Your guide to everything in the UFL
The 2010 UFL season ended Saturday. Perhaps you were watching college football or shopping or eating or spending time with your family and missed the championship game. And perhaps you were doing one or all of those things every other week of the UFL season and missed the entire season.
If so, here's what you need to know:
Your 2010 UFL champions are the Las Vegas Locomotives. The Locomotives beat the Florida Tuskers at Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Neb., 23-20, to secure the second championship in UFL history.
Page 2 sent editor Thomas Neumann to a game of the UFL's Hartford Colonials
to dress in Revolutionary War-era attire, shoot a musket and fire off a cannon.
• UFL football in Hartford is a blast
"I think anybody who snuck into this game probably paid on the way out," said victorious Locomotives coach Jim Fassel after the game. Ignoring the fact that the UFL apparently has a very serious security problem, Fassel may be right. Florida and Las Vegas alternated scores throughout the game, and the final play was a block of Nick Novak's field goal that would've forced overtime. Also, George Clinton and the Parliament-Funkadelic played the halftime show, so people were probably grateful they didn't have to hear the Black Eyed Peas.
Las Vegas has won the first two UFL championships. The Locomotives are basically the Packers of the UFL. Green Bay won the first two Super Bowls, Las Vegas won the first two UFL titles. And so ends the similarities between the cities of Green Bay and Las Vegas.
The expansion Omaha Nighthawks were the most popular team. The reason Omaha got the championship game is because the franchise had the best fan support throughout the season, averaging a league-best 22,785 fans a game -- including the UFL's first-ever sellout. Of course, that didn't help much because after starting 3-1, the Nighthawks finished on a four-game losing streak. Sounds like another example of someone getting too caught up in the glitz and glamour of being famous in Omaha.
UFL commissioner Michael Huyghue says the league is doing well. In a recent interview with the Sacramento Bee, Huyghue said the UFL has created a "niche" and will do even better if the NFL has a work stoppage next year: "It will definitely help us build our brand and create national awareness that the NFL is not the only form of professional football." The thing is, BCS conference commissioners feel the exact same way.
Cory Ross is the UFL Offensive Player of the Year. The 2010 UFL season featured some former NFL stars -- Jeff Garcia and Daunte Culpepper -- but it was a 5-foot-6, 28-year-old running back who had 12 career carries for the Baltimore Ravens before getting released after the 2007 season who won the UFL offensive MVP. Which is to say: Don't expect to see Garcia and Culpepper back in the NFL.
Isiah Trufant is the UFL Defensive Player of the Year. Trufant is a defensive back for the Locomotives. He is the younger brother of Seattle Seahawks cornerback Marcus Trufant. Yikes. The younger brother is a UFL star while the older brother plays for the Seahawks. I hope Marcus doesn't resent his little brother's success.
Fassel is the UFL Coach of the Year. The former Giants coach beat out other finalists Jay Gruden, Chris Palmer, Jeff Jagodzinski and Dennis Green. They are also the only coaches in the league. Coming soon on a resume to the desk of an NFL general manager: "Top-5 finisher in the 2010 UFL Coach of the Year voting!"
Chase Clement is the UFL feel-good story of the year. Clement, 24, is a former Rice quarterback who opened the season as the third-string quarterback for Las Vegas behind Tim Rattay and Drew Willy. (Note: According to league documents, Drew Willy is a real person and not just something you can get detention for in middle school.) By season's end, he was MVP of the UFL championship game. And he did all this despite tragically being born without posture. (Seriously, guy, sit up. You're an UFL star. Be proud.)
The Virginia Destroyers are on the clock. There were only five UFL teams this season, but next year the Virginia Destroyers join the league. Virginia's head coach is Joe Moglia. Most recently he was the CEO of TD Ameritrade, but he hasn't been paid to coach football since he was the defensive coordinator at Dartmouth in 1983. Really. I'm not kidding. This is a great move by the UFL. Virginia football fans who are tired of Dan Snyder's incompetence may want to try out a new brand of pro football managerial failure.
DJ Gallo is the founder of SportsPickle.com. His first book, "The View from the Upper Deck," is available from only the finest bargain-book retailers. His next book project will be released soon. You can follow him on Twitter at @DJGalloESPN.
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