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Debts and unpaid bills haven’t derailed UFL, yet

Jeff Jagodzinski, Michael Huyghue

One silver lining to the possibility of no NFL football in 2011 comes from the presence of UFL football.

If the UFL doesn’t evaporate like a puddle of gin on hot asphalt.  (We doubt that you’ll ever encounter a puddle of gin on hot asphalt, but if you ever did we suspect it would evaporate fairly quickly.)

The Las Vegas Review-Journal recently reported that UFL Commissioner Michael Huyghue said the league lost $45 million to $50 million in 2010, and that the UFL owes $6 million.  But that’s not the biggest news.

Some of those debtors are current and former league employees.  Former Las Vegas Locomotives P.R. Jeff Mackel, who said that he still has not received $5,600.  “It has put me in a difficult situation,” Mackel told the Review-Journal.  “I’m pretty much through my savings.  I’ve got bills piling up.  I e-mailed Michael Huyghue and he told me that the league was having some financial problems but he would take it up with accounting.”

And that’s not the biggest news, either.  Here’s the biggest headline.  One of the league’s owners has fired a shot at the league office, over which Huyghue presides.

“You didn’t know who was owed what,” Bill Hambrecht said.  “But that’s all changed.  Now the teams will directly pay their bills.”

Huyghue also said that the league will lose $7 million this year.  Per team.  Which means that the league will lose $35 million.

Why do we have a feeling that this whole league was concocted to help some really rich guy show heavy revenue losses for tax purposes?

And why do we have a feeling that Huyghue is alot closer to the end of his tenure as UFL Commissioner than the beginning?

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10 Responses to “Debts and unpaid bills haven’t derailed UFL, yet”
  1. BC says: Feb 15, 2011 3:20 PM

    This league is toast. Oh well, at least we got one year of pro football in Hartford.

  2. hobartbaker says: Feb 15, 2011 3:29 PM

    Off topic, but if you do drop your gin bottle in the alley, I find the best thing to do is soak it up with your shirt while standing between the puddle and direct sunlight to shade it a bit.

  3. fin72 says: Feb 15, 2011 3:32 PM

    Huyghue is a joke… Guy shouldn’t be managing a convenient store let alone a professional sports league.

  4. medtxpack says: Feb 15, 2011 3:46 PM

    as Ron Washington would say, thats just how UFL go…

  5. Lou Pickney says: Feb 15, 2011 4:24 PM

    A friend of mine worked under Huyghue during his Jacksonville Jaguars tenure and had high praise for him. It’s easy to send blame up the ladder, but the UFL has clearly been angling for 2011 and the possibility of an NFL work stoppage.

    The economic timing might not have been perfect, but given the interest that exists for football in the United States, it would seem possible for a second-tier league to coexist with the NFL. The 2010 attendance success in Omaha would suggest mid-major market potential for the league.

  6. packattack1967 says: Feb 15, 2011 4:29 PM

    How’s that hope and change workin’ for ya?

  7. laterounddraftpick says: Feb 15, 2011 5:20 PM

    So a Broke second teir football league walks into a bar…

    All kidding aside though. If there is a lock-out and not a strike or impasse, couldnt the current NFL stars go to UFL teams and play some games with them?

    I mean if there is no CBA, then there can be no legal recourse by the owners, right? Technically with no deal the players can do what they want, even become pro boxers.

    If i was a pro, and wanted to still play and stay in game shape, I would sign a UFL deal, play and practice with the Omaha Nighthawks or something and if there is no (NFL) football, at least I dont get rusty.

    Would kind of be like a backwards version of the Keanu Reeves movie “the Replacements”.. But what do i know?

    *goes to Red Box to rent said movie*
    *Stops by Omaha on way home*
    *drops off application to be new UFL commish*
    *asks to use their microwave to pop my popcorn *

  8. aasukisuki says: Feb 15, 2011 5:28 PM

    @Lou Pickney

    I think you nailed it. I think the major mistake the UFL made was by having the league run along side the NFL. Football is popular enough in this country to support both a fall and spring league. The UFL could have been used as a pre-training camp league for developing and fringe players.

    Instead the UFL competes directly with High School Football (playing on friday nights) and also with the attention of College and the NFL. But the markets they were shooting for are perfect (like Omaha). Now if it were truly used as a official farm league for the NFL that would be great (team affiliates).

  9. jesuscakes says: Feb 15, 2011 6:11 PM

    IF there is a lockout, expect Mark Cuban or similar to swoop in and make it solvent.

  10. nooittall says: Feb 15, 2011 8:12 PM

    @ Lou Pickney
    Sorry, but your friend is clueless. Huyghue is a joke. The league forced the Detroit Lions to hire him because he was a minority with an Ivy League education. They ran him out of there because he was so imcompetent. Then the league forced Jacksonville to take him; as a new franchise they were in no position to object. He was so stupid, screwed up their salary cap so badly that they took every responsibility away from him. He was paid enormous amounts of money to just stay away. This guy would go away to golf academies for weeks at a time, right in the middle of the football season. He’s an idiot. Given the results of the UFL, my scenario sounds a lot closer to Huyghue than your friends.

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