"Mauler" was defined by the team as a
steelworker who forged metals in the mill using
a "maul," or heavy hammer.
nickname was chosen by owner Edward J. DeBartolo
following a "Name the Team" contest
held during August, 1983.
Maulers logo depicted a "Mauler"
swinging a maul. In local newspapers after
a loss, some took liberty with the design,
showing the Mauler instead whacking himself in
the head with the hammer.
name "Maulers" was announced on August
24, 1983. Other finalists were the Flash,
Fortress, Pionners, Points, Renaissance, and
Vulcans. Among these, "Points"
was the most popular choice in polls conducted
by the Pittsburgh Press.
J. DeBartolo wasn't the only applicant for
membership in the USFL intending to put a
franchise in Pittsburgh. Another group
submitted an application, prominently announcing
itself and its intention to bring the
"Pittsburgh Points" ("The
Point" is a well known landmark in Pittsburgh
where the Monongahela and Allegheny Rivers
converge to create the Ohio River) to the USFL.
DeBartolo meanwhile submitted his bid with no
fanfare whatsoever, as was his style.
DeBartolo's franchise application included within
its contents a signed lease for Three Rivers
Stadium - in other words, DeBartolo had
"already booked the hall," whether the
"USFL Dance" was coming to Pittsburgh or
While the official story is that the Pittsburgh
Maulers were awarded the #1 overall draft choice
via lottery, rumor has it that USFL Director of
Operations Peter Hadhazy simply gave the Maulers
the pick because they intended to draft and sign
Heisman Trophy winning RB Mike Rozier from
Nebraska. As the "lottery" was
conducted via conference call by Hadhazy, with him
the only one in the room when the
"picks" were made, the truth will never
While it has been claimed that the Maulers lost in
excess of $10 million in their only year of
operation, this figure is highly disputable, as
the team's expenses for 1983-84, with the
exception of the contract given to Mike Rozier,
were unlikely to come anywhere close to that
figure. Also while the Maulers didn't fare
well at the gate, they had an equal share of the
USFL's television and network radio revenues from
Despite playing a single season, the Maulers had
two different logos on their helmets - the first
(depicted here on USFL.INFO) featured a
Mauler on the "Renaissance Red"
background. The second was identical to the
first, save a white outline that was added,
conceivably because the design was difficult to
see on television. A similar outline was
added to the Philadelphia/Baltimore Stars for the
Indicative of their owners' wealth, Maulers
stationery was reported to cost over $ 1.00 a
sheet - at a time when a raised-lettering printed
sheet, second sheet, and envelope combined cost
roughly the same amount.
The Maulers franchise lasted exactly 550 days from
the date of its announcement. On October 25,
1984, a week after the USFL's ownership voted to
move to a fall schedule beginning in 1986,
DeBartolo ordered the doors to the team's offices
closed, and without any fanfare at all beyond a
press release, the Maulers were gone.