Mailbox: How about pro football in Columbus? Bring back the Bulls in the USFL

Brian White
The Columbus Dispatch

Have more comments, questions? Reach out to me at

On professional football in Columbus

To the editor: 2025 USFL Columbus Bulls? I believe the city leaders of Columbus should start preparing to submit Columbus as a USFL expansion franchise in the next few years. Ohio is the mother of football, and our capital city should represent Ohio in professional spring football.

Liberty Stadium prior to the game between the Philadelphia Stars and Memphis Showboats, April 15, 2023 in Memphis, Tennessee.

As a matter of fact, the Columbus Panhandles played the very first NFL game vs. the Dayton Triangles in 1920. It was the first year of the APFA, which two years later became the NFL. Also, another AFL franchise in Columbus won both seasons of the new league before WWII disbanded the league. The 1940 and 1941 champions were the Columbus Bulls. This is the name I think would represent Columbus the best. Columbus has a nickname of Cowtown, anyway.

Rob Oller:Did Columbus almost get an NBA team? In 2013, mayor Michael Coleman made a pitch

The Columbus Bulls would have natural rivals in the Michigan Panthers and Pittsburgh Maulers. The way we Ohioans love our football, I believe we would overwhelmingly support the USFL Columbus Bulls. Then Ohio would have the Buckeyes, Bulls, Browns and Bengals. This is a match made in heaven.

Brad Holland, Heath

Charcoal drawing of Lt. (j.g.) Phil Bucklew U.S.N.R. and Lt. (j.g.) Grant G. Andreason from 1944. These junior lieutenants spearheaded and guided the two assault landings of Omaha beachhead. In their support craft they were the first men in, just after dawn, while dusk found them still on the job and, strangely enough, still alive. Both distinguished themselves at Sicily and Salerno, Bucklew holding the Navy Cross and the Silver Star.

To Brad: Not-so-fun fact: The official name of the original team was the Bullies, which would not be permitted these days. Historical fun facts: The founder and coach of the Bullies, Phil Bucklew, was a Columbus native and war hero who was called the "father of U.S. Naval special warfare." He served in one of the first special warfare units during World War II, was a key part of D-Day and was awarded the Navy Cross twice. His older brother, Bill, fought in WW II in France ... at age 13. Final fun fact: The Panhandles lost that 1920 game to the Triangles 14-0, and I assume the offensive coordinator was roasted in the next week's Letters to the Editor.

Greg Studrawa coach of Ohio State’s offensive linemen talks to players in a drill during practice at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center in Columbus, Ohio on August 6, 2019. [Kyle Robertson/Dispatch]

On Ohio State football

To the editor: Maybe the Buckeyes should bring back Coach Stud (Greg Studrawa). National championship and offensive coordinator at LSU. He was respected by his players and he respected them as well during his time in Columbus. He brought in top recruits. His line dominated Michigan every year. When you aren’t part of the Good Ol' Boys Club, you get fired.

Dave L

To Dave: The Ohio State offensive line does look alarmingly troubling and thin and required two transfer-portal acquisitions, but the group's coach, Justin Frye, has been on board for only a year. Let's see what he does this season.

To the editor: Every day, another pampered athlete decides to transfer for legitimate reasons or just because they feel underappreciated or lack PT, as Dick Vitale would say, or just want to cash in on their name, recognition or likeness. That is their right. I transferred during my undergraduate career. What isn’t right is that the university has invested coaching time, academic classes and a scholarship in the athlete, yet the athlete walks away despite that investment. In the business world a valued employee signs a non-compete contract and suffers damages, monetarily and otherwise, when they skip out on their obligations. The same should be true for athletes. They should have to buy out their obligation to the university and pay back the coaches and university for the time and treasure invested in them. That would make the athlete think twice before they enter the transfer portal, since every right should come with a reciprocal obligation.

Michael N. Oser, Columbus

To Michael: So, you're saying an 18-year-old kid who decides he or she made a wrong college choice, or is homesick, or doesn't want to play anymore, or whose coach left for another place or was fired, should have to pay for the years of teaching, coaching, room and board, etc.? And how are athletes different from other scholarship students? To me, seems extreme and demoralizing.

Ohio State men's tennis player James Trotter competes for the Buckeyes.

On Ohio State tennis

To the editor: What does it take for The Ohio State men’s tennis team to receive the recognition it deserves? With last Sunday’s Big Ten finals 4-0 win against TTUN, coach Ty Tucker cemented the Buckeyes 17th consecutive Big Ten title. Since 2006 when the streak began, the Bucks are 179 -2 in conference play. No other college team has such a dynasty and yet the Dispatch has made this a well-kept secret. Time to give credit to the best college tennis coach in the country and his fabulous players who have accomplished so much.

Bob Weiler

To Bob: Ohio State has outstanding men's and women's tennis programs, as has been chronicled in The Dispatch. The latest example was this week with a story on James Trotter's path to stardom.

Mr. Red Legs waves to fans before the first inning of the MLB Interleague game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Tampa Bay Rays at Great American Ball Park in downtown Cincinnati on Wednesday, April 19, 2023.

On the St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds

To Brian: The St. Louis Cardinals are having an uncharacteristically bad season, even finding themselves in the basement under the perennially woeful Reds. Their excellence can be measured not only by their number of championships, but also the fact that in over a century they have finished in last place only once. That, coincidentally, was 1990, when the Reds played in their only World Series in the last 46 years. How can one franchise constantly maintain such excellence while another not so much?  

Dennis Singleton, Dayton

To Dennis: Consistency in strategy and execution from ownerships and front offices is often a good place to start when looking for answers.

More from the Mailbox:

NFL needs to investigate leak of CJ Stroud cognitive test

It's tough to watch a great player like Joey Votto struggling at the end

Reader doubles down on opinion that all Ohio State coaches should be paid the same

Did SEC favoritism help LSU in hoops the way it helped Georgia top Ohio State?

Readers sound off on Ohio State football coaches' salaries

Readers don't like timing of 'obscene' raises for Ohio State football coaches

Praise for The Dispatch's Adam Jardy; and does March Madness have correct format?

Here's hoping Ohio State football's new quarterback runs more than CJ Stroud did

Blue Jackets remain a mystery; and would Aaron Craft save Ohio State basketball?

Can Les Wexner fix Ohio State men's basketball?

Get more Ohio State football news by listening to our podcasts