With another year of the NFL showing that it has earned its No Fun League nickname I find myself pondering the future and the past. I have to say that even with the economy on the decline, as a student majoring in sports management with a specialization in coaching and as a regular football fan I'm excited about the future.
Over the next couple of years one new football league is set to kick off and one old football league is gearing up for another run. The two leagues I'm talking about are Mark Cuban's new UFL (United Football League) and a throwback to the '80s with the revival of the United States Football League.
I have to say that because of Mark Cuban the USFL has had the majority of my attention when it comes to a possible alternative to the NFL. However, the USFL has quickly replaced the USFL as my reason to get excited and truthfully I didn't even know the USFL was making a comeback, until I started writing this article and actually only stumbled across its Web site while doing research on the UFL.
With that being said my first impression of the two leagues are that the UFL is the one with the decided "hype" advantage but when you dig deep to the things that really matter the USFL wins in a landslide.
Now that doesn't mean the USFL will succeed and the UFL will fail, I just don't see the UFL being able to accomplish much of anything with its game plan while the USFL has put itself in position to succeed.
The USFL put itself in a great position by doing one simple thing, they will start their season during the spring when their is no other football compete with. Cuban's UFL has decided for some unknown reason to try to go head to head with the NCAA and the NFL by having its season begin during the fall.
The UFL is putting itself in a position to fail right from the beginning and with the failure of the USFL's first run, the XFL's failure, and the Arena Football League looking very shaky, putting yourself in a bad position from the beginning isn't very smart.
There is room in this country for two major football leagues with one during the summer and one during the fall, I'd even love to see a worldwide football league.
Imagine that, the United States against France, Germany against Russia, it's like the Olympics on a weekly basis. I don't like Futbol (Soccer in the United States) but lets face it NFL crowds have nothing on those crowds because there is no rivalry like an international rivalry.
Let me get away from what I wish we had and get back to the two leagues that will be popping up in the near future.
Other than the Spring season versus the Fall season the UFL and USFL have a very different approach, the USFL looks as though it will walk to the beat of its own drum while the UFL will look to be an NFL clone. An offical press release from the UFL had this to say about why it would succeed.
"The UFL's approach, rules and style of play will look and feel substantially similar to the NFL and will cater to those markets currently undeserved by professional football. The UFL will assemble the best talent on the field, on the sidelines and in the league and team offices to ensure a credible, high-quality product that is accessible and affordable for fans."
The USFL on the other hand boasts that fans will be able to buy stock in individual teams which must have sounded like a much better idea before the stock market did its Titanic impression.
The USFL will have a 16-game regular season with no preseason which most NFL fans want these days. In the USFL, kickers with howitzers for legs will be rewarded.
If a kickoff goes out of the back of the end zone the ball gets placed at the 15 instead of the 20. Field goals of greater than 50 yards won't be worth three points, they will be worth four points, if that was the case in the NFL my Detroit Lions would be lethal, Jason Hanson has been our best player for years.
Another way to earn extra points is by going above and beyond the two point conversion and attempting a three-point conversion which will back that ball up to the 10-yard line. Two feet equals one knee? Not in the USFL, just like with the NCAA in the USFL you only have to get one foot down inbounds to be awarded a catch.
This rule could change the outcome of a lot of games and I fell in love with this rule as soon as I read it, the USFL won't allow kneel downs. A lot of people will like this one and a lot of people won't, the USFL will conduct overtime just like the NCAA does with both teams getting a chance with the ball.
Last but not least, if your offense is unfortunate enough to get tackled in the end zone for a safety you don't have to worry about giving up two points because in the USFL that's four points.
When it comes to teams the USFL trumps the UFL yet again, while the UFL plans to kickoff with four teams playing in seven cities while the USFL plans to have twelve teams.
The UFL will have a teams in Los Angeles/Las Vegas, New York/Hartford, Orlando, and San Francisco/Sacramento. The USFL will have Western division teams in San Jose, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Portland, San Antonio, Louisiana.
Its Eastern division teams will be located in Orlando, Little Rock, Detroit, Cincinnati, Birmingham, and New York. The USFL teams will re-use team names of the original USFL teams in order to maintain name recognition, while the UFL will allow the fans to name their teams.
As of now that is the extent of the information out there on these two leagues but if your like me all you needed to hear was that more football was on the way.