Skip to comments.Mavs' owner Cuban says pro football demand is greater than supply (Cuban to create a new league)
Posted on 05/30/2007 8:55:44 PM PDT by MinorityRepublican
Dallas 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.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said he was aware of the proposed league, but had no further comment.
On his blog, Cuban explained how the new league, dubbed the UFL, would actually be good for the NFL.
"The NFL wants and needs competition," Cuban wrote. "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."
There have been numerous leagues that have tried to compete with the NFL and a few that actually played games, starting with the AFL, which began in 1960 and fully merged with the NFL a decade later. It included such current franchises as New England, Oakland, Kansas City, San Diego, Buffalo, the New York Jets and Denver.
More recently came the World Football League in the early 1970s, which raided the NFL for such stars as Larry Csonka. Then came the USFL, which played in the spring before folding after receiving only $3 in an antitrust "victory" over the NFL.
The USFL featured such future Hall of Famers as Jim Kelly, Reggie White and Steve Young, but lost millions of dollars trying to compete for players. It also had internal struggles among a majority of owners who wanted to stay in the spring, and the best known among them, Donald Trump, who wanted to move to the fall and try to force a merger with the NFL.
The most recent pro football league was the XFL, founded by the World Wrestling Federation and televised by NBC. The XFL lasted just three months in the spring of 2001 and was best known for a player named Rod Smart, called "He Hate Me," who later played as a return man and backup running back in the NFL.
So far, the proposed new league is in its infancy and Cuban is the only potential owner for what the founders hope will be an eight-team league.
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.
Many such players, including Tom Brady, a sixth-round pick of New England, have become NFL stars.
"That's not to say it will be easy. It won't," Cuban wrote. "We still have to cover quite a bit of ground and have a lot of milestones to hit. That said, if we can get the right owners I obviously think we can make this work."
LOL, a good one, well Cuban has $$$ to waste.
This guy is jealous of Jerry Jones.
If Mark Cuban was a voice of sanity, this might work but I just don’t see it working with this loon at the helm. What’s the matter Mark? Jerry Jones isn’t returning your calls?
Of course, if there was truly more appettite for pro football than what is currently available, the ratings for the Arena Football League would be through the roof.
I miss the USFL. It was creative and entertaining. It needed more time to build it’s springtime niche and it could have been a great longstanding spring league. Instead Trump and some others got greedy and ruined the whole thing. Somehow, Cuban and Trump have more in common than just being “reality show” hosts. They’re both a little nuts.
BTW, those who don’t remember, the USFL gained one of the most hollow legal victories in the history of jurisprudence. They took the NFL to court claiming anti-trust violations and used Al Davis (the NFL’s version of John McCain) as their star witness.
The jury’s verdict: Yes, the NFL is a monopoly that restricts fair trade.
The award: One dollar. As is typical in such cases, the award was automatically tripled so the USFL won $3. Total.
The jury felt that while, the NFL is a monopoly, the USFL was to blame for their own red ink, not the NFL.
Yes, the demand for pro football exceeds the supply IN THE OFFSEASON. Playing a new league on Friday night when the NFL is already playing on Sunday, Monday, and Thursday is a recipe for football fatigue.
Cuban is even jealous of the image he sees in his own mirror. This guy got rich by beng lucky!
Cuban is even jealous of the image he sees in his own mirror. This guy got rich by beng lucky!
Yeah but there's just too many entertainment options in the offseason which includes baseball, basketball, hockey, and now forming its own niche, soccer.
He would be better off just giving the money to me and I’ll do more constructive things with it =D
I am sure all the games will be on Cubans HDTV and internet networks.
“Of course, if there was truly more appettite for pro football than what is currently available, the ratings for the Arena Football League would be through the roof.’
Arena football isn’t ‘real’ football. The high scores are like basketball games, there are only eight players on a side, and the field is more like a hockey rink. A good arena game draws only twelve thousand fans. It doesn’t scratch the itch.
Because the NBA stinks. Too much hip-hop and not enough focus on the fundamentals and true competitiveness.
the thing I remember about the xfl is the cheerleaders. They had the word stripper written all over ‘em...
Arena football doesn’t do it for me either so I agree with you. I’m just shooting down the comment that the demand is greater than the supply.
In my case, I have plenty of games I’ve recorded over the years and watch when I really need a football fix.
Cuban is a jerk and a fool... How does that saying go.. A fool and his money...
You mean a whites-only league? That would be interesting...and wouldn't last in the U.S. for 30 seconds before a lawsuit was filed.
I went to the first game of the New York/New Jersey Hitmen in the XFL. I have to say, it was quite exciting in the pregame and up through the first 5 minutes. The problem was ENDLESS penalties because McMahon was too cheap to have a real training camp. Had he spent more money on the training camp, the XFL might have had a shot at being significantly more popular than arena football.
Just require that all players graduate from college. That would get rid of the hip-hop crowd right there.
I’m so starved for football this time of year I watch European NFL when I can catch it, and CFL when their season starts.
CFL has about the same number of teams the UFL would have. They play each other so much it’s incestuous. As small as the CFL is, though, it hasn’t been that long since they had two teams with the same damn names ... the Ottawa Roughriders and the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
By the "Justice Brothers" I'm sure. Maybe Sharpton could tell some "yo' mama's so fat" jokes to Cuban via bullhorn like he does in the Shanklin parody he did at "Obama HQ"?
Mark Cubam looks like he is trying to keep his name in the news since his Mavs are long gone from the NBA playoffs. Go Spurs!
They would be stupid to put a franchise here in Texas if they play in the fall on Friday nights. High school football owns Friday nights here in the Texas in the Fall.
You don’t schedule anything on Friday night if you want attendence for your event and that includes college football.
They are working on getting back to Ottawa but in the meantime Saskatchewan is it. The big difference I recall is one had the name run together and the other split the two words. :)
I hope they don’t lose any more teams. The CFL might not be viable with any less.
They left one failure out. The CFL tried to crack the US market at one point. It didn’t work. Prehaps the writer is too young to remember the Shreveport Pirates (I’ve forgotten the other US teams.)
Since about the 70s the CFL has been a continuous tighrope walk but financially these days it is in better shape than it has been in a long time. Its no powerhouse but it does chug along. It has a very long history too and that sort of helps.
there were about half a dozen....the Baltimore team won the championship one year but that was the height of it all
The Baltimore Stallions did well. But then in 1995 the Cleveland Browns moved to Baltimore and became the Ravens. That was the end of the Stallions right there.
Don’t forget the WFL. A lot of NFL players jumped to it, including Larry Csonka, Jim Kiick, Paul Warfield, Craig Morton and Calvin Hill. They had a twenty game season.
Someone please give this writer a history lesson! In 1922 The American Professional Football Association changed its name to the National Football League (the same year the Chicago Staleys became the Bears). Since that time, rival pro leagues playing American football have included the AFL I in 1926, the AFL II in 1936, the AFL III in 1940, the All America Football Conference in 1946 (which gave the NFL the Browns, Colts, and 49ers), the AFL IV in 1960, the Continental Football League in 1965, the WFL in 1974, the USFL in 1983, and the XFL in 2001.
Had a team here in SA, the Wings.
Best thing about the league was the mandatory two-point try after a TD - the extra-point kick is the most useless activity in sports, including rhythmic gymnastics.
Somewhat off topic here...but what about the World Football League back in the 70s? I wasn’t around—as in not alive—but that only lasted one season, correct? The financial backing between that and this proposed thing will be vastly different I would surmise, but if any example can be looked at, the WFL has to be thrown into the mix as well.
You are right. The players are covered in tattoo's, they bring their "Posse's" with them wherever they go. Granted, they are probably the best athletes in the world, but basically, it's gangsta ball.
Bring back He Hate Me.
There was a team in Baltimore, too, and also Las Vegas IIRC.
wikipedia: “In 1993, the league admitted its first United States franchise, the Sacramento Gold Miners, in an attempt to broaden Canadian football’s popular appeal and boost league revenues. The ultimate plan was to have a league of ten Canadian and ten American teams. Spearheading the efforts were two former World League of American Football owners, Fred Anderson and Larry J. Benson, who would each receive a franchise. While the first incarnation of Benson’s team, the San Antonio Texans, would not play a single down, the Gold Miners would see action, finishing with a record of 6 wins and 12 losses, placing last in the West Division.
“The following year saw the addition of the Las Vegas Posse, the Shreveport Pirates, and the Baltimore CFL Colts (who were forced to change their name to the Stallions after a long legal battle). Baltimore was the most successful of the American CFL teams, finishing second in the East and becoming the first American team to play for the Grey Cup.
” 1995 saw the loss of the Posse and the move of the Gold Miners to San Antonio, while the Birmingham Barracudas and Memphis Mad Dogs were added. However, fan interest in Canadian football, with the possible exception of the Baltimore Stallions, was sparse at best. At the end of the year, which saw the Stallions become the first American team to win the Grey Cup, all United States teams with the exception of the Stallions and the re-launched San Antonio Texans folded because of financial difficulties. When the National Football League announced that a new team was to be added in Baltimore, the Stallions looked at the possibility of relocating to nearby Richmond, Virginia, but later moved to Montreal, becoming the Alouettes. The Texans would later fold with a similar explanation.”
This new league is DOA.
Wait, those teams (and their sorry league) folded long ago.
The road to bankruptcy is plagued with 2nd football leagues (the WFL, USFL, XFL).