Football coaches repeatedly say there are no such things as "moral victories" but that doesn't mean a team can't learn and grow from a loss.

We have been experiencing some beautiful fall temperatures in the past couple of weeks and these temperatures help the race car drivers that have to put on those triple layer fire suits and helmets. Local tracks are also starting to host special events and winding down their respective 2021 …

BRADFORD - The Clarion golfing trio of Kameron Kerle, McKayla Kerle and Devon Lauer each broke 85 to lead the Bobcats to the District 9 Class 2A boys' golf team title at the Pennhills Club in Bradford.

RIMERSBURG - It’s quite an accomplishment when a high school football team can pack an entire game’s worth of offensive and defensive stats into one half of football but Union/A-C Valley did just such a thing Friday night.

Fall is officially here. I love this time of the year when the weather turns cooler and the leaves change colors.

Summer is quickly coming to a close and like anything summer related auto racing is slowing down somewhat but there was still racing to be had.