Here’s to hoping that the UFL turns out to be a successful venture. Less than a year ago, I was sitting at a table outside of a panel at the 2008 Princeton Sports Law Symposium when someone yelled that the AFL was going to be suspending its 2009 season. After quickly verifying that rumor, I was in shock. Sure, the economy was hurting, but how could a league with strong friends in ESPN, NBC, and other large corporations be that bad off? A year off, and maybe the league would rebound, and once again serve as a place for players on the cusp of breaking into the NFL to show their skills. Looks like that won’t be happening.
Facebook is on a tear (it’s the fourth largest site on the web now). Your mom uses it, your dad uses it, your dog has its own Fan Page, and Presidents/COOs of professional football teams are updating their statuses with breaking news on it. Apparently, the first word that the AFL will diesband came from Jim Borghesi of the Tampa Bay Storm. It is disbanding and declaring bankruptcy (sorry for you crditors with outstanding debts).
All along, there seems to have been two factions within AFL ownership: Owners willing to spend the money to keep the league afloat and a group who wanted to cut their losses and end the show. Will the first group stay in the business of football? Will they invest in a new start-up league? Will it be the UFL?
Here is a clip of my boy Darren Rovell discussing this matter in depth: