Monday, February 8, 2010

Leaving the Door Open

I have heard of people criticizing last night's Super Bowl advertisement featuring David Letterman and Jay Leno simply because they are each promoting their competition. However, I am more confused by the fact that the NFL Network will begin to broadcast a game of the week from Arena Football One according to an article in the Chicago Tribune. It seems like the NFL will be promoting their competition on their own network. Did anyone else watch the ESPN documentary "Who Killed the USFL?" In this TV special, the fact is emphasized that many key players, including turned MMA fighter Herschel Walker who was also the 1982 Heisman Trophy winner, were abandoning the NFL for the new upstart. The USFL did this without the support of the NFL; I wonder if this could happen again. Granted, arena football is an entirely different breed of football, but I wonder why the NFL would promote competition. Arena Football One will only become a legitimate threat if they can find money to back them up. The only way the USFL competed with the NFL was because moguls like Donald Trump were able to come in and lure players away from the NFL. I would assume that this television exposure will help this league gather the sponsors it will desperately need. Also, playing in the spring just as the USFL did will give Arena Football One the opportunity to appeal to diehard football fans who need something to occupy their time between the Super Bowl and the preseason. Again, there is no way that Arena Football One will be able to compete with the NFL at any time soon; however, what I am saying is that if this new league can use ingenious marketing paired with innovative on the field action that will hopefully accompany a very fast-paced and exciting game might have the potential to eventually be appealing to NCAA athletes if they can gather enough money. Of course, there is the potential for this to turn into another XFL that was hyped as a more violent football game but turned out to be unsuccessful. Only time will tell if I am an amazing visionary or just a dreamer.

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