Thursday, October 8, 2009

Why You Should Give the UFL a Chance

Tonight at 9 P.M eastern the United Football League will kickoff it's inaugural season. The idea of the league is usually met with chuckles from resonated thoughts pertaining to the XFL, however, this league is different.

Unlike the XFL and USFL, the UFL is not meant to compete with the NFL, it's here to compliment it. All four teams; the California Redwoods, Las Vegas Locomotives, New York Sentinels, and Flordia Tuskers, will run pro style schemes, and are lead by former NFL head coaches Denny Green, Jim Haslett, Ted Cottrell, and Jim Fassel.

Unlike the USFL which stole NFL prospects and talent such as Herschel Walker, Jim Kelly, Steve Young, Reggie White, Doug Flutie, and Doug Williams; the UFL will be comprised mostly of players who lost their jobs in the now defunct Arena Football League, undrafted rookies, aging veterans, and players most of us will consider scrubs.

Some players currently on UFL rosters that you may recognize include QB Mike McMahon, RB Obafemi Ayanbadejo, RB Tatum Bell, P Todd Sauerbrun, TE Jermaine Wiggins, WR Craphonso Thorpe, DE Simeon Rice, QB Quinn Gray, RB DD Dorsey, and the current Starchild of the league, former first round QB from the Buffalo Bills: none other than J.P Losman.

Okay, I get it, that list of players wouldn't make you watch an NFL playoff game, let alone a non NFL professional football game.

So here's the number one reason why you should give the UFL a chance... the stadiums in which they're playing their games offer a unique opportunity to watch football at a high level!

October 17, NY Sentinels vs California Redwoods in AT&T Park in San Francisco.
October 30, Las Vegas Locos vs Florida Tuskers at Tropicana Field in Tampa.
November 4, Las Vegas Locos vs NY Sentinels at Citi Field in Queens.
November 12, Florida vs NY in Hartford.
Nov 20, NY vs LV in Los Angeles.

Maybe it's just me but seeing a high level football game in those places sounds cool. Especially AT&T Park and Citi Field. I say if you live in those areas give the league a chance.

My second reason to follow this league is that the overwhelming odds are some of these players will end up on your NFL team. After the lowly XFL's one season in the spring of 2001, the league MVP Tommy Maddox landed a spot on the Steelers roster, eventually leading the team to the playoffs. Rod Smart, better known as "He Hate Me," landed a gig with the Carolina Panthers, eventually starting on special teams in Super Bowl XXXVIII. Like Maddox, WR Yo Murphy immediately caught fire in the NFL, helping the St. Louis Rams to Super Bowl XXXVI. Seahawk fans may remember DB Kelly Herndon for his "pick six" in Super Bowl XL, but before he lined up in the biggest game of his life, he sported a Las Vegas Outlaws uniform.

Other notable XFL'ers included Jet Kevin Swayne, Lion Mike Furrey, and Corey Ivy.

To sum it up, some of these players are going to end up as impact players in the NFL, and odds are strong that some of these players are going to make an impact in the NFL this season!

The NFL has always lacked an in season minor league system where pro level talent can develop into pro level players. I honestly feel as though the UFL will develop into this. The NFL needs this, for the past four to five years their minor league system have been our federal prisons.

So I'm not asking you to skip tonight's Angels vs Red Sox game to catch a sneak peak of the next Kevin Swayne, but I am saying give the league a chance. If anything it may help you find a sleeper in your Fantasy Football league just in time for league championships.

edit: you can catch most of the games on Versus. Home of the NHL which the UFL should pretty much be equal to in ratings (sorry Hockey fans).

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