I thought now would be a good time to break away from all this Trent Green/Daunte Culpepper talk and so I could throw my 2 cents in on a league-wide issue; the asinine new idea brought to you by the asinine Mark Cuban (and other rich people who feel they can do whatever they want to).
I'm sure most of you have heard that some billionaires, such as Mark Cuban and Bill Hambrecht, plan on launching a new professional football league, the United Football League, which they hope will directly compete with the NFL. If you haven't yet, read about it in this New York Times article. Their basic idea is to put teams in cities that do not have NFL teams and to sell shares of the team to the public, therefore creating a situation like in Green Bay where the fans actually own a portion of the team. Examples of possible cities for the UFL are San Antonio, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Orlando. In fact, the UFL already has 3 cities that will have a UFL team (Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Mexico City). That's right, Mexico City. I hope the players enjoy that long road trip. Good move, guys.
Obviously, you can tell that I'm against this idea. To me, it seems like a situation where a bunch of rich assholes are bored so they figured they'd try to shake things up a little and get their names in the paper. But for the sake of argument, let's actually see what they got here with this idea.
First of all, the most important asset to a new professional sports league is the television contract. However, it is stated right in the NY Times article that CBS, FOX, and NBC all have no interest. It's also unlikely that ABC/ESPN would go anywhere near this league. So have fun showing your games on Versus, guys. I'm sure that will get you the exposure you're looking for. If a league that had the backing of Vince McMahon and NBC couldn't succeed, it will not be easy for a league that isn't supported by one of the major networks to succeed.
Oh, and one last thing about the TV situation. When will the league play their games? Saturday against college football? Sunday against the NFL? No. Most likely, they will play on Friday nights. Hmmm...that's real good. Take the day that the NFL will not take because they don't want to interfere with high school football. That should be a real good PR move. Thank you, billionaires, for trying to not only ruin pro football, but also high school football (the game in its purest form). Not surprising, really. I'm sure to get to where they are today, these billionaires had to sell their souls at some point in time.
Enough ranting for me. Now I wanted to examine what Mark Cuban says in his blog post about the UFL. Here is his first point:
Really, Mark? You have the guts to call this UFL league "top level professional football"? Let's see what the NY Times article said about where the players would be coming from. Bill Hambrecht believes that the last 20 players cut from an NFL team are interchangeable with the last 20 players to make an NFL team. So what the UFL plans to do is choose from the best of those 20 players cut by each team, along with the best of the Arena League and of the CFL. Does that sound like top level professional football to you? Me neither.
Here's the second point Cuban made:
OK, so the first thing here I notice is that Cuban is trying to get you all to believe the NFL is a monopoly. In reality, it certainly is not. In fact, the only legal monopoly in the United States is Major League Baseball. For more info on that, research the MLB's Sherman Anti-trust Exemption.
But back to the issue at hand. Cuban wants all of us to think that the NFL will welcome the competition because they can use the UFL as a reason for "their moves," as Cuban calls them. But if I'm not mistaken, the NFL doesn't owe us any explanation at all about why they do things. And speaking of which, what are these "moves" that the NFL is making that need explanations. Please, Mark, give us some examples. Or just continue talking out of your a--, I mean out of ignorance. Whatever works for you.
But the major issue I have with this league stems from this point that Cuban made:
Allow me to translate this statement: "We want to attack the NFL, weaken the small market teams, and steal talent away from the league because the NFL has a rigid salary structure to protect the competitive balance of the league."
This is why the UFL is NOT good for the game of football and why every NFL purist needs to realize this before Mark Cuban attempts to brainwash you. What they plan to do is offer more money than the NFL teams can for mid-level talent, causing NFL teams to be unable to sign their guys because they must stay under the league-imposed salary cap. Therefore, some good talent could very well leave the NFL to be the high-paid stars of the UFL. This will dilute the talent in the NFL and hurt the game of football. What these assholes are trying to do is attack the NFL because of their salary cap. Keep in mind that the salary cap is the league's biggest tool in striving for competitive balance. Without it, the NFL looks more like Major League Baseball, with certain teams (Royals, Devil Rays, Nationals) unable to ever really compete for even just a playoff spot. However, the UFL is trying to use this tool against the NFL and steal players away. That's nice, isn't it. Ruin the game of football just so you can make a few extra bucks in your already huge pockets.
Here's a better idea for you, Mark. Instead of trying to ruin the best sport in the land just to fatten your own pockets, why don't you worry about your Dallas Mavericks a little, especially considering they were on the losing end of the biggest playoff upset in sports history. And leave the game of football to the NFL. But if you are in the mood to "fix" a sport, why not try and fix the NBA, whose league TV ratings and league revenue can't even be compared to the success of the NFL.