Fourth down and $1,699,999,999 to go for the U.S.F.L.

In a more innocent age, perhaps, sports in the U.S. were played for the sheer thrill of winning. But today, in an era when stadium grass is plastic and the players are depreciable assets, big-time sports are played for money, and lots of it.

Thus the "moral victory" claimed last week by the United States Football League in its much publicized antitrust suit against the National Football League left the supposed victors feeling lower than the SAT scores of their top draft picks. The upstart league did win in a narrow sense: a federal jury found that the old and established...

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