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UFL claims it’s not dead, yet

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The UFL has spent the past several months in a financially-induced coma.  Soon, however, the minor league with major losses plans to emerge from its slumber.

We’re moving forward,” UFL founder Bill Hambrecht told the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Friday.  “We fully expect to play.”

Per the Review-Journal, the league plans to make a formal announcement of its plans for the coming season on May 1.

The UFL, which currently has five teams, will play mostly on weeknights, with a schedule that commences in the middle of September.  CBS Sports Network is expected to televise the games nationally.

“We believe we have a media deal in place,” Hambrecht said, which doesn’t convey full confidence that the contract has been or will be signed.  “With that in mind, we are moving ahead.”

Hambrecht added that players have been fully paid — finally — for last season’s efforts.  The Review-Journal reports that the UFL is attempting to settle another $1.2 million in debt.

“The reality is we’ve been under-financed the first three years,” Hambrecht said of the league that has lost more than $120 million over three years.  “But we’ve got things in place now to see to it that we are financially solid.”

The new-look UFL will have no commissioner or league office.  Instead, Hambrecht and Virginia Destroyers owner Bill Mayer will run the business side of the UFL, and Las Vegas coach and president Jim Fassel will run the football operations.  (Apparently, dire financial situations trump obvious conflicts of interest in the rock-scissors-paper exercise of running a sports league.)

“We’ve got to change a bunch of stuff, and we need to get more awareness, both locally and nationally,” Fassel said.  “We need to do a better job getting the word out, and I believe we will.”

The UFL previously had done a fairly decent (for the most part) job of getting the word out.  The problem was that, as best we can tell, no one really cares.  Until they do, the UFL is destined to fail.

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34 Responses to “UFL claims it’s not dead, yet”
  1. nyjalleffingday says: Apr 7, 2012 11:42 AM

    UFL claims “it’s only a flesh wound”

  2. outerspace23 says: Apr 7, 2012 12:00 PM

    More teams on UFL?

  3. FinFan68 says: Apr 7, 2012 12:02 PM

    Just play the season during the spring when there is NFL down-time. The USFL tanked as soon as they tried to compete with the NFL. There is a football vacuum between February and August and the UFL could have exploited that but chose not to. Stupid business decision. There would also be a simple transition for any player trying to get into the NFL since the seasons would no longer conflict.

  4. jkline3 says: Apr 7, 2012 12:03 PM

    Looks like Nike stole their ideas for the Seahawks new unis from the UFL. Team name on the shoulder? Check. Loads of neon green? Check.

  5. packersareandwillalwaysbebetterthanthebears says: Apr 7, 2012 12:07 PM

    I would’ve cared if they somehow got a good TV deal and it was possible to follow them. Hopefully the USFL works out as a development league.. Never such a thing as too much football.

  6. nashvilletrojan says: Apr 7, 2012 12:13 PM

    I wish these upstart leagues would play a spring/summer schedule instead of fall. With the NFL and NCAA taking all the advertising dollars and prime TV slots in fall, they are doomed unless they agree to be just a farm system for the NFL

  7. philhartmanonic says: Apr 7, 2012 12:15 PM

    IFL is way better. Went to a game, 18 touchdowns. ELECTRIC!

  8. billinva says: Apr 7, 2012 12:16 PM

    They need to play in the spring!

  9. harkonnenscum says: Apr 7, 2012 12:20 PM

    Idiocy… Why start in september when the NFL season is getting into gear? Why not start in the spring? I’d like a way to feed my need for football in the offseason… and it’d give the UFL players the opportunity to get on with an NFL club without having those funky buyout rules they had last year.

  10. bradslam says: Apr 7, 2012 12:22 PM

    I really really wish UFL ran it’s league during the NFL off season. I would LOVE to watch some real football right NOW.

  11. mrthirtytwo says: Apr 7, 2012 12:32 PM

    Mike,

    >>The UFL previously had done a fairly decent (for the most part) job of getting the word out.  The problem was that, as best we can tell, no one really cares.  Until they do, the UFL is destined to fail.<<

    Can't agree with this at all, at my office few if any heard of it, mainly from Jay Gruden getting hired. I'm sure it's known in the cities they play but outside not enough. Once a network pushes to get the word out it'll get more recognized. Awareness needs to rise.

    Even Comcast SN (part of NBC Sports) carried some local games last year, likely more this year. Bottomline its a lot closer to NFL quality than top NCAA, and it's something else to watch. Unlike baseball the NFL is only on one day and night a week, this provides more opportunities to watch proFB.

    My 2 cents

  12. babyhorsemorgan says: Apr 7, 2012 12:45 PM

    The UFL is not dead. Don’t be misled by the open axe wounds on the skull, the missing limbs, the green skin, and the stiff legged gait.

  13. bledsoesghost says: Apr 7, 2012 12:54 PM

    Does anyone know if there is still a team in Connecticut?

  14. Punk says: Apr 7, 2012 1:05 PM

    PFT has done its job in getting the word out.

    Please don’t do it again.

  15. Punk says: Apr 7, 2012 1:08 PM

    I wanted to care. I kept up on it in the papers, but so many football leagues have failed that I have always assumed from the start this one will too.

    Am not going to get emotionally vested in this like with the USFL only to have it go away.

    Besides, it is hard to be excited when the leagues Most Valuable Player is a run down almost was from the NFL.

  16. tiverson24 says: Apr 7, 2012 1:11 PM

    They jyst need to run thier games in the nfl off season and they’d be fine.

  17. EJ says: Apr 7, 2012 1:19 PM

    Just like billinva said, they should play when the NFL is in the offseason. If they did, along with a good tv contract so that fans could follow them, success would come. Besides, it would give the guys playing for them an open door to possibly make an NFL team, like a farm team. Baseball is semi successful in doing it, why not the NFL> UFL? Plus, I would be much more inclined to watch if I could follow a players journey from the minors to the big league. It would be another way for those college athletes that weren’t good enough to go through the NFL Draft, play and convince NFL teams they have what it takes. All positives.

  18. rajbais says: Apr 7, 2012 1:22 PM

    Why did they not get a deal with CBS Sports Network last year????

    All they play are reruns of Tim Brando’s show and NCAA games that no one cares about!!!!

  19. stevenfbrackett says: Apr 7, 2012 1:26 PM

    Honestly, until recently and on here, I hadn’t heard a single word about the UFL in so many years I just assumed it disbanded long ago.

    Think that might be a big part of the UFL’s problem?

  20. aanderson204 says: Apr 7, 2012 1:28 PM

    But will they allow Gregg Williams after he gets banned for life from the NFL? Thats the question…

  21. NFL In L.A. says: Apr 7, 2012 1:36 PM

    The Tenneesse Toothpicks will begin play in 2012.

  22. xtutx says: Apr 7, 2012 1:55 PM

    My alternate Football League:

    We are bringing back the entire 1970’s NFL Ruleset.

    Done.

  23. peytonsneck18 says: Apr 7, 2012 2:07 PM

    Its not dead, but its in a comma and in serious condition!!!!

  24. andyreiddoublecheeseburger says: Apr 7, 2012 2:14 PM

    The NFL should just co-opt this league and turn it into a minor league. Young guys who haven’t made it in the league and aging vets trying to reestablish themselves could then play in the UFL to try to prove themselves to scouts and teams.

  25. ramitbaby says: Apr 7, 2012 3:05 PM

    And when they’re out of the NFL in three years, RG3 and Kendall Wright will be hoping the UFL is alive and well then, too.

  26. xtutx says: Apr 7, 2012 3:23 PM

    Isn’t college ball the NFL Minor leagues?

  27. humb0lt says: Apr 7, 2012 3:27 PM

    Agree with those who believe the UFL should play during the NFL off season. I live in a UFL city (Sacramento) and I might go to their games if they were played in the spring. But in the fall I’m focused on my NFL team.

  28. dirtyjerseysports says: Apr 7, 2012 4:36 PM

    Wanna save the UFL? Play football the way the NFL played football 10 years ago. When hitting and defense were allowed. If you do that you got my vote!

  29. samoanjungle says: Apr 7, 2012 5:54 PM

    It would be better than at least half of the current CBS weeknight lineup so I would tune in.

  30. mrthirtytwo says: Apr 7, 2012 5:57 PM

    >>>>humbolt says:
    Apr 7, 2012 3:27 PM
    Agree with those who believe the UFL should play during the NFL off season. I live in a UFL city (Sacramento) and I might go to their games if they were played in the spring. But in the fall I’m focused on my NFL team.<<<<

    Really?

     So you are so focused on your SF 49ers Sunday or Monday night game that you can't watch a Sacramento UFL game on Thursday, Friday or Saturday? Dude that's like saying you can't chew gum and walk at the same time…. On different days no less!

    UFL helps fill the week while people are jones-ing for proFB, imo

  31. vikingdoode says: Apr 7, 2012 6:41 PM

    It’s in the best interest of the Nfl that every team has a team in the ufl. Kinda like MLB.

  32. tombrookshire says: Apr 7, 2012 6:56 PM

    The success of professional football hinges on local fan interest. No one outside of Las Vegas could get excited about an IFL team. Hell, I’m not excited about NFL teams that are not my hometown team, or division rival. Tough row to hoe running an upstart football league without fan loyalty or with the purpose of being the minor league for NFL teams. Not even the We Laf league got good exposure and fan interest even with recognizable names and fairly credible professional play.

  33. draftdaze says: Apr 7, 2012 10:12 PM

    As other people have said, it’s absolutely baffling why the UFL season is in the fall. Why play when there is football on TV virtually every night of the week when you could have a two-month season (starting in May perhaps) with no real competition?

    If it were me, I’d hold a UFL Draft shortly after the NFL Draft, pay a little more for undrafted free agents and fill my rosters with those guys and NFL castoffs. The season could run from mid-May to mid-July, ending in time for players to get picked up by NFL teams for their own training camps.

    But what do I know?

  34. gator2006 says: Apr 7, 2012 11:53 PM

    Beautiful, draftdaze

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