Don’t worry if you didn’t know the UFL was holding its draft Thursday night – no one outside the league seemed to know, and this was apparently by design. By the time the event itself went down, the only means of following the picks was, somewhat bizarrely, via Chris Mortensen‘s minute-by-minute tweets. Much like the post-election violence in Iran, the UFL draft happened without the mainstream media knowing or caring, but thank goodness for Twitter.
This leaves one big question: why would a new, upstart professional sports league hold a player draft and not bother publicizing it? Isn’t part of the idea of any draft to drum up interest amongst your fanbase? True, the UFL has no fanbase yet, but that’s sort of the point – if they ever want to have a fanbase, they might want to consider announcing things like drafts.
They are planning on letting people know when and where the games will be held, right? They’re at least going to inform the stadiums ahead of time, I would assume.
I suppose it’s possible that the UFL people took this surreptitious approach on purpose; maybe they think, like the ninja, that the way to destroy their enemy is by stealth. Or, maybe the whole operation is being run by a bunch of incompetent buffoons (they do have Dennis Green as one of their coaches, but I don’t think he’s working in the league office too).
It’s puzzling, at any rate, that a league with such an uphill climb ahead of it would elect to forgo the relative publicity bonanza that would’ve attended their draft. I’m not saying a lot of people would’ve paid attention if they’d, for example, webcast the thing, but I am saying that, given how crazy people are for football, and how crazy football fans are for drafts…well, why not at least give it a shot?
If people are willing to sit there and watch Mel Kiper pontificate for hours on end about college players no one’s ever heard of, why wouldn’t they be willing to spend a few minutes out of their evening to watch a bunch of washed-up NFLers they probably have heard of get drafted into a league they would’ve heard of had anyone bothered informing them of its existence?
Brooks Bollinger‘s family, at least, might’ve been tickled to learn that the kid has a job again…yes, actually playing, in a league, for money.
The UFL’s reticence to invite the Bollingers – and, indeed, the sports-viewing public in general – into their draft, to me, smacks of self-doubt. It’s almost like they’re not convinced they will ever get to play a game, so, they’re trying not to build up any expectations. But, when you try to tamp down enthusiasm to the point where you don’t even bother publicizing what should be your major events, all you’re doing is helping such dire fears come to fruition.
In the sports world, confidence is key. Right now, the UFL looks about as confident as Chuck Knoblauch winding up to throw out a runner at first.Tags: brooks bollinger, chris mortensen, dennis green, mel kiper, ufl