Many people (myself included) wondered whether their would be an exodus of players from the NFL to the UFL if the NFL’s season was seriously questioned. Okay, I’ll admit that the notion always seemed a little far fetched. After all, major sports leagues don’t lose top-notch players, even during work stoppages. It would seem that I now have my answer.
According to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post, sources are telling him that players are being sent home from camp due to financial woes. So much for paying NFL players to switch leagues. Their seems to be a hierarchy of football in North America, and the UFL just isn’t destined to be part of it. Others have tried to insert their own brand of football (remember the XFL?). The fact of the matter is that the NFL will always be first, followed by college football, and the CFL and the AFL. 4 leagues are enough. We don’t need more.
I don’t have a problem with the UFL. In fact, I liked the idea of another league that would be a “minor league” for the NFL, but the fact of the matter is that the CFL and the AFL both serve that purpose. On top of that, their are many, many semi-pro leagues all over the country. Oh, and did I mention that football is a young man’s game. There’s no time to wait. They have to be ready to play. Now.
The UFL actually did a pretty good job putting itself on the map. It got some media attention from major sports outlets such as ESPN, and it was able to snag a couple of NFL quality athletes (old ones) and a couple former NFL coaches (even older ones), but it was never a viable alternative to the NFL.
The UFL’s only real hope from the get go was that the NFL would have serious trouble solving it’s labor woes. While there has been no lack of problems along the way, it seems reasonable to assume that the NFL will play a full and complete season.
The lockout has sapped any good feelings, football wise, from this off-season. It’s been rough, but football will be back to normal when September rolls around. There will be college games to attend on Saturdays and NFL games to watch on Sundays. Everything will be back to normal, and that may all happen without the help of the UFL.