05.30.07

Owner With A Boner Involved In USFL II?

Posted in Gridiron, The Marketplace at 4:42 pm by

From the Dallas Morning News :

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is part of a group considering formation of a football league that would compete with the NFL for players drafted lower than the second round.

The league, still very much in the preliminary stage, would play its games on Friday nights. The NFL does not play then because of the potential conflict with high school football.

“It’s a pretty simple concept,” Cuban said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. “We think there is more demand for pro football than supply.”

The proposal was first disclosed by The New York Times on its Web site, which said it was the idea of Bill Hambrecht, a Wall Street investor who was a minority partner in the Oakland Invaders of the USFL, which played in the spring from 1983-85. Sharon Smith, a spokeswoman for Hambrecht and Company, had no comment and said Hambrecht was traveling and unavailable to talk about the idea.

Cuban said in his e-mail he believes the salary cap makes it easier to compete financially with the NFL because of the salary imbalance that leaves lower-level players with lower salaries. That would allow the new league to fill its rosters with players taken lower than the second round, as well as late NFL cuts and free agents who escape the NFL draft.

Despite the failure of the USFL and Vince McMahon’s XFL, I have a terrible feeling Cuban is on to something here.  There might well be just enough football degenerates who’d enjoy a Friday evening slate of pro ball as a precursor to the weekend’s other action.  And imagine how deep the talent pool might be if the new league were willing to employ all the players Roger Goodell has either banned or is about to ban?

Not only am I beyond psyched for the possiblity, however remote, of Austin hosting one of the league’s proposed 8 franchises, but a lineup featuring Michael Vick, Pacman Jones and Chris Henry would be awfully tough to beat.

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