PETER KING: WROTE THE WORST ARTICLE OF HIS CAREER TODAY
Peter King of Sports Illustrated and NBC is probably the preeminent football writer in the country. He makes a reported $1 million a year. Therefore you’d think he would be above making rookie mistakes. Like printing some wild, baseless rumor just because one source tells him it’s true. Particularly when that source has a HUGE agenda.
King leads his Monday Morning Quarterback column today by saying that Michael Vick may be playing in the United Football League next season. King’s source for this is UFL “commissioner” Michael Huyghue. King quotes Huyghue as saying that it’s “98 percent” certain that Vick will play in the league in 2009. King follows this astonishing claim by writing that Vick’s signing with the league makes “perfect sense.”
There’s only one problem. THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS THE UNITED FOOTBALL LEAGUE! The THEORY of the UFL was hatched a couple of years ago. Mark Cuban was even part of the original publicity for the proposed new league. Then again, so was T. Boone Pickens and he has already officially pulled his name from any association with the proposed league. The problem is television money, or rather the lack of it. Once NBC acquired tv rights for NFL Sunday Night Football there was no chance of the UFL ever playing a single game.
The league was supposed to start play in the spring of 2008. Crickets. Not only has the “league” postponed the entire 2008 theoretical season, but they haven’t secured ownership or a stadium for a single hypothetical franchise. Las Vegas is a perfect example. After originally touting Las Vegas as a cornerstone of the UFL and having Sam Boyd Stadium director Daren Libonati announce a deal was “near” to bring a franchise to Sin City, NOTHING has happened.
The reality for the United Football league is the NBC deal killed any chance of the league. Every network is now tied to the National Football League. CBS and Fox carry Sunday afternoon NFL games, ABC (ESPN) has NFL Monday Night Football and NBC carries Sunday night NFL games. Just where in the hell are these supposed UFL games going to air? The proposed new league would have their season schedule overlapping the NFL and ending “on Thanksgiving.” The UFL died the day NBC got NFL football. You’d think since Peter King WORKS FOR NBC he’d know this. Sadly, he’s too stupid.
The rest of King’s column is filled with so much conjecture and out-and-out lies told to him by Huyghue that it’s literally embarrassing to read.
Lie: The United Football League will consist of six teams next season with franchises in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Orlando, New York and Hartford.
Reality: None of these cities has signed any type of stadium deal with any of these nonexisistent “franchises.”
Lie: Mark Cuban “will be one of the owners.”
Reality: Cuban, an internet mogul, doesn’t even have a website for his supposed football franchise. Although Cuban’s name was floated as a POTENTIAL owner when the idea for the United Football League was first hatched, he has already moved on. Cuban would probably be more intersted in owning a real-life sports franchise (like THE CHICAGO CUBS!) than some hypothetical team in a nonexistent league.
Lie: The “Wilpon group” who owns the Mets will own the New York franchise in the United Football league.
Reality: Neither Fred Wilpon or any other “Wilpon” has never said anything of the kind. There WAS a report in SI that Wilpon was buying a UFL team. That story was written by Peter King who undoubtedly was duped by Huyghue yet again. It’s not like WILPON told King he was buying a team.
Lie: The New York team will play at the new Citi Field (home of the Mets.)
Reality: Like hell.
Lie: Each UFL team will have a salary cap of $20 million per team.
Reality: Where’s that money coming from? As we mentioned earlier, there’s no tv money.
Without a doubt though the biggest lie fed to King by Huyghue is the one about Michael Vick. Although King writes it makes “perfect sense” for Vick to play for the UFL in 2009 there’s a slight problem. He’ll still be in prison for the entire 2009 season. Apparently King did absolutely ZERO fact checking for his article. Vick was sentenced to 23 months in prison. Even if we take Huyghue at his word (yeah, right!) that means Vick will be in prison for the entire 2009 UFL season.
So much for the 98% chance of Vick playing in the league.
LEAVENWORTH: MICHAEL VICK’S REAL HOME FIELD FOR 2009