Young, Jr. is credited as the man who brought USFL
football to Memphis, being awarded an expansion
franchise by the league's owners on July 17, 1983.
The nickname "Showboats" seemed to be a
perfect reflection of their original owner, whose father
created an empire from margarine during the
1940's. Young, a local Pepsi-Cola bottler,
reportedly carried large sums of cash at all
times. Unfortunately he didn't carry enough to get
the Showboats off and running in 1984 - before the
season could even begin, Young had told league officials
that despite his substantial net worth, he lacked the
cash to keep the team afloat.
Enter William "Billy" Dunavant, who at the age
of 29 had taken control of Dunavant Enterprises
following his father's death and turned it into the
largest privately owned cotton marketer on Earth.
52 when the Showboats were born, Dunavant took the reins
of the team from Young, infusing capital and signing
players such as quarterback Walter Lewis and Hall of
Fame linebacker Reggie White.
The Showboats were a hit in Memphis considering the size
of the city, drawing over 27,000 in their inaugural year
and improving on the figure in 1985. The 'Boats
were among those teams slated to play in the fall in
1986, but the USFL's failure to gain substantial damages
from the NFL in their anti-trust action would sink the
Showboats and the rest of the USFL.
Now at age 75, Dunavant remains active in Dunavant
Enterprises, working closely with son William Dunavant
III in the family business.
died on April 11, 2006 at the age of 65 under what could
only be described as bizarre circumstances.
Without going into too many sordid details, his death
was first ruled a homicide by Memphis police, only
within two days to be reclassified as accidental.
LOGAN YOUNG, JR.