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USFL’s Houston Gamblers Return This Weekend

Football is back...again.

USFL: Houston Gamblers vs New Orleans Breakers Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

The second (first?) professional spring football league returns this weekend. Your Houston Gamblers take the field, albeit not a field actually in Texas, to face the Michigan Panthers.


Professional football is back with USFL Kickoff Weekend! Saturday, the USFL returns to Memphis after 40 years. It’s a special season opener that the city will never forget. Then it’s a primetime spectacular as Birmingham welcomes back the 2022 USFL Champs in a Saturday night kickoff.

The 8 team league is looking to build on their success from last year, and the legacy of the USFL of the 1980s. They don’t seem to have the names the XFL has (the Rock, Wade Phillips, etc.), but that hasn’t stopped them from Bill O’Brien’ing the metaphorical A-Gap in 2023.

Maybe it’s time for a swing pass after that BO’B mention.

The Houston Gamblers: Looking to create a spark on offense, the Gamblers are counting on athletic quarterback Kenji Bahar to lead them when the team opens the season this weekend against the Panthers.

New Gamblers head coach Curtis Johnson said Bahar won the job in a three-man competition that included Terry Wilson and Montell Cozart.

“He’s shown that he can handle things and really run the offense,” Johnson said about Bahar. “I like his throwing style. He’s part runner, part thrower. He does some drop-back stuff well, and he’s a pretty accurate thrower, a very smart guy.

“We’re trying not to put too much on him, but I think he’s the guy right now.”

Bahar will be aided by the return of bruising running back Mark Thompson, who led the Gamblers last season with 463 rushing yards and two scores.

And Johnson says the receivers group will be the strength of the offense, led by Tyler Palka, Anthony Ratliff-Williams and vertical threat Deontez Alexander. Palka totaled 18 receptions for 188 receiving yards in 2022 for the Gamblers. READ MORE

While it isn’t Houston Texans football, it doesn’t feature DeMeco Ryans or Dameon Pierce and doesn’t even take place in H-Town, it might still be a good way to wile away a few hours on Sunday. If that’s your thing, or background noise while tending the smoker is up your alley, you can catch the Gamblers on NBC/Peacock Sunday morning at 11am CDT.