March 13, 2009


 The announcement was made by ex-NFL Exec VP and now UFL Commissioner Michael Huyghue: “We don’t intend to be a league of renegades, but having said that there will be opportunities for players who have had incidents in the past. Each case will be balanced against the risks associated with that. But I won’t say if the right circumstances exist, we would welcome Michael Vick into our league.”

Huyghue aid the league wasn’t going the renegade route, BUT after saying that he didn’t deny that Michael would be welcomed. He DID say “if the circumstances exist,” which might mean money. The statement DOES, however, provide Huyghue with “wiggle-room.”

The league is starting out with teams in Frisco (coached by Dennis Green), Vegas (coached by Jim Fassel), Orlando (coached by Jim Haslett), and NY (coached by Ted Cotrell.

Right now, the league seems to have experienced leadership and coaching. The money also seems to be there with a TV deal being signed with Versus.

There are a few good wrinkles like a season operating in October and November, with a league Championship scheduled to be played Thanksgiving Weekend (this might allow players to join NFL teams for December and January- does this create an “NFL-Lite?). Game tickets are supposed to be priced $20 and there is supposed to be a HARD CAP on player and coaching salaries. The most interesting wrinkle might be the insertion of a GPS chip in the game ball to aid in ball placements, ball trajectories for place kicks, and other ball related questions- if it works.

Mike Penner, of the LA Times quoted Jim Fassel as saying, “This will be awesome, it’s pure coaching- players that want to get better, players that want to develop.

“A lot less of the other stuff that’s always involved when you’re an NFL coach.”

“Yeah,” Penner said, “such as coaching talented players.”

Remember the old AFL started with players like Wahoo McDaniel and Cookie Gilchrist- but before too long, the league saw Joe Namath, “Snake” Stabler, and Lenny Dawson playing for them.

This idea might fly, but that remains to be seen.



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