UFL – I Must Say, I Am Impressed

After visiting the inaugural United Football League (UFL) training camp in Casa Grande, AZ, I have to admit, it feels like real 11-on-11 professional football. This is not some make-shift league held together with scotch tape and bubble gum wraps, or some new spin-off like the defunct XFL.  There are enough former NFL players and young college players to create a well-balanced mix of competitiveness and enjoyable football for all.

This league is not trying to compete with the NFL, but there is a likeness to the game that will always be there. Obviously the field size, number of players on the field, and game time are exactly what many will know the game to be. A few differences that will not be as noticeable are that the Head Coach is purely in control of the roster.  There are no General Managers or Personnel Departments to answer to.  The training camp limits are 64 players in the UFL as opposed to 80 in the NFL, and the final roster will be 50 players in the UFL instead of 53 like the NFL.

The facilities at which the teams are practicing are brand-new and up-to-date. There are not all of the usual amenities of an NFL franchise such as the large training table feast, numerous practice pads and practice dummies, or free Gatorade machines, but for an up-start league, the UFL is definitely putting things together well. 

The locker rooms are clean.  The meeting rooms are up to date and spacious.  The practice fields are in very good shape; some of the best I have ever seen. Although a work in progress, the soon to be new field-turf practice fields will complement the complex nicely.

The biggest negative I experienced had nothing to do with football. I should have taken a can of Off! insect repellent.  There was the odd and extremely high number of mosquitoes present in Casa Grande while watching practice. Yeah, I know! Mosquitoes in the desert? They really do exist!

With most of the other well-known professional football leagues (in the United States) non-operational, it looks as though the UFL will definitely fill the void for the football fanatic and really turn out to be a viable non-competing complementary product for football junkies.

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