First Impressions: First Week of the UFL
The first two games of the UFL are now in the history books, this is now the latest new football league to take the field and compete. I watched one game on Versus and one game on my computer, and more than the final scores or the performances, but I am left with a few impressions of what this league this is going to be.
The game I watched on Versus was only the second sporting event I have watched on that network, and I have to say I was pretty impressed with the broadcast. However, the uniforms of the Las Vegas Locos and the California Redwoods were far too similar.
Since this league only used four colors for all four team, this seems to be a problem that is going to continue.
The Locos wearing silver and blue and the Redwoods wearing white, green, and blue all seemed to mix together on the TV screen. The problem became more pronounced in short yardage running plays where all 22 players on the field were in the shot.
The Saturday night game between the Florida Tuskers and the New York Sentinels did not have that problem. In fact, the Tuskers have the best uniforms in this league, and their teal, blue, and black uniforms looked very sharp. Furthermore, the Tuskers' logo is great, and easily the best team logo of this young league.
Now clearly this was not the NFL, and that is a good thing. I, along with most football fans, will see enough NFL football come Sunday. I would rank the play of this league somewhere between the old arena leagues and the play seen at the college level.
The only negatives here are the games seemed to drag a bit. Granted, these were the first games of this league and both first halves featured plenty of running attack. These continued running games seem to drag this game out, but that is likely to change as this league develops.
Now we don’t know the TV numbers yet, but the Saturday night game is not likely to deliver a large TV rating since many folks do not have access to HD-Net, but many fans likely watched the game on the UFL website. The Thursday night game was on Versus and while the TV number aren’t known, we do know not many fans were in attendance.
The attendance for the game in Las Vegas was reported at 14,209, but looked very small in the 40,000 seat Sam Boyd Stadium. While the HD-Net broadcast did not show many crowd shots, that crowd didn’t seems any bigger, and was less into than the Vegas crowd.
In the end, I think we are seeing the development of a niche football league. A minor league of sorts that is likely to have a smaller, die hard type of fan base.
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