Dallas’ maverick owner asks, “Is it crazy to try to compete with the NFL?”
Why, yes, Mark. Yes, it is.
Interesting concept. Good luck with it.
You’ll never play a game.
Let’s look at what Cuban says about why the UFL is a good idea:
1. There is obviously demand for top level professional football. That is exactly what the UFL hopes to be someday, an equal of the NFL, if not more.
Yes, there’s a demand for top-level professional football. That demand is currently being met quite nicely by the NFL, thank you. This isn’t 1959. And you can’t start a league that will be the equal (much less surpass) the NFL. It’s too expensive, you’re not going to get places to play, or network TV coverage, or enough quality players.
2. The NFL wants and needs competition. They have grown so big and powerful that every move they make is scrutinized by local or federal officials. A competitor allows them to point to us and explain that their moves are for competitive reasons rather than the move of a monopoly.
Yeah, they’re just dying to have competition. How much local and federal scrutiny do you think they’re under? How’d the last group of people who sued to prove the NFL was a monopoly make out?
3. They just extended their CBA. Their CBA structure is not designed for a competitive environment. Competition for top players, even if the UFL gets just a few, increases prices at the top end for all teams. Every star will get paid more, but still have to fit under the cap. That forces teams to use more low cost players, at the expense of signing the middle of the roster. That gives us access to quite a few very, very good NFL players. The downside is that it will significantly impact small market NFL teams and its unclear how the NFL would respond to that and what the impact would be on the UFL.
If the UFL gets “just a few” top players, that’s far too few to make an impact. The NFL loses a number of top players every year and just replaces them with the next guys in line. You’re not going to get enough guys to make an impact. The NFL tradition is too firmly ingrained in the American sporting psyche.
4. There are a lot of markets that are bigger than some current NFL markets that do not have teams that would love to have a pro football team.
The NFL has teams in 26 of the 40 largest markets in the country. That leaves the following markets for the UFL:
2. Los Angeles
19. Orlando/Daytona Beach/Melbourne
20. Sacramento / Stockton / Modesto
23. Portland (OR)
28. Hartford / New Haven, Connecticut
32. Columbus (OH)
35. Salt Lake City
36. Greenville / Spartanburg / Asheville
37. San Antonio / Del Rio
38. West Palm Beach
39. Grand Rapids / Kalamazoo – Battle Creek
40. Birmingham / Anniston / Tuscaloosa
That’s a big ol’ gap there between LA and Orlando, innit? Unrealistic.
5. There are a lot of smart people involved in the UFL.
I’d imagine he’s including himself in there, but considering I hadn’t even heard of the UFL until about 12 minutes ago, I have no idea who any of the other “smart people” are. I will say this, though: the woods are littered with the bones of smart people who tried to start football leagues.
6. Its a great TV product.
That it is. And yet, networks lose tons of money on it every year.
I’ll bet this great TV product looks even better in HD. Wouldn’t it be easier to just get some NFL games for HDNet, Mark?