So you are running a brand new football league made up of NFL retreads and undrafted college players. You are planning on playing games on Thursday and Friday nights during the NFL season and you are trying to develop a fan following and bring people into stadiums in this troubled economy. What do you do to try and make a statement, try to eke out a spot in the ever-increasing world of sport? Well, there is a very interesting option that may or may not come into play. Michael Vick was drafted by the Orlando franchise.
This brings up a very interesting question. Is the media circus that is guaranteed to follow Vick good or bad for the league? First, it is nowhere near a done deal that Vick would come play in the UFL. He comes off of house arrest for the dogfighting charges sometime this month and the NFL commissioner will be making a determination if Vick is going to be suspended further. If he is suspended by the NFL, the UFL commissioner would also need to make a ruling if he would be able to play for them. Then there is the issue of Vick himself, if he even wants to come play in a “minor” league. But that’s not what we’re talking about today. Today, we look at the fundamental question of if the UFL should let Vick come play for them.
One thing that Vick brings immediately is publicity. There is no question about that. I can see the headlines right now: “Disgraced star to play in upstart league” and so on. But with Vick would most certainly come a lot of negative publicity. I’m sure that the PETA folks are going to be all over him, regardless of where he ends up playing. Does the UFL really want that kind of press? I think so. For an upstart league, any publicity (with a few exceptions) is good publicity. I don’t think that Vick will end up playing in the UFL. For Vick, this could be an opportunity to show an NFL team that 2 years away from the game (in prison) hasn’t taken away from his abilities.
I have a hunch that Roger Goddell will let him back and the circus will follow him to the big leagues. For the UFL though, I think they would love to have a chance to let him bring some attention to their league.