Thursday, October 15, 2009

Does the United Football League have a chance?

One would think with the economic hardships felt by many, that starting a new sports franchise would be suicide but some have dared to dream. In enter the United Football League (UFL) with their tag-line "Where the future stars come to play". Contradicting sources state that the UFL wishes to be a development league to the NFL or that it wishes to be a competitor to the NFL although the UFL has officially stated that it doesn't have any plans to develop any relationship with the NFL at this time.

Whenever the question of independent football leagues comes into play, the common response one will hear will be the XFL, the failed brainchild of Vince McMahon of World Wrestling Entertainment and NBC. Granted the fact that yes the XFL was the last independent football league to be on the scene but lets remember that the league was tainted from the start. With Vince McMahon being 50% owner, majority (if not all) of the sports media regarded as a joke and too close to pro-wrestling. It was reported that even XFL cities didn't have any post game coverage in their newspapers and news shows. In addition some of the rule changes in which some were changed mid-season just made your average fan go "what?". XFL's model of more flare (in order to attract a bigger base) over actual football also didn't help either. If you start a independent sports league, you want them to be playing the sport and then you add the flare not the other way around. For these reasons among others XFL (as a whole) shouldn't be considered the last independent league. Personally the last league that deserves that honor is still USFL (United States Football League). Which has it's own plans to make a return in 2010.

So I watched the October 14th game between the Florida Tusks and the Las Vegas Locomotives. My boss was telling me not to expect much that it's going to be like AFL (Arena Football League), it's going to be nothing but has-bens and never-wases. I think a mistake people make when viewing a new league is to expect superstar talent from the get go. The game on the 14th was pretty decent, it was pretty much of a shutout for the Tusks with the Locomotives finally scoring early in the fourth quarter. I was happy because I saw football, not flare with sprinkles of football. The UFL is also playing it smart by not having a large league from the start. The entire league is four teams over a seven week season with the eighth week being their championship game. Although with the Championship game being on Black Friday might have been a mistake but of course only time will tell. UFL has potential to grow and pick up where the XFL failed, there is a market out there for people that want alternatives to the NFL and/College or just want more football in general I believe the UFL has the potential to give fans what they want more football.

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