UFL fast forwarding to title game, extinction

AP

The third — and likely final — UFL season arrived late.  And it’s leaving early. For this year and, possibly, for good.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the league will announce today that the balance of the 2011 regular season has been scuttled, and that the championship game will be played on Friday, October 21.

Through four games, the Las Vegas Locomotives and the Virginia Destroyers are 3-1.  The Omaha Nighthawks and Sacramento Mountain Lions are 1-3.  Presumably, the Locomotives and the Destroyers will square off for the title.  The UFL will cancel the final two regular-season games.

The Locomotives, coached by Jim Fassel (pictured), have won both of the prior UFL championships.

In August, the UFL contracted from five teams to four, and the league shrunk the regular-season schedule from 10 games to six.  Those moves came after the UFL unexpectedly delayed the launch of training camps (and thus the season) by a month, even as coaches and players were showing up.

The minor league that hoped to be a major player has been overwhelmed by debt, and underwhelmed by revenue or interest.  The idea is a good one, given that so many NCAA institutions are pumping out 20-25 players every year.  The funnel from college football to the NFL is too narrow; a true minor league system could work, if it’s run properly and if the minor league doesn’t get too ambitious.

In the past, there has been talk that the league could buy the UFL.  At this point, however, there may be nothing to buy other than some helmets and shoulder pads.

35 responses to “UFL fast forwarding to title game, extinction

  1. A little too ambitious your definitely right on that. I would startup the UFL as a regional type of league to start with. Like a team in Seattle,Porltand,Sacramento.LA.
    That would reduce significant overhead with travel, Bring professional football to what some would say four city’s that need it. (Sorry Seattle fans!). Then grow the league as needed. I know Portland would love a UFL team.

  2. The “Let’s create a NFL minor league” is a great idea, especially if raw players could be loaned out and called up as needed.

    “Getting NFL buy-in BEFORE you invest a fortune” is a much better one.

  3. “The “Let’s create a NFL minor league” is a great idea, especially if raw players could be loaned out and called up as needed.”

    That was one of the many problems. They lured players in with the promise of the minor league. Then it turns out the NFL could only sign a UFL player if they paid an exoribitant sum (relatively speaking for the quality of player) to the UFL for the player’s rights. No NFL team was about to do that.

  4. I think the USFL could have made a go of it if they hadn’t doubled the league in just the 2nd year & started paying 40 million bucks for Quarterbacks ( remember, this was the 80’s).

  5. I’m excited we’re hosting the championship game here in Virginia Beach, but the idea that the league will fold saddens me. It’s been great to have a pro-caliber team here in Virginia, especially a team in the Hampton Roads area, which is a Navy community, that associates itself so closely with the Navy. Have you seen the logo?? I’ve been to every game and have had a great time, and the stands were packed. They have had a huge following in their inaugural season here, so I truly hope they play again next year.

  6. UFL is wishing it took the NFLs offer to by 50% of the League for $50 Million last year.

    UFL might have has a chance if it was during the Spring.

    NFL is still king and always will be.

  7. If a league played with no pads & just leather helmets, I’d have checked it out. No idea if I’d keep watching, but that would be something different to see.

  8. I don’t understand why the NFL hasn’t started a minor leaugue years ago, there is plenty of talent to stock it with and it would only create more revenue.

  9. I just learned that Eric Crouch plays in the UFL.

    I don’t really know what my point is but if I did in fact see Eric Crouch playing a football game on TV I’d stop and watch.

  10. VS carried the UFL games during the 2010 season. The 2011 games have been aired only on the internet. Not having a tv deal, and competing during NFL, and college football season killed what could have been a “decent” thing.

  11. I did not see 1 game this year! I watched tons of them last year though, Iactually liked it and I watched it every saturday night instead of watching college kids play.. I would rather watch Duante Culpepper VS Josh Mckown over some kid I never heard of..
    I like the UFL, but I do miss the league they had back in the early 90s, The Orlando Thunder I think the name was they had cool uniforms, they were florescent Green..
    Wat it the world league? I don’t remember the name

  12. No.. a minor league as a training ground for the NFL is not a good idea. Exactly how many players made the jump from UFL to the NFL? How many would from a “successful” minor league? A league with 1 or 2 possibly NFL quality players (who would be snatched away as fast as possible) and a bunch of weekend warrior want to be athletes is not going to ever draw a fan base.
    Theree is not an aboundance of NFL quality players are not out there bagging grocieries.

  13. Too bad… but if you try to compete with the NFL you are GOING to LOSE!

    We need a spring league and the NFL has to be on board or it is never going to fly!

  14. I’m excited we’re hosting the championship game here in Virginia Beach, but the idea that the league will fold saddens me. It’s been great to have a pro-caliber team here in Virginia, especially a team in the Hampton Roads area, which is a Navy community, that associates itself so closely with the Navy. Have you seen the logo?? I’ve been to every game and have had a great time, and the stands were packed. They have had a huge following in their inaugural season here, so I truly hope they play again next year.

    ===============================
    Yeah, I feel bad for you guys. This was Hampton Roads’ one chance to showcase itself as a great football market, and now this happens (I used to live in Newport News). Hang in there. I’m sure we’d all love to welcome you to the Ravens family if you’d like to join!

  15. This is very disappointing. Here in Virginia the fans have embraced the team. The stadium is packed at 13,000 per game. yeah that’s not NFL numbers, or even NHL numbers, but for a minor league team in this town, that’s pretty good. Sadly, the league seemed to be held together with duct tape and paperclips since it started. Please sell to the NFL or some other investors, so that we can keep our team. Go Destroyers!!!!!

  16. This idea could work..
    Form 2 leagues East coast and a west coast.. Keep them in there regions then play a championship game.. Having 2 champions.. If they would stick to being a regional thing instead of a national deal it will work.. People are too much in a hurry to make a new league big.. Start small.. build a fan base.. It could work with four teams.. on each coast.

    The XFL was a great idea.. The NFL was quick to steal all the camera angles the XFL brought in.. The over head was XFL..The issue with the XFL was the WWE effect..

  17. @Steeltown56

    Sign them out of high school? This ain’t the NBA. Even, then, few and far between are good outta high school in the NBA. Most college players can’t even hang in the NFL, how would a kid do?

    I knowyou’re talking about taking away the supply, but which kid in their right mind (agents and parents too), would go that route knowing its just going to lead to failure even IF a team would sign them.

  18. Why would the NFL pay for a minor league when the NCAA provides plenty of competent candidates for positions every year?

  19. People keep saying the UFL should have played in the spring, and it would have received more attention. That just isn’t true. After the failures of the XFL and USFL, most of the national media was never going to give the UFL a chance regardless of when they played. Most people in the country never heard of the UFL 3 years in, where as the XFL was hyped by the media well before launch and used that media coverage to land a national TV deal.

    Had the media treated the two leagues the same, the UFL might live on with a proper TV deal.

    The rules very closely mimic NFL rules. They have NFL-caliber players. It is the highest quality of football played outside the NFL today.

    Last year the Colts told Cato June they’d like to keep him on the roster and play him, but not for what they had to pay him as a veteran of 7 years, so he ends up playing in Omaha for the Nighthawks.

  20. Playing in the spring would also mean the league would never get NFL-caliber players. Players just leaving an NFL season in January need time to heal, and time with their families. They couldn’t go straight from an NFL season, play through the spring and then jump into an NFL camp in fall. Their bodies would fall apart.

  21. You want players who are in playing shape and ready to step onto a roster immediately when someone else gets injured.

    For everyone who ripped into the UFL, the league sent over 100 players from the UFL to the NFL in their first two seasons. The NFL did benefit from their existence.

  22. This is a bummer for the Hampton Roads area. There’s a lot of support for the Destroyers here, and it’s sad the excitement will be short lived.

  23. The Virginia Destroyers Fan Club posted the following on Facebook: “Here is the preliminary UFL spin we are about to hear. UFL hopes to reach up to 8 teams for 2012, at least 6. This season was suspended to let two front runners play and save some money for 2012. Several new investors have interest in the UFL. Point is, we can only be sure of one thing, Destroyers vs Locos next Friday at the Plex.”

    Hope it’s true!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!