In the category of “Best Idea I Don’t Agree With” yesterday saw news that Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks and worth about $642 billion, announced in an e-mail to the AP that he is one of the prospective owners of a new football league. He thinks that football demand exceeds supply, so there is an opportunity for another football league.
Personally, I don’t agree. I get quite enough football from the NFL on Sundays, Mondays, and the occasional Thursday. I love football, but any more than that and it begins to cut into my marriage and, hence, activities I enjoy even more than football.
Overall, though, I think Cuban is correct. If you get a chance, invest in the new league. Run by guys like Cuban it’ll be like having a license to print money. I don’t care if they play on Fridays, or in the spring, or on alternating blue moon Tuesdays; people will watch. This isn’t the second coming of the XFL, or the USFL being run by professional moron Donald Trump.
The sports landscape has changed now, with ESPN taking a much more adversarial role to the NFL than in the past. ESPN helped smother Vince McMahon’s league in its infancy, but I doubt that they’ll be so generous a second time. Playmakers and Football Wives and licensing fees have taken their toll on ESPN and its parent company Disney. Why not serve a little comeuppance to the NFL?
Sports competition is also vastly reduced now. Hockey has relegated itself to a minor-league sport. College football is a monopoly run to enrich the football factories and displease the customers. Basketball is the third-most-popular sport and holding, while Baseball is always trying to tear itself apart via one thing (stereoids) or another (labor strife). NASCAR fever has passed. Despite major publicity, golf and tennis occupy their traditional places in the sports culture.
The only new “sports” entrant is poker. I don’t think that will cause much trouble for a new football league.
I think Cuban’s on to something here, and the NFL should be wary. Maybe their next expansion will come when they merge with the new league.