One year ago, the Baltimore Stars were 2-1 as the Philadelphia Stars, on their way to a division championship, a conference championship and a U.S. Football League championship.
Two years ago, the Stars were off to a 3-0 start, on their way to the USFL championship game, which they lost to Michigan, and a 16-4 finish.
But Baltimore is 0-2-1 after three weeks of the 1985 season. The Stars lost their second game of the season Saturday night to Memphis, 21-19.
"I got concerned after the first game," Stars Coach Jim Mora said. "I'm concerned all the time. I'd be concerned if we were winning and weren't playing well."
Things won't be any easier this week when the Stars play their first home game of the season Sunday in College Park against Doug Flutie and the New Jersey Generals (2-1), who defeated Los Angeles yesterday.
But despite the record, the Stars have not performed badly. Against the Showboats, they built a 13-0 lead at the half. Quarterback Chuck Fusina had an excellent passing day, completing 30 of 44 attempts and throwing only one interception.
"We played better in our game against Oakland and then we played better against Memphis," Mora said. "We are getting better. It's just not quick enough."
The Stars were victimized by Memphis quarterback Walter Lewis' running. Lewis rushed for 102 yards on nine carries, only the second time in three seasons anyone has rushed for 100 yards against the Stars.
"We've given up more big plays than last year. We've been hurting ourselves with turnovers and penalties," Mora said. "People aren't taking the ball and shoving it down our throats."
Mora feels that the schedule the Stars are playing is more difficult and that the league has improved.
"I think this team would beat last year's team at this point," Mora said. "The bottom teams are better. It's more competitive; it's a closer league.
"One of the reasons is that we went from 18 to 14 teams. Michigan and Oakland merged. Memphis was an expansion team last year and they got a bunch of good draft choices and they got healthy in the dispersal draft.