USFL

The United States Football League (USFL) played between 1983 and 1986. It was an official professional league. 18 teams played in the USFL.

Pocket Pro Sets

It’s not clear to me that Riddell manufactured the USFL helmets. First, I can’t find a set or packaging with the Riddell logo or name. Second, the USFL set utilizes the term “Pocket Sized” as opposed to “Pocket Pro,” which is the nomenclature Riddell used for its 2″ sized mini helmets.

As far as I can tell, the company that manufactured these helmets only made one set. It includes 12 helmets. All other helmets on the market are custom made.

Official pocket sized helmets were not made for five teams, although custom-made versions can be found: Houston Gamblers, Jacksonville Bulls, Memphis Showboats, Pittsburgh Maulers, and San Antonio Gunslingers.

This page displays USFL helmets for each team. Helmet descriptions and histories from Remember the USFL. A checklist is at the end of the page.

Row 1: Arizona Wranglers (83-84), Birmingham Stallions (83-85), Boston/New Orleans/Portland Breakers (83-85)
Row 2: Chicago Blitz (83), Denver Gold (83-84), L.A. Express (either 83)
Row 3: Michigan Panthers (83), New Jersey Generals (83), Oakland Invaders (83-85)
Row 4: Philadelphia Stars (83), Tampa Bay Bandits (83-85), Washington Federals (83)

Teams Checklist

Arizona Wranglers
After the 1984 season, Arizona ran out of money and merged with the Oklahoma Outlaws (see below). The team wore the same helmet for two years.

  • 1983-84 – Copper helmet with orange, yellow, and blue branding iron with a “W” center, blue facemask – in USFL set

Arizona/Oklahoma Outlaws
Oklahoma merged with Arizona in 1985. The Outlaw’s helmet incorporated some of the Arizona colors in the outline around the logo.

  • 1984 (Oklahoma) – Black helmet, black and white Outlaw’s head with red and white outlines, black facemask – custom versions only
  • 1985 (Arizona/Oklahoma) – Black helmet, black and white Outlaw’s head with white and copper outlines, black facemask – custom versions only

Birmingham Stallions

  • 1983-85 – Gold helmet with scarlet galloping horse with white outline, scarlet facemask – in USFL set

Boston / New Orleans / Portland Breakers

  • 1983-85 – White helmet, silver, navy, and columbia wave wrapping around the helmet, white facemask, scarlet stripe – in USFL set

Chicago Blitz

The Blitz folded after their second season. There are two differences between the 1983 and 1984 helmets. The 1983 facemask is blue and the “Blitz” logo has the word “The” in front. The 1984 helmet’s facemask is scarlet and the logo has no “The.”

  • 1983 – Silver helmet, “the blitz” in scarlet, silver, and blue, blue facemask, scarlet/white/blue/white/scarlet stripes – in USFL set
  • 1984 – Silver helmet, “blitz” in scarlet, silver, and blue, scarlet facemask, scarlet/white/blue/white/scarlet stripes – custom versions only

Denver Gold

The 1984-84 helmets had a gold stripe and a gold star. The 1985 helmet removed the stripe. Additionally, the star’s color was more yellow than gold.

  • 1983-84 – Black helmet, metallic Gold star with white outline, black facemask, gold stripe – in USFL set
  • 1985 – Black helmet, yellow star with white outline, black facemask, no stripe – custom versions only

Houston Gamblers

The company that manufactured the USFL pocket sized helmets did not make one for the Gamblers. The Gamblers are one of 5 teams that don’t have an “official” pocket helmet.

  • 1984-85 – Black helmet, state of Texas in form of a “G” with a yellow star positioned over Houston, black facemask, white/scarlet/white stripes – custom only

Jacksonville Bulls

The company that manufactured the USFL pocket sized helmets did not make one for the Bulls. The Bulls are one of 5 teams that don’t have an “official” pocket helmet.

  • 1984-85 – Silver helmet, 0range, black, and silver charging bulls w/ “BULLS” in back of helmet, cardinal red mask – custom only

L.A. Express

Remember the USFL describes three different helmets for the L.A. Express. The main difference between the 1983 and later helmets is that the streaks on the left side of the helmet were reversed. There was also a minor change in the striping color in 1985.

  • 1983 – Silver helmet, “LA” in navy and white with streaks pointing away from the L, Navy facemask, maroon/navy/white/navy/maroon stripes – in USFL set
  • 1984 – Silver helmet, “LA” in navy and white with streaks pointing to the back of the helmet, Navy facemask, maroon/navy/white/navy/maroon stripes – custom only
  • 1985 – Silver helmet, “LA” in navy and white with streaks pointing to the back of the helmet, Navy facemask, scarlet/navy/white/navy/scarlet stripes – custom only

Memphis Showboats

The company that manufactured the USFL pocket sized helmets did not make one for the Showboats. The Showboats are one of 5 teams that don’t have an “official” pocket helmet.

  • 1984-5 – Silver helmet, Top half of a boat wheel, white spoked with a red background, scarlet facemask, scarlet stripes. The helmet for the first game in 1984 did not include any stripes – both helmets custom only

Michigan Panthers

  • 1983 – Champagne helmet, Plum and columbia blue roaring panther, grey facemask, no stripes (silver helmet in one game) – in USFL set (silver helmet custom only)
  • 1984 – Champagne helmet, Plum and columbia blue roaring panther, cardinal red facemask, no stripes – custom only

New Jersey Generals

  • 1983 – Scarlet helmet, Metallic gold and white 5-star general wreath, white facemask, no stripes – in USFL set
  • 1984-85 – Scarlet helmet, sunflower gold and white 5-star general wreath, white facemask, no stripes – custom only

Oakland Invaders

  • 1983-85 – Sunflower gold helmet, Hand grabbing a lightning bolt inside of a blue encircled interior, blue facemask, blue/white/blue stripes – in USFL set

Philadelphia/Baltimore Stars

  • 1983 (Philadelphia) – Gold helmet, “STARS” in scarlet with 3 mirroring stars lying in front, white facemask, no stripes – in USFL set
  • 1984-85 (Phil 84/Balt 85) – Gold helmet, “STARS” in scarlet and white with 3 mirroring stars lying in front, white facemask, no stripes – custom only

Pittsburgh Maulers

The company that manufactured the USFL pocket sized helmets did not make one for the Maulers. The Maulers are one of 5 teams that don’t have an “official” pocket helmet.

  • 1984 – Purple helmet, Purple mauler swinging sledgehammer inside orange circle, white outline, gray facemask, orange/purple/white/purple/orange stripes. Later in the season the logo was changed to a Purple mauler outlined in white swinging sledgehammer inside orange circle with white outline – custom only

San Antonio Gunslingers

The company that manufactured the USFL pocket sized helmets did not make one for the Gunslingers. The Gunslingers are one of 5 teams that don’t have an “official” pocket helmet.

  • 1984-85: Kelly green helmet, Cartoon  character standing inside of a silver circle, “San Antonio” arching on top and “Gunslingers” beneath, white facemask, silver/blue/white/blue/silver stripes – custom only

Tampa Bay Bandits

  • 1983-85 – Silver helmet, Black bandit with a red bandana riding on a horse, white outline, gray facemask, black/white/scarlet/white/black stripes – in USFL set

Washington Federals/Orlando Renegades

  • 1983 (Washington) – White helmet, Black and green eagle with silver star on the neck, white facemask, black/white/kelly/white/black stripes – in USFL set
  • 1984 (Washington) – Silver helmet, Black and green eagle with silver star on the neck, black facemask, kelly/silver/black/silver/kelly stripes – custom only
  • 1985 (Orlando) – White helmet, Black tomahawk with red and gray dangling feathers, “RENEGADES” in red script, “Orlando” topping in blue, white facemask, blue/silver/blue stripes – custom only

Checklist

Officially manufactured helmets are noted as being in the USFL set. All other helmets can be found, but are custom made by individuals.

  • Arizona Wranglers – 83-84 – in USFL set
  • Oklahoma Outlaws – 84
  • Arizona/Oklahoma Outlaws – 85
  • Birmingham Stallions – 83-85 – in USFL set
  • Boston/New Orleans/Portland – 83-85 in USFL set
  • Chicago Blitz – 83 – in USFL set
  • Chicago Blitz – 84
  • Denver Gold – 83-84 – in USFL set
  • Denver Gold – 85
  • Houston Gamblers – 84-85
  • Jacksonville Bulls – 84-85
  • L.A. Express – 83 – in USFL set
  • L.A. Express – 84
  • L.A. Express – 85
  • Memphis Showboats – 83-84
  • Memphis Showboats – 84 (one game only; no stripe)
  • Michigan Panthers – 83 – in USFL set
  • Michigan Panthers – 83 (one game only; silver helmet)
  • Michigan Panthers – 84
  • New Jersey Generals – 83 – in USFL set
  • New Jersey Generals – 84-85
  • Oakland Invaders – 83-85 – in USFL set
  • Philadelphia Stars – 83 – in USFL set
  • Philadelphia (84)/Baltimore Stars (85) – 84-85
  • Pittsburgh Maulers – 84
  • San Antonio Gunslingers – 84-85
  • Tampa Bay Bandits – 83-85 – in USFL set
  • Washington Federals – 83 – in USFL set
  • Washington Federals – 84
  • Orlando Renegades – 85

Sources