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  1. #1
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    Interesting article on the UFL (new football league being proposed)

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    Wanna make a dumb football wager? Then bet against Mark Cuban's new pro football league. I know, I know. It’s insane. It's fool's gold. It's a pipe dream. It's egomaniacal. Rich people thinking they can do whatever they wish. Some sort of sporting equivalent of Paris Hilton’s “Get Out Of Jail Free’’ card.

    But I’ll tell you what (or who) else I know: I know Mark Cuban. And I wouldn’t wager against him as a football owner. Nor would I wager against you as a football fan.

    “I’m not worried,’’ Cuban tells TheRanchReport.com. “If we get good ownership, the right ownership, it will be easy.’’

    Easy?

    Cuban and I go back 14 years. And it was way back then when he told me about his broadcast.com idea, and I joked to him that he would need some luck trying to convince people to convert their $2000 computers into $20 transistor radios. Then came word that the business was about to be sold to Yahoo.com, and I scoffed about speculation that Cubes would become a billionaire. Then Mark confirmed to me that he planned to buy the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, and when word arrived that he’d spend more than $250 mil to do so, I advised him that he’d be overpaying for such a downtrodden franchise in such a struggling league.

    So you think now I’m going to joke? Or scoff? Or advise? Or bet against him?

    The facts: Wall Street investor Bill Hambrect is gathering up some wealthy chums to compete with the NFL with something called the United Football League. Cuban will likely be an owner. Action to start in August 2008. Teams in available markets like Los Angeles, Mexico City and Las Vegas (where Cuban might be the owner). Games on Friday nights.

    Conventional wisdom – and every newspaper columnist, TV foof, radio voice and blogosphere typist – is insisting it cannot work. For fun (and because in my time with Cuban, “conventional wisdom’’ has rarely been applicable) let’s take another tact: Let’s discuss 10 reasons why it MIGHT work.

    10) Each owner will put up $30 million to own half the team. No group ownerships. No divergent levels of commitment. One man. One team. Commitment.

    9) The other halves of the franchises will eventually be sold to fans. Your shares will make YOU an owner of a pro football team. Tell me you haven’t always wanted that!

    8) Critics cite the failures of other pro football leagues (like the silly XFL). Many even cite the “failure’’ of the Arena League. Newsflash: That is not a failure. I told Cuban I think a league competing on that level can succeed; he doesn’t want that. He wants to shoot for the top. OK, but for now. … Arena League-level football during the NFL season in non-NFL cities is worth a shot.

    7) Put it on TV, somebody will watch. We’re watching Spelling Bees. We’re watching dating shows. A few of us are kind of still watching hockey. In this day and age, TV makes events vibrant. Football on TV ALWAYS works. Oh, and by the way: Cuban owns HDNet. He already OWNS a TV network.

    6) There is talent available. I’m around Texas high school football a lot. I was at an NFL-eligible free-agent camp the other day. There are a limitless number of athletes worthy of a look. (Which makes for a limitless number of stories to be told by the media.) And that’s not even counting the guys who get a cup o’ coffee in the NFL, or maybe even established NFL people who get the boot. Remember when the “scabs’’ filled in? Was the level of football, altered or not, impactful in your watching habits? No. I haven’t asked Cuban about the UFL’s interest level in the Pacman Joneses of the football world, but. … that’d be good TV, huh?

    5) If local teams are able to add local talent, the franchise will be immediately adopted by the home folks. It works on one level for LeBron James in Ohio. It works on another level for Gary Kubiak coaching not too far from College Station. It works even for Tyson Thompson playing in Irving. You put a Mexican player on the Mexico City team, and boom! That team is a marketing success.

    4) It will make the NFL better. Competition IS better, right?

    3) Do you have ANY complaints with the NFL? Salaries too high? Owners too invisible? Players’ behaviors troubling? The NFL is, on many points like that, well past the point of no return. The UFL? Here’s a chance for all those errors to be rectified in a giant football test tube.

    2) As long as it’s not MY $30 million, there’s no reason NOT to try this … or at least not to encourage someone else to try it. I don’t understand the venom directed at Cuban by some football fans. If you’re a traveler, are you AGAINST the idea of a new airline? I have a Sprint cell phone. Do I get mad when “Jitterbug’’ ads come on my TV? I like Target, but if Mom and Pop want to spent the money to put in their Original Mom-N-Pop-Mart across the street. … why would I get angry at them?

    1) Football is, far more than the other sports, weaved into the psyche of the U.S. fan. And I don’t mean the NFL (as much as I love most everything about it); I mean FOOTBALL, the game, not the sport. Come to Lewisville High School when the Fighting Farmers baseball team is playing a playoff game adjacent to Max Goldsmith Stadium, where the football team is practicing, and count heads: More people are watching the football practice!

    If Major League Baseball disappeared, would hordes of Americans suddenly show up at Little League games, just because they need a taste of baseball?

    Nah.

    But if we didn’t have the NFL, it wouldn’t kill football. We’d watch more college. And if that was taken away, we’d grow addicted to high-school football. And yes, if it were the only way to get a fix, we’d buy tickets to Pop Warner games. Done right, to us, opening up another football league should feel like God opening up another source of sunshine, or oxygen, or maybe tapping another keg. Gotta have it. More is better.



  2. #2
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    Re: Interesting article on the UFL (new football league being proposed)

    It would be nice to have something to contrast the No Fun League. It'd get interesting if they could hang around for a few years and then score a few coups signing big name players away from the NFL.



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    Re: Interesting article on the UFL (new football league being proposed)

    Games on fri night!!! I LOVE IT!!!

    Great way to get a weekend of football kicked off!


    They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin 1775

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    Re: Interesting article on the UFL (new football league being proposed)

    Quote Originally Posted by ekim121 View Post
    It would be nice to have something to contrast the No Fun League. It'd get interesting if they could hang around for a few years and then score a few coups signing big name players away from the NFL.
    Michael Vick?


    Don't confuse hope for a plan.

  5. #5
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    Re: Interesting article on the UFL (new football league being proposed)

    I see it not working just for the fact that it's on Friday nights simply because I think it'll have problems competing against high school football. If college football doesn't have high TV ratings and can't compete with high school football on Friday nights, why does a startup league think it'll have any better luck? It'd had better hope the half fan ownership brings the fans to the stadiums on Fridays or this league is going to fall flat very quickly.


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  6. #6
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    Re: Interesting article on the UFL (new football league being proposed)

    I'm not sure why the NFL gets the "No Fun League" label.

    So they don't allow the players to orchestrate ridiculous end zone celebrations and commit crimes off the field. I tip my hat to them. The game should be about the game, not who has the best end zone shuffle.

    Each league has their issues and imperfections. Yet no league is run better and more watched than the NFL. It will be very hard for another league to compete with that.

    The prospect of the UFL intrigues me, I admit. Yet I hope it's nothing like the XFL, which seemed like a mockery toward the NFL. They allowed and encouraged all these "fun" things - look where the XFL is now.

    Cuban is no doubt a very smart business man and knows how to market any product. So with him involved, as the author said - you gotta give this thing a fighting chance.

    I'll be interested to see how many cities this thing is planned for (and what cities) and the format they'll use. While it could be a good venture for all - I don't ever see them stealing good players from the NFL.

    Do ya wanna play on Friday night in front of (guessing) 10-15k in the stands or on Sunday/Monday in front of many more? Money talks and it would be very hard for this new league to compete with NFL contracts.



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    Re: Interesting article on the UFL (new football league being proposed)

    If the UFL were to take place during the NFL's off-season, I think this idea would be fantastic. Otherwise, it's just going to compete with the NFL.

    Besides, I'd love to watch football in the spring and summer.


    Go Sssssssssyclones!

  8. #8
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    Re: Interesting article on the UFL (new football league being proposed)

    Quote Originally Posted by ISUFan22 View Post
    The prospect of the UFL intrigues me, I admit. Yet I hope it's nothing like the XFL, which seemed like a mockery toward the NFL. They allowed and encouraged all these "fun" things - look where the XFL is now.
    I knew the XFL was headed to failure the moment the first thing they showed was the "He Hate Me" jersey. And then Vinnie Mac growling "WELCOME TO THE XFL!!!" And Jerry "The King" Lawler and what's his name doing play-by-play and color. After the first five minutes I couldn't take it seriously. And then the game went on for four plus hours. Plus all (but the New York Hitmen) logos were ugly. Wow...


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  9. #9
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    Re: Interesting article on the UFL (new football league being proposed)

    The XFL was an ugly version of football meet WWF (not that there would a non-ugly version of that). Some very bad comedy and football isn't designed to be funny.

    I would have loved to see Bill Parcells coach in that league though - being they allowed the cameras on the sidelines and they could actually talk to the coach - and he was supposed to talk back to them.

    I'm thinking there would've been at least one death of a new crewman.



  10. #10
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    Re: Interesting article on the UFL (new football league being proposed)

    The XFL did give the world 2 things, however:

    1. The cameras that hover over the field by a wire (ESPN/ABC picked up on that later). That actually was a good idea

    2. The "resurgence" of Tommy Maddox


    Chuck Lidell: I paint my toenails with pink and black polish. Problem is, I get more paint on my toes and on the carpet than on my nails. Any advice?
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  11. #11
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    Re: Interesting article on the UFL (new football league being proposed)

    Quote Originally Posted by jdoggivjc View Post
    The XFL did give the world 2 things, however:

    1. The cameras that hover over the field by a wire (ESPN/ABC picked up on that later). That actually was a good idea
    The XFL was the first to use the "Skycam"? Didn't know that.

    Quote Originally Posted by jdoggivjc View Post
    2. The "resurgence" of Tommy Maddox
    That worked for what...about a full season? Is Maddox now retired or still on a team?



  12. #12
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    Re: Interesting article on the UFL (new football league being proposed)

    Quote Originally Posted by ISUFan22 View Post
    That worked for what...about a full season? Is Maddox now retired or still on a team?
    Thus the quotes around "resurgence"


    Chuck Lidell: I paint my toenails with pink and black polish. Problem is, I get more paint on my toes and on the carpet than on my nails. Any advice?
    Maria Sharapova: Don't you beat up other guys for a living? I don't know how to answer this.



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    Re: Interesting article on the UFL (new football league being proposed)

    if anyone can pull this off it will be mark cuban. he will do better than vince mcmahon i guarantee that.



  14. #14
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    Re: Interesting article on the UFL (new football league being proposed)

    Quote Originally Posted by jdoggivjc View Post
    The XFL did give the world 2 things, however:

    1. The cameras that hover over the field by a wire (ESPN/ABC picked up on that later). That actually was a good idea

    2. The "resurgence" of Tommy Maddox
    And don't forget Rod "He Hate Me" Smart



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    Re: Interesting article on the UFL (new football league being proposed)

    Panthers picked him up for a bit, didn't they?



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