Does the World Really Need Even More Football?


Apparently, there's a brand-new football league preparing to launch in 2009.

Called the United Football League, it's going to consist of four teams playing a six-game schedule with a championship game on Thanksgiving, and the head coach of one of the teams is apparently the Rams' most recent head coach, Jim Haslett. (Apparently, Jim Fassel is also set to coach a team, but I don't believe the coaches have all been officially announced yet.)

Interestingly, the investor largely responsible for putting this whole thing together is Jim Hambrecht, an investment banker who used to be part of the ownership group of the old Oakland Invaders franchise of the USFL. Apparently, he just didn't quite learn his lesson from that whole deal, and is just chomping at the bit to try again at establishing a second football league. 

The one nice thing about this is that it doesn't look like it's going to be another XFL, that debacle of a sports league put together a few years back by Vince McMahon, king of the professional wrestling world. (On the other hand, the XFL did give us about six months of late-night talk show comedy over that He Hate Me guy, so it wasn't all bad, I suppose.) It looks like it's going to be legitimate football, but I still question if there's really a market for this. 

They do have a television deal, with the Versus Network (interesting side note: in that article, check out the comment at the bottom from the woman who wants Nancy Pelosi to give money to something other than a football league. I love it when people make anything and everything about whatever it is that's personally pissing them off.), which is the same network that carries national hockey broadcasts.

They're planning on playing games on Thursday nights, I believe, in order to avoid competing with the NFL and college football. To me, the whole thing just seems like kind of a bad idea, but hey, what do I know? 

Either way, come September, there's going to be a bran-new breed of football in this country. Whether it lasts for any appreciable amount of time is really anyone's guess, but it certainly represents an interesting test study for just how much football America is willing to watch. 

Me? I'm about at my limit as it is.

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