New United Football League recycles the name of a past league

United Football League (UFL) logo, 2009-2012
United Football League (UFL) logo, 2009-2012

Every alternative football fan knows the announcement of today’s United Football League (UFL) does not represent the first time this name has been used for a football league.

Up until today, “UFL” represented a league which came to play eight years after the original XFL held it’s one and only season.

In 2009, the United Football League (UFL) launched with tepid fanfare, initially fielding only four teams of a proposed eight, namely the New York City (Sentinels), Las Vegas (Locomotives), Orlando (Florida Tuskers), and the San Francisco Bay Area (California Redwoods).

There were a few familiar players, as the teams were mostly comprised of players and coaches who had spent time in the NFL.

Strangely, the league chose to play its schedule in the fall, and compete directly with NFL and NCAA football broadcasts. This was done with the hope that the league could take advantage of a failing NFL player labor agreement, leaving UFL football as the fan’s only option. The NFL did lock out their players, but the situation was resolved in July 2011, just before the start of the NFL season.

After teams had moved to other markets such as Virginia Beach (Destroyers), Sacramento (Mountain Lions), Omaha (Nighthawks), and Hartford (Colonials), the league lasted through the 2012 season before it folded due to financial issues. The only team to survive from start to finish was the Las Vegas Locomotives.

(With excerpts from XFL 2020: Rise and Fall)

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