Thursday, October 8, 2009

My UFL Review

Well, I'd say I've seen enough of the first United Football League game. If you've seen my Twitter posts, that sums up a lot of what I have to say, but not all of it. (Please note: I missed The Office and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia to watch this game.)

I would like nothing more than to see another professional football league succeed in this country. Unfortunately, the UFL doesn't look like it will be that league.

It's not because of the flashy design of the uniforms, which are terrible. It was such a pain how California and Las Vegas had similar jersey designs. It's not because refs are dressed like they work at a fast food restaurant. It's not even because it's a four team league. Well okay, a lot of it is because of those three reasons.

The UFL won't work out because it's not bringing anything new to the table. If you're going to compete with the NFL, you need to bring something that people haven't seen before. That's how it works in life. You can't just blow everybody away with a carbon copy of the NFL. You might get some of the people, but you won't get all of them. It's not a sustainable model.

The AFL was able to compete with the NFL in the 1960s because of the passing game. Sid Gillman and Joe Namath made the passing game sexy and that helped the AFL. The AFL had swagger. They had some goofy uniforms, but still brought something to the table.

The USFL had stars like Jim Kelly, Reggie White and Herschel Walker. They also played in the spring. That helped them out a lot. ESPN also got the USFL. Sure they folded, but they gave the NFL a run for it's money.

Hell, even the XFL went bold with their initiatives. People might not have liked the league, but at least they tried. The three things people will remember about the XFL are "He Hate Me," Tommy Maddox and the Opening Scramble.

It's interesting seeing the access on the field and at halftime, but it's not enough. If you're going to show us a locker room at halftime, you have to show more. The move seemed staged. The players all sat at their lockers like a high school team, while an assistant coach talked about the plans for the second half. It was a close game at halftime. Where's the emotion? Why no yelling from Denny Green?

If you want to light a fire, provide a spark. Do something bold! Don't be afraid to take risks and seek out innovative steps to improve the game of football.

If this is what we should expect from the UFL, I'll be surprised to see the league go for a second season. The league is just not that good and it's a shame. We'll see how the rest of the season goes, but I don't like the way it looks. The NFL has no reason to sweat over the UFL.

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