2nd pro football league can survive on smaller scale

I got lost on the Web tonight looking around for information on the United Football League, which is planning to have its inaugural season this year.

Pro football leagues have tried to compete with the NFL. Most would be considered failures.

The league made news earlier this week when former Buffalo Bills quarterback J.P. Losman said he would play in the UFL this season, which is scheduled to start in early October.

There are four teams for the UFL’s first season, with more planned in 2010 and later. The head coaches: Dennis Green, Jim Haslett, Ted Cottrell and Jim Fassel.

Among the players drafted: Brooks Bollinger, Chris Perry, Jermaine Wiggins, Ronnie Cruz, Ken Dorsey, Rien Long, Mike Doss, Adam Archuleta and LaBrandon Toefield. There’s always the question of how many of these guys will actually play in this league, but if you can’t get in the NFL, there’s always a possibility.

So far, I’m intrigued. I have no delusions of grandeur for the league. Nothing can or will compete with the NFL. But let’s see where this goes.

The seven-game schedules and the October start make sense for a minor league. No former NFL player is going to want to get knocked around for 16 games. Seven games is enough time for a player to make an impression, though. And with an October start, a league could get some of those guys who come up just short of NFL roster spots, and a Thanksgiving finish gives those players time to latch on in "The Big Show."

The key is to not compete with the NFL but still offer a viable product (got it, XFL?). Serve as a minor league, not a major joke.

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