Hebert vs. Oakland Invaders


Bobby Hebert was known as the “Cajun Cannon” when he came to the USFL’s Michigan Panthers in 1983. 

“I remember there were 13 quarterbacks when I came to training camp in Daytona Beach, Fla.,” he says in November 2005. “They would bring in bus loads of people to tryout for the team. They didn’t have enough helmets to accommodate all the players in training camp.  Some players put on helmets without facemasks.”

The Panthers were one of the league’s most popular teams  -- they even rivaled the Lions for fan support, drawing more than 60,000 in a playoff game against the Oakland Invaders in 1983. Attendance jumped to 32,000 for the ’84 season as the team challenged the Lions for headlines in the Detroit papers.









Hebert remembers when the Panthers were the talk-of-the-town. “We were a lot more popular than the Lions were,” he says. “We won the USFL Championship after Detroit not having a champion since the Bobby Layne days in the 1950s.”

"We were a lot more popular than the Lions were. We won the USFL Championship after Detroit not having a champion since the Bobby Layne days in the 1950s.”