Another upstart football league. The UFL kicks off its second game of the season with a match-up of the local Florida Tuskers and the visiting New York Sentinels. There are a PILE of local and Buccaneer ties to the Florida squad:
- WR, Taye Biddle
- K, Matt Bryant
- DE/LB, Peter Chukwurah
- OT, Anthony Davis
- WR, Chas Gessner
- TE, Keith Heinrich
- DB, Dexter Jackson (the one that actually produced on the field)
- WR, Frank Murphy
- RB, Michael Pittman
- DE, Josh Savage
- WR, Paris Warren
The New York Sentinels have the best known ex-Buccaneer in one Simeon Rice. Those players aside, the UFL represents an opportunity for players both new and old to keep their skills sharp or sharpen them in hope of another crack at the NFL. From an accessibility standpoint, the teams provide a low cost form of professional football entertainment. Attendance at the debut game looked VERY light and it is shaping up to be even lighter here in Orlando this evening. Organizationally, the league seems to have their ducks in a row.
To take you inside the press-box, we are allowed to park in a reserved lot and gain entrance to the box via a top secret elevator. OK, so it is not TOP SECRET, but it is a little hard to find. Once in the Press Area, there are entries to luxury boxes as well as two large areas for press. Squarely in the corner of ‘Overachieving,’ the league provided food and drinks far in excess of the popcorn and soda that the AFL provided. This was a nice touch, but not quite what I hear Pepper talking about at Ray Jay.
If you watched the debut game on Thursday, the uniforms…
I am going to gripe about uniform colors. I KNOW that is not a very manly to do, but fact is, the Las Vegas squad and the California squad were very hard to tell apart. It was with and light gray. Tonight, the contrast is more dramatic as teh Tuskers are rocking an electric blue and black getup. The Sentinels have a primarily white uniform with LIGHT GRAY numbers. From the Press box, these numbers are almost invisible.
Tonight I will be watching my close friend, Ronnie Ghent as he tries to put up some additional good tape and get back in the league as well as a pile of other talented and hungry players. I have NO IDEA how this league will make money as attendance looks to be a struggle, but as a football junkie, more football is more better (yes, I know that is not grammatically correct. I did it for emphasis!)
I will be tweeting throughout the game so stay tuned and if you have HDNet, tune in and watch with me!
A few numbers to keep in mind (from our press documentation):
- 54.5% of the players in the UFL attended a BCS school
- 30.5% of the players were drafted by the NFL
- 48% of the players have NFL experience
- 27.8% were drafted in Rounds 1-3 of the NFL draft
- The average age of a player in the UFL is 26.5 (NFL average is 26.07)
So tune in and if you don’t, keep me up to date on the Gators game!