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With last year’s sudden-death of the Arena Football League and the one-season life of Vince McMahon’s XFL, the prospects for any alternative professional pigskin associations seem glum at best.

Just don’t tell that to William Hambrecht and Tim Armstrong.

The former Wall Street Investor and Google exec have teamed up to form the United Football League, which plans on beginning its inaugural season this October. However, unlike its predecessors, the UFL does not plan on rivaling the NFL, but rather serving as a developmental league, much like the NBA and NBDL.

As of now the league has four teams, based in New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Orlando. It plans on expanding to Hartford, Los Angeles, and Sacramento in the near future.

Why is the league relevant? The names.

For starters, the coaches have all had legitimate NFL positions. One even has coached a Super Bowl team.

Jim Fassel, Dennis Green, Jim Haslett, and Ted Cotrell will march the sidelines. Fassel was named NFL Coach of the Year in 2000, when he led the New York Giants to the Super Bowl. Green called the shots for a 1998 Minnesota Vikings team that went 15-1. Haslett brought the New Orleans Saints from the cellar to relevance. And as a defensive coordinator, Cotrell re-invented the way most NFL teams defend.

Also noteworthy are the players slated to take the field this Fall. Former NFL quarterbacks Brooks Bollinger, Tim Rattay, Ken Dorsey, and my personal favorite, J.P. Losman are all eager to suit up.

As a Bills fan, I can finally look at Losman without disdain. He is no longer wearing our uniform and throwing passes to the other team. Thank god.

Former Rams safety Adam Archuletta, Colts defensive back Mike Doss, and Bengals running back Chris Perry were also picked in the league’s draft this week. More former NFL players are expected to come as teams begin to cut down their rosters.

However, the real kicker and perhaps the UFL’s “golden ticket” is that Michael Vick, pending the NFL’s decision on his reinstatement, may also be joining.

The move would bring a media circus to locker rooms. Teams would certainly be in a dog fight to sign the former NFL number-one pick. Sorry, I had to.

Commisioner Michael Huyghue seems to be making all the right moves in steering the UFL clear of the mistakes that the XFL and AFL made in their operations.

In lasting tribute to J.P. Losman’s career with the Bills:

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