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New Pro-Football League Has Local Roots

ufl-logoMichael Huyghue, a resident of Ponte Vedra Beach and former Senior VP with the Jacksonville Jaguars, is the Commissioner of the new United Football League, which launches this week.

The new professional league, which competes with or complements the NFL, depending on who you ask, is starting slow and hopes to grow over time.

This season there are four teams with 50-man rosters, representing four cities: San Francisco, Las Vegas, New York, and Orlando. They'll each play a 6-game schedule and the top two teams will then face off in the league's Championship Game, held the day after Thanksgiving at Sam Boyd Stadium in Whitney, Nevada.

Huyghue started his career as a legal intern for the NFL’s Players Association and was an attorney with the NFL’s Management Council in 1987, handling hundreds of arbitration hearings. At the age of 29, he became the youngest general manger in professional football when he joined the NFL World League in 1989.

Huyghue then joined the Detroit Lions as Vice President and General Counsel, and was tapped as Senior Vice President of Football Operations for the Jacksonville Jaguars in the team’s inaugural NFL season.

During Huyghue’s tenure with the Jaguars, the team became the winningest franchise in expansion history, achieving two AFC Central Division Championships and an unprecedented two AFC Championship appearances.

He's looking to bring that winning record to the UFL as the upstart league's first game kicks off tonight (Thursday, October 8th) at 9pm and will be televised on Versus.

The vast majority of UFL players do have college and/or NFL experience and will earn between $35,000 and $60,000 for three months of work, with a handful approaching six figures. The NFL Players Association even urged players who were cut from their teams to consider trying out for the UFL.

But ESPN's Greg Garber asks the very valid question: "When the California Redwoods collide with the Las Vegas Locomotives (a fair fight, one would think) will it look more like the NFL -- or the late, not-so-great XFL?"

Well, UFL chief operating officer Frank Vuono says: "When you tune in, it will be just like tuning into a high-level NFL national game on CBS or Fox on Sunday afternoons."

We shall see.

The Florida Tuskers (Orlando's team) will first see action this Saturday with a game against the New York Sentinals that will air on HDNet.

1 Responses »

  1. Maybe we can get a UFL team once the Jaguars move to LA...........