Sunday, February 9, 2014

Los Angeles Express wakes up past spring football echoes, gets modern look

The Los Angeles Express will be one of the eight charter franchises in the new A11 Professional Football League, and will be the A11FL’s team in the United States’ second-largest media market.

The old Express played in the United States Football League from 1983-85 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Since the old name is being used in a new spring pro football league, the brand needed some touching up.

That’s where James M. Kuty, Founder of Kuty Kreative out of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, came in.

“I’m 41 years old, and I remember the USFL, and I was just fascinated with it,” Kuty said. “When I was thinking about it, it was the first of the logos I worked on, because I wanted to stay true to the heritage.”

Kuty said he kept the mid-1980s elements of the original Express brand, but also modernized it, as well.

“I wanted it to be able to relate to different generations,” he said. “The old logo was good for 1983, but it needed to be updated.

“It was a great process, it really was. The whole process, it’s fun to look back on. It was a little painstaking, but it was well worth it. It’s so rewarding now. I love the process of doing that type of stuff.”

While the mid-1980s version of the Express didn’t see a whole lot of success on the field (21-33 during the regular season), it did generate some excitement in the form of two of the most exciting games in spring professional football history.

In a 1984 USFL quarterfinal playoff game, the Express outlasted the defending league-champion Michigan Panthers, 27-21, in three overtimes – still the longest game in professional football history. Then, to begin the 1985 USFL campaign, the Express was ahead of the Jim Kelly-led Houston Gamblers 33-13 in the fourth quarter before succumbing to the Run ‘N’ Shoot offense, 34-33.

The Express also mostly was known for being the first professional home of a Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback named Steve Young, who spent two seasons in Los Angeles before playing in the National Football League for 15 seasons. Young went on to win three Super Bowl championships, including Super Bowl XXIX as a starter.

Kuty is hoping fans and players will enjoy the look of the Los Angeles Express, version 2.0.

“I hope they’re as excited as I am,” he said. “I’m living my dream. I wanted to play professional football or be a commercial artist. They’ve been football-starved. I hope they react to it very well.

“This is just such an exciting league. The league’s going to be exciting. It’s just cool. I hope the city of LA embraces it as much as I have.”

City: Los Angeles, California
2014 Nielsen United States television market ranking: 2nd.
Colors: Silver, navy blue and white.
Spring professional football league history: Los Angeles Express (USFL, 1983-85); Los Angeles Xtreme (XFL, 2001).

Dusty Sloan is the A11 Professional Football League’s Senior Editor/Vice President of Editorial Content.

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