My fifth appearance on Adam Taxin’s radio show, which is broadcast on 1540 AM WNWR in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The entire segment is devoted to a discussion on the UFL (United Football League).
For the full transcript, click the link titled, “More” below. Also, check out my October 19th post on the UFL [Michael Huyghue Remains United With Football].
Go ahead…give this mp3 thing your kids keep talking about a try…
CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE MP3
DARREN HEITNER ON “THE ADAM TAXIN SHOW”
SUBJECT: UNITED FOOTBALL LEAGUE
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2007, 1:29 PM EST
WNWR 1540 AM PHILADELPHIA
– – – – – – – – –
Adam Taxin: You’re listening to “The Adam Taxin Show” on WNWR 1540 AM Philadelphia and on the web at wnwr.com. We’re being sponsored by the Law Firm of Allen L. Rothenberg, 800-LAW-KING or injurylawyer.com. Joining me now from Jacksonville, Florida — not Jacksonville, what’s wrong with me today? — GAINESVILLE, Florida — I didn’t even watch that game between Indy and Jacksonville last night — from Gainesville, Florida, he is the man behind sportsagentblog.com — which is nicknamed “I Want To Be A Sports Agent,” if you’re trying to google it — and also behind accessathletes.com is Darren Heitner, a regular contributor to the show.
Right now, we’re talking about the new alternatives to the NFL, which is stronger than ever. And we’re going to talk about the United Football League, which was recently covered, on October 19th, on sportsagentblog.com. Hey, Darren.
Darren Heitner: How’s it going?
AT: It’s going well. Let’s get right to the point. The United Football League: Mark Cuban’s behind it. Gotten a minimal amount of publicity. Why is there any reason to think that this won’t be another USFL, XFL, WFL, et cetera?
DH: Well, you might have gotten confused and thought that I was in Jacksonville because the new commissioner of the UFL is actually based in Jacksonville. His name’s Michael Huyghue … I’m not quite sure how to pronounce the last name.
AT: You’ve given me too much credit by the way. I don’t know. I just am not thinking right today.
DH: Anyway, he should be a strong commissioner. He’s got a great background in sports. He was a former sports agent. He even had to handle Pac-Man Jones. If you can handle Pac-Man Jones, you can handle anything.
AT: Wait a minute. That didn’t exactly go so well.
DH: Well, that’s true, but he had to handle him, so he had some experience with handling problems though.
AT: (Laughs) O.K.?!
DH: Anyway, the league is supposed to have eight teams, starting up in about August 2008, having a strict salary cap and trying to get quality players that have some experience in college, and it looks like it may have an in.
AT: The basic thought is that Americans have an insatiable appetite for football, and the NFL doesn’t have enough franchises. And college football and high school football, which is played on Friday nights in most cases, which is when this league intends to play … the thought is the public has an insatiable appetite, and it’s, I guess, a greater appetite than when the XFL came out. Why is there any reason to believe that that’s true?
DH: Well, they’re looking at a couple of cities that have been neglected by the NFL. They’re looking at Los Angeles, they’re looking at Las Vegas, and a few other cities that really haven’t been looked over and are in deep need of a football team. They’re cities that don’t have great high school programs, so you’re not talking about a big challenge on Friday nights. And I don’t know if you’ve heard, but I think the Miami Dolphins and the St. Louis Rams are the first two teams to commit to the UFL.
AT: (Laughs) I could see that! … It’s the same philosophy as the AAFL, which is going to cities … which is really emphasizing areas where there are major college programs. Gainesville’s one of them.
AT: And I guess the salary cap will be about 20 million. Are the people who are going to go into this league guys who really want another shot at the NFL but don’t want to play Arena?
DH: That’s pretty much it. Also, you gotta look at the fact that NFL just collapsed their NFL Europe. So there’s a bunch of players who really are left out of a job right now. I think that’s the main reason why a lot of these different leagues are sprouting up. It’ll be tough to have two new leagues be successful, but even if one of the two new leagues is successful … it’ll definitely be interesting to see, if any of them can be successful as the USFL wasn’t, the XFL wasn’t … and Arena Football, while they have been picked up by a couple of T.V. networks, it still hasn’t penetrated to mass media and to the general public.
AT: If you were an agent of a player that was at the margin of the NFL and just got cut this year, one year after coming out of college, would you tell him to go for the UFL, or the AAFL, or go Arena?
DH: Honestly speaking, I’d have to do a little bit more research into the whole thing, but between being on an active roster and getting playing time or being on a practice squad and possibly being cut week-to-week, I’d probably say that I’d rather put them in the UFL if it does seem like a legit league. Once again, I’d need to do a lot more research, but at this point it seems like I’d rather get my client some playing time, so that I’d have some footage to show to the teams and possibly get him picked up by an NFL team.
AT: Actually, we’re pressed for time, but I do want to ask you one more question. Isn’t the NFL’s response going to be sort of the way it was with Toronto asking for a franchise, to just stick an NFL team there to play some games, the way the Bills are going to do in Toronto? Maybe the San Diego Chargers will just play two games in L.A., or the Arizona Cardinals will play a game or two in Las Vegas? Won’t they just try to cut off that market?
DH: Oh, believe me, the NFL does not want any competition. I mean, if you look back before my time, there was a USFL, and they hated the fact that players like Steve Young were going straight there. So they’ll do anything that they can probably to prevent these leagues from being successful. At the same time, there are some strong backers behind them, so we’ll have to wait and see.
AT: Darren Heitner, sportsagentblog.com, from Gainesville, Florida, thanks as always for sharing your insights.
DH: Thank you.