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NFL might still be feeling threatened by the UFL

So with the UFL losing $30 million and mustering less than 15,000 fans for a championship game played in the home stadium of one of the teams, there’s evidence that the NFL is still feeling a little threatened by the upstart football league.

The latest evidence?  In the official release announcing the signing of kicker Matt Bryant, the Altanta Falcons make no mention of the fact that Bryant played for the Florida Tuskers of the UFL.

None.

The release points out that Bryant spent time with the Giants, Colts, Dolphins, and Buccaneers.  But no reference to his time in the UFL.

Despite the UFL’s struggles, maybe the league has good reason to be worried.  If, after all, there’s a lockout in 2011, the UFL could give refuge to NFL players hoping to continue to play football for money.

(Thanks to Howard Balzer of the Sports Xchange for pointing this one out to us.)

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36 Responses to “NFL might still be feeling threatened by the UFL”
  1. TheFineWyn says: Dec 1, 2009 6:10 PM

    Florio, maybe the PR guy had no idea he was playing in the UFL? Huge stretch, even for a gossip hound like you.

  2. stopwhining says: Dec 1, 2009 6:13 PM

    Love that paragraph given to “None.” I can feel the drama oozing from this story. Makes me want to . . . do something.

  3. nfcbeast says: Dec 1, 2009 6:13 PM

    I dont think the NFL feels threatened, it’s just a lack of respect. The UFL is just another league made of so-so has beens, its not a threat to the NFL.
    Thats like saying Wendy’s new chicken tenders are threatening KFC.

  4. GiorgioMustica says: Dec 1, 2009 6:14 PM

    ….ARE U KIDDING ME FLORIO? THE LARGEST SPORT IN THE COUNTRY IS FEELING THREATENED BY THE EXTREME MINOR LEAGUE VERSION OF IT WITH NO FANS? LIKE, SERIOUSLY!?!?

  5. BaltimoreMatt says: Dec 1, 2009 6:15 PM

    this guy definitely gets paid per blog

  6. dzimm08 says: Dec 1, 2009 6:15 PM

    How about no.

  7. Sporkdevil says: Dec 1, 2009 6:17 PM

    I’d like to point out your own article, by MDS:
    “The Atlanta Falcons are shaking up their special teams.
    Adam Schefter of ESPN is reporting that the Falcons released veteran kicker Jason Elam and signed kicker Matt Bryant today. The Falcons also cut long snapper Bryan Pittman and signed long snapper Joe Zelenka.
    The 39-year-old Elam has been terrible this season, making just 12 of 19 field goals, including missing four of his eight attempts from between 30 and 39 yards.
    Bryant hasn’t played in the NFL at all this season, but last year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers he made 32 of 38 field goals.”
    I think no one gives a crap about the UFL. Even you guys, who talk about the UFL all the time, failed to mention it.

  8. chapnasty says: Dec 1, 2009 6:17 PM

    Um seriously? No one gives a damn about the UFL and I highly doubt the NFL is threatened by any sport in the world. Move on lord Florio. I’m starting to think that Florio is Vox’s alter ego.

  9. birdmancometh says: Dec 1, 2009 6:17 PM

    Ugh nfcbeast -
    Don’t ever pretend that KFC is better than Popeyes!

  10. DasRipper says: Dec 1, 2009 6:20 PM

    Florio, don’t hurt yourself stretching.

  11. Adam David says: Dec 1, 2009 6:21 PM

    @NFCbeast Where do you have Wendy’s that have chicken strips. The Wendy’s here totally ditched them years back now they have some nugget things with sauce, not the same, send me some wendy’s tenders man.
    As for this story.. I didn’t even know Matt Bryant was kicking for the UFL and I think i watched part of a game earlier in the year. It was hmm i wonder what happened to Matt Bryant (because you know my ravens needed a kicker) and now i know thanks florio.

  12. CapsLockKey says: Dec 1, 2009 6:22 PM

    Or it could just be that they equate working for the UFL on the same level as the Taco Bell drive-thru and figured it wasn’t worth reporting on his PRO-football resume. They also failed to mention he played for Bridge City High School as well.

  13. CapsLockKey says: Dec 1, 2009 6:24 PM

    Also missing: the Iowa Barnstormers and Frankfurt Galaxy. I see a pattern here. The NFL must be threatened by the Arena League and Europe as well.

  14. CanadianVikingFan says: Dec 1, 2009 6:26 PM

    Nah, the UFL won’t pay even backup players the money they want. They have to go 3rd string, with guys like Brian St.Pierre with 1 pass in what 7 years? UFL is a joke, just like arena football.

  15. endzoneview says: Dec 1, 2009 6:29 PM

    Nobody besides Howard Balzer of the Sports Xchange knew or cared.

  16. The Wishbone says: Dec 1, 2009 6:30 PM

    What’s the UFL again? Oh yeah, that joke of a league with four teams and they all have the same color uniforms? The UFL makes the XFL look impressive by comparison. And we all know how that worked out.
    Maybe Bryant asked the Falcons to pretend his time in the UFL never happened.

  17. this class sucks says: Dec 1, 2009 6:31 PM

    Formula for all Florio articles:
    1. What happened
    2. A one line (often one word) paragraph. For example “Dramatically.” or “Wow.”
    3. Why its the biggest story of the year.
    4. All or part of a quote, or a stat or information.
    5. Analyzing one or two words of the quote/stat/information.
    6. Concluding by over simplifying or mind reading and making a bold prediction that has no barring on what he will actually predict later.
    Then comments that either think it the stupidest article of all time and Florio’s opinion makes no sense, or think Florio is right on the money (this usually depends on what team the article is on).
    This is why this site has so many followers, because Florio goes all out on every little piece of information which gets people to react. I’m not passing judgement one way or another I’m just pointing this out.

  18. Bob S. says: Dec 1, 2009 6:35 PM

    nfcbeast says:
    I dont think the NFL feels threatened, it’s just a lack of respect. The UFL is just another league made of so-so has beens, its not a threat to the NFL.

    Yeah right! And so were the AAFC and the AFL until the NFL absorbed them. And of course no Arena League, NFL Europe, CFL or USFL players were good enuff to play in the NFL either.

  19. Living_Legend says: Dec 1, 2009 6:35 PM

    How much loot are they paying you for this crap..Stop already with the UFL..

  20. Citizen Strange says: Dec 1, 2009 6:41 PM

    With not enough fans to even fill the stands in all the NFL stadiums there really is no threat.
    There is such a thing as a saturation point and the NFL has reached it.
    They do not need to keep adding more teams and more games …. but they will.
    It’s like the old story of the writer and the producer (the producer being the NFL) ….
    A writer and a producer are lost, dying of thirst, crawling across an endless dessert.
    Suddenly from out of nowhere up ahead they see a beautiful green oasis with a shimmering pool of crystal clear water.
    Overcome with joy the writer runs up to it dunks his head in it and begins drinking deeply.
    But the producer just walks up to it, unzips his zipper and starts pissing in it.
    The writer says “What in the hell are you doing?”
    And the producer says “I’m only trying to make it better!”

  21. nfcbeast says: Dec 1, 2009 6:43 PM

    Popeyes does about the same damage to my arteries. As for the chicken tenders, its nuggets, i just hyped em up. And the Wendys around here is awful, find better food in a gas station sandwich dispensor. (Like the one in Futurama with the worms)

  22. trickbunny says: Dec 1, 2009 6:44 PM

    CapsLockKey says:
    December 1, 2009 6:22 PM
    Or it could just be that they equate working for the UFL on the same level as the Taco Bell drive-thru and figured it wasn’t worth reporting on his PRO-football resume.
    ————————————————–
    Exactly. What I take from it is that the Falcons probably feel that it cheapens the player’s image (and, thus, reflects on the Falcons) to say “we signed this guy from the UFL.”
    Weird how that gets morphed into “The NFL is *threatened* by the UFL.” I’d say the association is more one of embarrassment.

  23. American says: Dec 1, 2009 6:47 PM

    Florio…
    Your own guy didn’t mention it. This is a non-story.
    I love the conspiracy crap you put out. F***ing hack.

  24. JoeSixPack says: Dec 1, 2009 6:48 PM

    Florio should have been more specific.
    It’s not the whole NFL that’s threatened…
    It’s the Browns that are feeling threatened by a team that could #1. compete for a championship and #2. draw 15,000 fans.

  25. nfcbeast says: Dec 1, 2009 6:57 PM

    The reason that all of those different “Leagues” existed is because all of those players (excluding…what like a dozen who upgraded to the NFL…not DOWNgraded to the lower league)
    were not good enough to make it in the NFL in the first place. Yeah they had talent, top college talent but not much more. 3rd string NFL players are better than all these other bullshit league players….
    I bet FLORIDA GATORS could beat the UFL Champions!!

  26. 6RINGS! says: Dec 1, 2009 6:59 PM

    nfcbeast
    Thats like saying Wendy’s new chicken tenders are threatening KFC. CLASSIC!!! Still laughing!

  27. Deb says: Dec 1, 2009 7:01 PM

    @Citizen Strange … great analogy!
    @Florio … So glad to read these posts. Thought I was the only one wondering why you keep posting those “who cares?” UFL stories.
    Yeah, I’m sure the league’s 1700 or so players will be able to find gainful employment with the UFL’s four teams in the event of a lockout (she rolls her eyes). The owners must be terrified.

  28. HarrisonHits says: Dec 1, 2009 7:04 PM

    I don’t remember them suppressing the fact that certain players played in the arena leagues so you may be right about this. The ultra paranoid NFL could easily read something to be worried about when really there is no threat at all.

  29. DirtMcGirt24 says: Dec 1, 2009 7:04 PM

    Yeah, Florio loves the UFL. He’s now regularly pimped by Costas & Co. on Sunday Night NFL broadcasts, but he’s head over heels for the upstart league. You’ve all got it figured out.
    A lockout is a possibility. Would you watch the UFL if the NFL skipped a season and NFL players showed up to play and collect a paycheck. I bet you would.
    This might be the only reason why they decided to go head-to-head with the NFL.
    Otherwise, there’s very little sense in doing so. The AFL lasted for over 20 years in cities such as Columbus and San Jose in the spring with “fake” football, certainly the UFL wouldn’t make the same mistake as the USFL unless there were some other plan/gamble.

  30. trickbunny says: Dec 1, 2009 8:07 PM

    JoeSuxDick says:
    December 1, 2009 6:48 PM
    Florio should have been more specific.
    It’s not the whole NFL that’s threatened…
    It’s the Browns that are feeling threatened by a team that could #1. compete for a championship and #2. draw 15,000 fans.
    ————————————————-
    hey, I can’t argue the part about championships- but apparently, you’re unaware that the Browns have sold out a 73,000 seat stadium for 10 years of suck-ass football.
    so the fans are either *that* stupid or *that* dedicated.
    either way, win or lose, I’m perfectly fine with being part of a fanbase that doesn’t jump ship or hop onto some other bandwagon. that’s probably more your style, I imagine.

  31. ian88 says: Dec 1, 2009 11:54 PM

    Is this article from The Onion?

  32. mnmaverick says: Dec 2, 2009 3:32 AM

    Replicas don’t sell like the originals.
    God Bless the National Football League.
    Nobody pays attention to the MINOR LEAGUES.

  33. steelerfan9598 says: Dec 2, 2009 7:00 AM

    Here’s an idea – Maybe they didn’t mention it because it was irrelevant. Much like the UFL.
    Hey – don’t knock the Arena league. MUCH better in person. Just didn’t translate well for TV. At least they were smart enough not to have a ‘league’ with FOUR teams. That’s just dumb.

  34. valis says: Dec 2, 2009 7:04 AM

    Free advice for the UFL if they want to threaten the NFL. Sell 49% of each team to the fans in the form of stock. Stockholders get first pick of tickets, market some shirts to them with the word “owner” on them so the stockholders can wear them to games. Have the best seats labeled the “owners section”. Let your core fans invest in the team and feel like they are truly part of it. It will also give the team tangible ties to the community the fan base is in. This would truly set the UFL apart and build insane fan loyalty.
    People are getting tired of the NFL owners and their sense of entitlement.

  35. NoHomeTeam says: Dec 2, 2009 1:29 PM

    valis says: “. . . Sell 49% of each team to the fans in the form of stock. Stockholders get first pick of tickets, market some shirts to them with the word “owner” on them so the stockholders can wear them to games. Have the best seats labeled the “owners section”. Let your core fans invest in the team and feel like they are truly part of it. It will also give the team tangible ties to the community the fan base is in. This would truly set the UFL apart and build insane fan loyalty. ”
    This is actually a pretty good idea — I don’t think it would ever let the UFL “threaten” the NFL, but it would go a long way toward fan support.

  36. texasPHINSfan says: Dec 2, 2009 2:05 PM

    UP THE UFL!
    Now if they could just show it on TV channels that any of us actually get, I’d watch it all the time. If the UFL had a team in my city, I’d go to the games just to tell the NFL i’m not paying ridiculous prices anymore.

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