This is a big year for the United Football League. This mostly laughable league was formed in 2009 and its plan was to be in existence in 2011 when the NFL went into its CBA war zone, hoping to attract NFL players that would otherwise be unemployed during a lockout.
Step one in this master plan has been accomplished. The league exists. Barely. Step two has also occurred. There is a lockout.
For those who have not been following this league, it currently has five teams. [ed note: that was a five there, not a truncated 50 or a typoed 15. Five (5). Count ’em. One hand’s worth.] The teams are the Hartford Colonials, Las Vegas Locomotives, Omaha Nighthawks, Sacramento Mountain Lions, and the Virginia Destroyers. Perhaps at some point in the garbled future these names will be as common as Redskins, or Seahawks, or Dolphins, but for now they seem to be the concoction of a group of nerds who were locked in a room for a week without internet access.
It is interesting that these five teams have head coaches named Jerry Glanville, Marty Schottenheimer, Jim Fassel, Rick Mueller, and Dennis Green. All of these fellows are former NFL honcholistos. IOW, not a totally laughable bunch at all.
This league is not going to alter the landscape by signing a Joe Namath away from the NFL, but it could certainly attract a lot of good UDFAs that go undrafted next month, in addition to some of the marginal special teams players currently in the league. The football played in this league would definitely be watchable. Green vs Schottenheimer would be interesting stuff.
The UFL’s season cleverly begins in August, and provides an alternative to the NFL’s pre-season fake games. This year, the NFL might not be faking anything in August, leaving Sunday afternoons clear for the UFL to provide some football games to a hungry populace. The games are televised on Mark Cuban’s HDNet.
If I may be blunt: har, har, hearty har, har.
However, my hars might not be hearty come August. In fact, there could be har slippage occurring as early as May or June. If a new CBA has not been signed by the end of the April draft days, it means there is going to be a long summer of NFL nothingness. Sane people would just step away from the football plate and get a life. But since I am responsible for a football blog, I no longer have the luxury of a sanity opt out. By June or July, I’m liable to be yabbering away here in an empty ether room.
I gotta explore alternatives. You hear me NFL? Listen up, dudes. NFL blogs may jump leagues on you. Wait. That threat’s got no legs. They don’t need no stinking blogs. The NFL might even PAY me to jump leagues. A blogless landscape would please the owners mightily. Hmmm. Better try this out now. A little practice run.
Go Locomotives! Steam on down the line! Chug on up the tracks! Squash those Mountain Lions! Root, root for the toot, toot!