As you well know, SoD was and always will be a site built on the dual tenets of epic and failure. Besides the NHL (which may or may not still be a league) – no professional sporting institution quite matches up to those tenets like the United Football League. Zim has already thoroughly covered the coaching staff of the San Francisco franchise – while the coaches of the other 3 franchises are NFL retreads such as Jim Fassel, Jim Haslett, and Ted Cottrell. As if the hilarity of these coaches were not enough, the league recently held a draft of prospective players for the league that begins play in October. As is to be expected, the draftees read like a who’s who of NFL wash-outs and nobody’s.
Some of the stars from UFL draft day:
- Adam Archuleta – The former ASU star and Pac-10 defensive player of the year was a first round pick of the Rams in 2001 and signed a 6 year, $30 million dollar deal with the Redskins in 2006. In what should be the 4th year of that deal, Archuleta is joining the Vegas UFL franchise. Pretty strong investment Redskins.
- Wendell Bryant – One of the worst first round draft picks of the decade. The Cardinals needed a defensive tackle with the number 12 pick – and instead of going with Albert Haynesworth (who went at pick 14) they drafted Bryant. Wendell played just 29 games over three seasons in the league and recorded just 1.5 sacks for his trouble. Unfortunately for the Cards, Bryant developed a little problem with pot, ecstasy, alcohol, and the ability to play football, and was out of the league by 2005.
- Brooks Bollinger – What impresses me most about Bollinger is that he managed to draw an NFL paycheck from 2003 through this last year in spite of having absolutely no talent. Why anyone ever picks a quarterback from Wisconsin I have no clue. It’s a predominantly running squad and I feel like they’ve outlawed the forward pass. Yet, year after year someone from Wisconsin is taking snaps in the NFL. Bollinger appeared in 21 games over his 6 years and managed to accumulate a QB rating of 74.6. Those stats (and a name that makes me think you’re Brooks Berringer) will get you a one-way ticket to the UFL.
- Jermaine Wiggins – Wiggins is a Super Bowl champion (’01 Patriots) and NFC Champ (’03 Panthers) who played 7 years in the NFL. You’re too good for this Jermaine.
- Chris Perry – rushed for 1600 yards and 18 touchdowns his senior season at Michigan. He also finished 4th in the Heisman and won the Doak Walker Award and became a first round pick of the Bengals. I never had anything specifically against Perry except for the fact that he, and not K-State back Darren Sproles, was invited to the Heisman ceremony and won the Doak Walker. So 5 years later…suck it Chris Perry, now you’re in the UFL. When Cedric Benson beats you out for the Bengals starting running back job, those aren’t the kind of things you can come back from.
- Marcus Fitzgerald – The last name is the key here as this is in fact Larry’s little brother. At 5’10 Marcus doesn’t have quite the size of his older brother and in his 4 seasons at Marshall he caught just 70 passes (maxing out at 41 as a sophomore). But, now he’s on the San Francisco UFL squad. As Larry pointed out on his twitter account, Dennis Green has now selected two Fitzgerald’s (after picking Larry in the 2004 NFL Draft). Best of luck with all that Marcus. Ozzie Canseco and Frank Stallone would be proud.
The draft was designed for each team to fill out 24 spots on a 60 man roster – with the rest of the spots being filled by those cut by NFL teams in training camp. Prospective players include J.P. Losman, Mike Vick, and even David Boston. The UFL opens training camp in Casa Grande sometime in the fall (the publicity is so great that I can’t find out when). If it is at all open to the public, I guarantee I’ll be there to watch the carnage. If only Phoenix had its very own team…