You know one entity that was thrilled with the NFL lockout, nonplussed when a judge canceled it, and is probably glad that it's been reinstated? The UFL!
It's tough to remember now, but there were some who were trumpeting the UFL as a viable alternative for professional football when it kicked off. Of course it can't compete with the big boys, but the whole business plan depended on a lockout — the 2011 season will be played on mostly Sunday afternoons, unlike the previous two years. It was a hail mary, and with all signs pointing to the NFL being ready in the fall, it's looking like the UFL has fallen short. They've suffered the same fates as many upstart leagues before them: dwindling attendance, trouble securing TV exposure, and teams moving and folding. But they're going to give it another year, and with a social media-only draft.
Anyone who watched the NFL draft knows its no longer ideal for TV, as reporters on Twitter were breaking selections before the Commissioner could announce them. More live than live, in a way. The UFL will skip the middle man tonight, with the entire draft being conducted on the Twitter accounts of the five head coaches, including Dennis Green, Jim Fassel, Jerry Glanville, Marty Schotteneheimer, and some other guy.
You can always count on the upstart leagues for innovation, and we wouldn't be shocked to see one of the Big Four to try something like this one day. But for tonight, the UFL had better hope Twitter stays up.
UFL to Hold Player Draft on May 2 [UFL.com]
Pro Football League Will Hold Player Draft on Twitter [Wired Playbook]