The Birmingham Stallions were a franchise in the United States
Football League, an attempt to establish a second professional
league of American football in the United States in competition
with the National Football League.
They competed in all three USFL seasons, 1983–1985. During their run, they were one of the USFL's more popular teams, and seemed to have a realistic chance of being a viable venture had the USFL been better run.
The owner was Cincinnati financier and Birmingham native Marvin Warner. The team's coach was Rollie Dotsch, who was previously the offensive line coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers during its Super Bowl years and ended up with the second most wins in USFL history. The Stallions starting quarterback for their final two seasons was Cliff Stoudt, a long-time backup to Terry Bradshaw with the Steelers.
Stoudt had finally taken over for the injured Bradshaw in 1983 and had played very well for the first half of the season, but his game fell apart in the second half of the season, leading Steeler fans to harshly turn on him. After the season, Stoudt quickly decided it was not worth staying in Pittsburgh and signed with the Stallions. (Amusingly, the expansion Pittsburgh Maulers' lone sellout was the game where Cliff Stoudt returned to Pittsburgh. Steeler fans pelted the hated Stoudt with snowballs throughout the game, but Stoudt and Birmingham won, 30–18.)
In Birmingham, Stoudt proved to be an excellent QB, finishing in the league's top 5 in 1984 and 1985, among such peers as Jim Kelly and Chuck Fusina and leading the team to two divisional titles. The Stallions also added Bills star HB Joe Cribbs in 1984. Cribbs led the league in rushing in 1984 and finished 6th in 1985. Former Steeler WR Jim Smith was another of the team's stars. Many other Stallions players would play in the NFL once the USFL went out of existence.