The UFL Part II: Not Your Daddy’s FootballMonday, August 3, 2009 22:26
The DIS Special Examination Division or DISSED–me, my two rescued Pit Bull mixes, and my Russian friend, Stolichnay–has been assigned to write a four part series on the United Football League. The first part can be found here: http://www.deepintosports.com/2009/07/25/ufl-united-football-league-nfl-competition-success-problems/
Take a look at the UFL website. Has all the trappings of a slickly produced movie with some big name stars, great production values, and an interesting premise.
Unfortunately, after you open the pretty wrapping what you see smells like funky leftovers.
You can pretty it up with all the fancy, upbeat language you want. Football is football. The absolute most–if everything worked out the way the website predicts–the UFL can ever be is minor league football, a feeder system for the NFL, where the highest level of American football is played.
Assume for a moment, NFL players currently suspended by Herr Roger Goodell–Michael Vick, Plaxico Burress, Pac-Man Jones–find a home in the UFL. We will end up with a handful of elite players playing against men who couldn’t make the practice squad of NFL teams.
This begs the question: If you are going to create a league unto itself, one seemingly doomed to inferior status from the get-go, why play in the fall and go head to head with the behemoth NFL?
I’m not sure the UFL could honestly answer that question because the league doesn’t know what it wants to be, at least according to its mission statement:
To fulfill the unmet needs of football fans in major markets currently underserved by professional football by providing a high quality traditional football league comprised of world class professional football players. The UFL will serve the communities with pride, dedication and passion, and uphold a leadership role in the development of football worldwide. The UFL will provide every fan with an affordable, accessible, exciting and entertaining game experience.
I don’t know what dictionary these guys are working off of but in the Gairzo dictionary “underserved” means an area only partially served by a given provider, be it the government or professional football.
How the hell does the NFL underserve New York and San Francisco? Those two metro areas sell out 32 games a year with two teams in each metro area. Las Vegas is the hub of football gambling. You can walk into any casino any football Sunday and watch any game you want. Phoenix is underserved. Oklahoma City is underserved. For god’s sake, Los Angeles is underserved.
Fortunately, the crack UFL executive team addresses that inherent contradiction:
In its “Premiere” season, the UFL will have four teams playing in seven cities. The four teams selected for 2009 are Las Vegas, New York, Orlando and San Francisco. The additional cities where games may be played include Hartford, Los Angeles and Sacramento.
Nice. So instead of the Avengers of the AFL, the second largest television market in America can watch the inaugural season of a minor league football club really headquartered in San Francisco–or is it Vegas?
Rumor has it the guy who wrote the UFL’s business plan provided the same crack service for the Bad Newz Kennelz.
Despite my sarcasm, I try to remain open-minded and want to believe successful businessmen have integrity–WAIT! I just got a sharp pain in my chest from writing the previous sentence.
Given the economic quicksand this country has been forced to muck through by America’s most successful businessmen, I’m convinced 99.8% of corporate honchos would mutilate their grandma to make more of a profit than the next guy.
Something fishy is going on here. I’m kind of wondering if failure isn’t exactly what the UFL and the NFL are planning for the league especially in the short term.
We’ll explore what we think the NFL really has up its sleeve with the creation of the UFL next week.
Last week featured the first three of our Top Nine List of ideas the UFL must implement to be a success. Here are the next three:
6.) Each UFL team must play forty-five convicted felons. Then we will see pundits write stories about the handful of players who obey the law every day—you know, the pussies. How their law-abiding lifestyle brings the team down and engenders bad “locker room chemistry.” How their selfish conformity affects the youth of America by creating an intolerable civilized society. We might begin to sympathize with the criminal millionaires who insist they shouldn’t be role models.
5.) All UFL Referees must weigh at least 270 pounds. What we are looking for here is the potentially thrilling, random coronary during a game winning drive. Vegas could get a lot of action. “Tonight’s referee, Burt Schmidlap, had a pregame meal of meat loaf and cheese mac. He’s sweating cannonballs and panting like a St. Bernard in Death Valley. He looks about ready to go.” Here, the camera would cut to shots of the Ref’s wife anticipating the life insurance pay-off and the Allstate agent mopping his brow in fear of departing with the huge check. Oh, the humanity!
4.) Before each game, only the players will be allowed to tailgate AND All said tailgating must take place on the field of play. Imagine the excitement of inebriated 300-pound linemen running into hot barbecue grills, spewing embers, brawts and burgers everywhere. Players would not only have to block and tackle opponents, but giant coolers of beer and potato salad. Fireworks would become quaint memories of a bygone era.
As of this writing the UFL still has not named their teams. Even if they do get around to that task within the month, the DISSED team will still suggest much cooler names and/or mock the names the NF–I mean UFL bosses come up with.
Our pick for the name of the UFL’s desert entity…
THE LAS VEGAS DONS
Team Logo – A silk suited thug sporting a fedora and violin case.
First alternate – The LAS VEGAS PIT BOSSES
The logo could still be a silk suited thug with bulldog jowls, only wearing a spiked collar.
My Personal Favorite – The LAS VEGAS BANDITS. Team uniforms would all be numbered ’777′. The logo would be a slot machine wearing a burglar mask.
Head Coach – Jim Fassel All you need to know about Fassel can be found in his UFL bio:
Fassel took a break from coaching when he was hired as color commentator on NFL Sunday Night Game broadcasts for the Westwood One Radio Network and also served as a color analyst on ESPN.
Bullshit. Fassel, like all four coaches in the UFL, flamed out as an NFL head coach after a prolonged, 7-year stint with a stable, loyal franchise. He finished 5 games over .500 and his one Super Bowl team was embarrassed by a Trent Dilfer led Raven’s squad. Of course, that only means Jimbo is a better football coach than 99.99777 of the schmucks reading this–just lousier than the .00233 who are otherwise busy coaching NFL teams.
What’s your favorite name for the UFL’s Vegas franchise?
What do you think the league is supposed to be?
What’s really going on here?
We’ll tackle those questions next week…
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