The UFL Returns by Evan Brennan
The embattled United Football League announced last week via press release that it would return this Fall, after speculation from many that it was another professional football league gone by the wayside due to financial and other issues.
A key component in the UFL’s apparent resurgence is the new partnership with CBS Sports Network, which will broadcast all of the UFL’s games this season. The first game is set for Friday, September 21 with the Virginia Destroyers visiting the Omaha Nighthawks. The format of the league is set during the NFL season, which has not traditionally worked well for any rival league. But according to the press release, the UFL games are to be set during the week such as Wednesdays, Fridays and some Tuesdays.
The UFL will function with just four teams in 2012. Those teams are, the Omaha Nighthawks, the Virginia Destroyers, the Sacramento Mountain Lions, and the Las Vegas Locomotives. The season will last for eight weeks and two games per week will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network through late November.
While many questions about the UFL are left answered, there is still much that is unknown, such as player pay, the continuance of the third-place game, and other logistical issues. The UFL Player Agent link is no longer functioning either, leaving further ambiguity as to what the league intends there.
The league is essentially a lower tier system that the NFL can cherry pick from for talent. Although through its periodic use of fairly high transfer fees, one has to believe that at one point the UFL deemed itself a rival league. Relatively well-known NFL players such as Dominic Rhodes, Jeff Garcia, Daunte Culpepper, J.P. Losman, and others have all played in the UFL as well, giving it some credence. This, and the presence of former NFL figures in the UFL such as Jim Fassel and Marty Schottenheimer, also aid to its legitimacy.
For agents and players that are currently not playing in the NFL, this is positive news. New landing places for dozens of these displaced players can now be found on one of the four UFL rosters as teams begin tryouts and prepare for the season.