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UFL debut draws small crowd

The UFL had hoped to have 15,000 fans at Thursday night’s debut of the new pro football league.

Though the announced attendance was 14,209, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that the actual numbers were not “even a third” of the stated goal.

Given that the team named for Las Vegas will only play two games in Las Vegas, it’s not encouraging.

In the game itself, the Las Vegas Locomotives defeated the California Redwoods, 30-17.

The Locos trailed 14-3 in the first half, but they came back for the win.

Las Vegas quarterback J.P. Losman completed 21 of 31 passes for 226 yards and two touchdowns.

“It’s definitely different from what
I’m used to,” said Losman, the only member of the first-round quarterback class of 2004 who didn’t get a nine-figure second contract.  ”The atmosphere.  The size of the crowd. 
The speed of the game.  But as the game went on, I got more comfortable
with the receivers and the general speed of the game.”

In other words, it’s a step below the NFL. 

The problem is that it also looks like it’s a step below the NFL.  To call the uniforms “dreadful” would be a compliment to whoever designed them, and watching the game conjured the same feelings I’ve previously experienced when taking in Arena Football, the CFL, the USFL, the World League of American Football/the World League/NFL Europe/NFL Europa, the XFL and anything that wasn’t and isn’t college football or the NFL.

But we’ll give the UFL a chance.  These are tough times and we admire the league for trudging ahead. 

Based on last night’s game, however, there’s still a long way to go.

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51 Responses to “UFL debut draws small crowd”
  1. Ben Roetlisbunger says: Oct 9, 2009 9:58 AM

    I can’t find any highlights on their website. I didn’t know they were playing, either. I am bored with the UFL already.

  2. Tennessee_Tyrant says: Oct 9, 2009 10:00 AM

    I thoroughly enjoyed last night’s contest . There were slight deviations from the NFL , which of course will ease the viewing transition , and the ball played was worthy of an NFL game . Good show chaps , good show .

  3. Supersuckers says: Oct 9, 2009 10:02 AM

    I thought it was ok to watch. Someone really needs to make sure both teams aren’t wearing the same color uniforms next time. How do you blow that one???

  4. Child Please! says: Oct 9, 2009 10:04 AM

    Hmm. Dreadful uniforms and talent which is a step below the NFL? Must be talking about the Browns. I bet the Locomotives would steamroll them as well.

  5. Supersuckers says: Oct 9, 2009 10:05 AM

    Mike you cannot put the arena league into the same category as those other leagues. Different philosophy, business model etc. The arena league worked well for 20 years.

  6. tonka says: Oct 9, 2009 10:08 AM

    I’m not sure it’s fair to lump the CFL in with all those other leagues. From what I’ve seen, the level of play in the CFL is far higher than any of those has-been leagues. The games also get way more fans. The CFL is the closest thing to an NFL development league there is and probably will ever be.

  7. jj jones says: Oct 9, 2009 10:10 AM

    Can we bring back the Orlando Thunder and their classic uni’s?

  8. turduckenman says: Oct 9, 2009 10:10 AM

    Looks like another xfl to me, destined for failure?

  9. NelsonLRodriguez says: Oct 9, 2009 10:10 AM

    When will you start bushleaguefootballtalk.com?

  10. HATERADE says: Oct 9, 2009 10:11 AM

    i’d rather watch two chics in bikinis playing ping pong!!!

  11. Bob S. says: Oct 9, 2009 10:13 AM

    Las Vegas couldn’t support the Canadian Football League team they had unlike how Baltimore strongly supported theirs. NHL in another stupid move of their commissioner moved this years’s NHL Awards there as a forerunner to getting a NHL franchise into Vegas. No one attended that ceremony. Oakland A’s owner recently was flirting with moving his team there, now he is aiming at San Jose instead. People go to Vegas to gamble, to go to shows, sports they can go to at home. Vegas is not a big league sports city.

  12. Rex Grossman says: Oct 9, 2009 10:14 AM

    I’d rather watch “Cougar Town” than this garbage. Who cares.

  13. zeke777 says: Oct 9, 2009 10:17 AM

    Can anyone find highlights of this game online?

  14. Resolution says: Oct 9, 2009 10:22 AM

    LOL @ Rex Grossman… Cougar town is one of the most boring and worst things ever put on television.
    The game wasn’t all that terrible. You’re watching the best non-NFL players in the country. Enjoy it for what it is, dont expect it to BE the NFL. I give ‘em credit for trying. Its like D3 football.

  15. footballrulz says: Oct 9, 2009 10:25 AM

    @ Haterade
    depending on the chicks I might pick that over an NFL game

  16. sofakingdope says: Oct 9, 2009 10:31 AM

    The California Redwoods makes sense. However, why name the team from Vegas the Locomotives? I guess when I think Vegas, the first thought that comes to mind is NOT trains.
    Maybe The Las Vegas Gambling Addicts?
    The Las Vegas Slot Machines?
    even The Las Vegas Blackjacks might be better…
    And to call the uni’s hideous is an insult to hideous things everywhere.

  17. shawnc16 says: Oct 9, 2009 10:31 AM

    Florio clearly you are bias against the California Redwoods. You would never post a bad article about your precious Las Vegas Locomotives and J.P. Losman. You call yourself a journalist. I hate this site.

  18. Kidekk says: Oct 9, 2009 10:35 AM

    “To call the uniforms “dreadful” would be a compliment to whoever designed them, and watching the game conjured the same.”
    Hahahahaha. I think the word ‘travishamockery’ comes to mind.

  19. leatherneck says: Oct 9, 2009 10:35 AM

    Minor league baseball is in towns like Toledo, Rochester, Topeka, Tulsa, etc.. Their primary fan base comes to watch the games in-person. Television rights are an afterthought.
    The UFL could be a minor league for football. They seem more interested in going for television viewers than drawing fans in person.
    Seems like they should try to follow the model of minor league baseball.

  20. CDeighton says: Oct 9, 2009 10:40 AM

    I thought the gameplay was actually decent. A few adjustments to some non-gameplay items need to happen for the league to succeed, such as 1. Getting better uniforms 2. Eliminate the locker room coverage and 3. Better promotion of televised games.
    But the most important factor to success is still going to be the quality of the game, which I thought was above my expectations.

  21. AD4MVP says: Oct 9, 2009 10:42 AM

    I just went to their website to check out the jerseys…. every single team has the same exact design to their jerseys, they are just different colors. Who is the genious that came up with this idea?

  22. SmackMyVickUp says: Oct 9, 2009 10:44 AM

    Las Vegas unemployment hit 13.4% last month. (Doesn’t include me, but everyone knows someone who is).
    Foreclosures have been among highest in the nation since the downturn.
    LA Times writer said “You can’t build an economy around strippers and gambling and expect it to last.” They also built it around construction too, but that didn’t help much.
    Not a great time to start anything here.
    Groups working on building a stadium right off the strip, put on hold for economic conditions, unsure if it is still even going to be done. Sam Boyd Stadium is about as far on the edge of town as you can go – taxi ride being $40+ one way(guesstimate) from the Strip area makes it a hassle. Some shuttle buses going out there, but they don’t mention this often enough.
    Casinos will make or break any sports adventure. If they get involved and push tickets as comps, push shuttle rides there and back, etc it could work. For now that just leads people away from them and they lose money. Until the proposed stadium right off the Strip is built by Casino groups(think it was Bally’s that made the proposal) then interest will always be minimal.
    Last pro/semi-pro football team was the Las Vegas Posse of the XFL.
    Wikipedia
    The Las Vegas Posse was a Canadian Football League team that played the 1994 season as part of the CFL’s short-lived American expansion. The Posse was one of the least successful CFL teams, both on the field and off.
    When the Posse started the 1994 season it was clear that CFL football would not last in Las Vegas. The team played at Sam Boyd Stadium on the eastern edge of Las Vegas, far from the central area of the city. The Posse practiced in a smaller-than-regulation field (only 70 yards long) at the Riviera Casino and Resort, where a sign read “Field of ImPOSSEable Dreams.”
    The end zones at Sam Boyd Stadium were only 15 yards long, instead of the usual 20 yards. The stadium was uncovered and offered no protection from the infamous Las Vegas summer heat. Head coach Ron Meyer was seen at many a practice running drills with no shirt on in the sweltering heat. Local interest in the team was virtually nonexistent.
    The Posse never had strong attendance, but when attendance started to decrease management unsuccessfully tried to sell tickets by employing tactics such as:
    Advertising their scantily-clad cheerleaders, the “Showgirls”, and by staging halftime bikini contests.

  23. WinnerWinnerChickenDinner says: Oct 9, 2009 10:48 AM

    I tried watching the game, but the uniforms made my eyes bleed and I kept mistaking the officials for Tiger Woods on a Sunday.

  24. blackandteal says: Oct 9, 2009 10:50 AM

    I was flipping between the UFL game and the Nebraska @ Missou game and I actually enjoyed the UFL game more.
    Now this may have been because of the rain, but that college game was sloppy. I also don’t find the triple option for a 2 yard game the most exciting offense to behold.

  25. Samuel L. Bronkowitz says: Oct 9, 2009 10:52 AM

    Well, the UFL kickoff did provide me with one useful fact: I had no idea that directv had dropped Versus due to a squabble with Comcast.
    I guess that shows how often I watched Versus. I, however, do feel sorry for my hockey-loving brethren that are directv subscribers…

  26. Bob S. says: Oct 9, 2009 11:03 AM

    Uniforms dreadful? Wait till Sunday at 4:15 on CBS.
    The Broncos will wear their repugnant 1961 uniforms on October 11 at home against New England. In the French’s Yellow Mustard jerseys with the Milk Dud brown pants and the vertically striped socks, the 1961 team was a national laughingstock.

  27. SportsIQ says: Oct 9, 2009 11:06 AM

    I would be more than happy to watch UFL games…..but I can’t.
    DirecTV and Comcast are in a dispute over Versus.
    Because of their exclusive Sunday Ticket package, DirecTV is the greatest pipeline of hardcore football fans
    With at least half of their games scheduled for Versus, the UFL will have an extremely difficult time attracting fans outside the home markets.
    Here is the statement from DirecTV:
    “Unfortunately, Versus is no longer available on DIRECTV. Comcast, the largest cable company in the U.S. and our largest competitor, owns the channel and has forced us to pull it down. Here is the situation.
    DIRECTV was already paying Comcast more than any other non-Comcast distributor to air Versus – and now Comcast is demanding an overall rate hike of 20% on top of that. Comcast also forces DIRECTV to make Versus available to a much larger portion of our customer base at our own expense than they require from other TV providers – most notably, DISH Network. We simply cannot accept these unfair and outrageous terms. All we’re asking from Comcast is equal treatment.
    Comcast and Versus are currently engaged in a noisy publicity campaign to distract attention from the fact that they are trying to take advantage of DIRECTV and our customers. The bottom line is this, if we were to accept their unreasonable demands, we would have no choice but to pass on the increase in cost to our valued customers. We do not want this to happen, especially in these difficult economic times. That’s why we’re standing firm in our negotiations with Comcast.
    Regardless, we will continue to work in good faith with Comcast to try to reach a fair and just settlement. Our commitment to deliver the best TV service for the best price is and has always been our first priority. We truly appreciate your patience and understanding during this time.

  28. sturow says: Oct 9, 2009 11:07 AM

    Good game. Good to see Michna from the Arena league on the sidelines of LV. I hope he gets a chance. I will be attending the game in Orlando on Sat. Evening. I sure hope the uniforms get better. From the wide angle shots you could NOT tell the teams apart. A designer, not a football person put those things together. I also noticed that the ball they were using on the field is NOT the ball they talked and used earlier. The earlier ball looked like a college GST. The ball they were using last night was very close to the NFL ball. Any body know if they changed at the last moment. It is supposed to have a GPS chip in it as well. Did not see what it was used for last evening. I will give my impressions after being in the stands live on Sat.

  29. giantphan says: Oct 9, 2009 11:10 AM

    zeke, try
    ufl-football.com
    i havn’t checked it but i think thats the main site
    that wasn’t a crowd lastnight, they just stopped in to use the restroom

  30. Child Please! says: Oct 9, 2009 11:12 AM

    Samuel L. Bronkowitz says:
    October 9, 2009 10:52 AM
    I guess that shows how often I watched Versus. I, however, do feel sorry for my hockey-loving brethren that are directv subscribers…
    _________________________________
    I was just hoping they were on strike again. Who watches hockey during football anyway?

  31. El Duderino says: Oct 9, 2009 11:13 AM

    One game and everyone starts bashing. The uni’s need to go but I didn’t think that the game play was horrible. Its minor league football, lets not hold it to some crazy standard.
    I’ll take a peak when I cant find a hockey game on

  32. giantphan says: Oct 9, 2009 11:14 AM

    sam l bronk
    direct tv is giving away the first month of their hockey package for free ….. check channels 769-784
    phred

  33. blackandteal says: Oct 9, 2009 11:20 AM

    @Samuel L. Bronkowitz
    Kentucky Fried Movie FTW

  34. Bob S. says: Oct 9, 2009 11:26 AM

    Re: “The Posse was one of the least successful CFL teams, both on the field and off”

    But their QB Anthony Calvillo has been a star and still is in the league now with Montreal Alouettes.

  35. Harm City Homer says: Oct 9, 2009 11:30 AM

    My biggest complaint was the uniforms. I had to turn the color off to even watch it, but it was watchable.
    I knew a lot of the players from college or the NFL, and I think there is plenty of room for real pro football. The NFL cuts enough prospects every year to fill out a 6 team minors, and that should keep those street free agents off the street and in a program, getting good coaching and reps. This should be good for the NFL and replace/ upgrade NFL Euro, and replace some of those reality shows and sit com watching during hte week.

  36. Opie says: Oct 9, 2009 11:32 AM

    shawnc16: Hilarious!
    Two words: Train Wreck

  37. Philly5IsAlive says: Oct 9, 2009 11:34 AM

    I like the UFL’s approach. Theyre not trying to market their product and let people down. Instead theyre just a start up league and getting their ducks in a row.. the product will sell itself when its there.

  38. Patrick Moran says: Oct 9, 2009 11:35 AM

    yeah, but who keeps a live running dairy (for a half anyway) of J.P. Losman.. That would be me! (sadly)
    http://www.buffalosportsdaily.com/2009/10/running-diary-j-p-s-debut/

  39. texasPHINSfan says: Oct 9, 2009 11:55 AM

    i’m actually someone that WANTED to watch the game but couldn’t, because i don’t get “versus” or whatever that channel is called.
    this league can’t even remotely be considered serious until they play games on major networks, or at least stations that both satellite & cable receive.

  40. Rawhide says: Oct 9, 2009 12:26 PM

    Are there stats from this game ANYWHERE? The UFL website has the score, but nothing more.

  41. Duan says: Oct 9, 2009 12:40 PM

    In all honesty, the game play was good!
    The uniforms are terrible – why put all the teams in the same kind of uniform, that shows a lack of creativity!?
    I hated the locker room deal at half time.
    But the game play was pretty decent.
    The league won’t gain credibility until the end of the season, then you have to wait and see if any of the palyers get picked up by the NFL. Then they have to do well once they switch over.
    So basically there needs to be some kind of success story. If there are a couple, then the league will make it and I hope it does. There needs to be a minor league, because come November they will need some replacements for all the injuries that are bound to happen.

  42. ProfessorEmmitt says: Oct 9, 2009 12:43 PM

    “They did a good job flying around the football field and carowzing the football carrier.”

  43. tian says: Oct 9, 2009 12:52 PM

    I would have wanted to watch it, as well. But I have Directv an they made the business decision to not carry Versus, because they said that the costs were so much, they would have to drive up prices in order to provide it.
    So the UFL needs to get a channel that satellite TV provides. I mean, Directv has NFL Sunday Ticket, and a lot of football fans got Directv just because they are cheaper and have Sunday Ticket.

  44. KP says: Oct 9, 2009 12:58 PM

    Nebraska @ Missouri was a better watch

  45. realityonetwo says: Oct 9, 2009 1:22 PM

    Like most people, I have absolutely zero interest in the UFL. A semipro league that plays during the NFL season? Why would anyone care?

  46. jupe says: Oct 9, 2009 1:48 PM

    It was amusing to see Denzel Washington being stopped and asked to produce his ticket/pass inside near empty Sam Boyd Stadium. His was one of the few recognizable faces during the entire broadcast.

  47. KILLER FIN says: Oct 9, 2009 2:16 PM

    This would probably bring in more revenue if it was at a spring/summer type thing!!! But what do we the fans know??? Big time TV executives suerly don’t know!!! THAT IS OBVIOUS!!!

  48. dgreg87 says: Oct 9, 2009 2:47 PM

    I dont think ufl is horrible, of course it isn’t nfl. You will see the diamonds in the rough show up, like losman.

  49. nerd says: Oct 9, 2009 3:03 PM

    If they’d stream their games on line for free, they’d develop a HUGE following.

  50. JoeSixPack says: Oct 9, 2009 4:41 PM

    They need to hire me as their PR and Marketing person. It’s kindof tough to draw an audience when no one knows you’re playing.

  51. bobo8192 says: Oct 9, 2009 10:04 PM

    nerd they do stream games for free on the UFL website. If you go to the website before a game they’ll have a link it’s free and good quality. And for those of you who want to watch highlights from the first game here’s a link:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlHM67VlaG4

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