Open letter to Mark Cuban:
We Need Some (TV) Heroes
By Rafael Vela


An open letter to Mark Cuban:

Mr. Cuban,

Do you want to have a successful new football league? Hereís a bit of free advice. Donít go head-to-head with high school football. Donít try competing with the NFL.

Start your league RIGHT NOW! TODAY!


Weíre dying here in sports land, mister. Baseball continues its slow slide. Sure, itís strong at the gate but maybe youíve noticed that the last two falls have produced the lowest rated World Series ever? Or that Game one of the NBA Finals had its lowest-ever prime-time rating?

NASCAR peaked last year. You would never know it watching ESPN, but ratings have been almost uniformly 10 to 15% lower this year.

The summer sports offerings have as much appeal as re-runs. The ratings show it.

You may be right that thereís more demand for pro football than the NFL currently meets. The NFL was the only major American sport with ratings growth last year.

So why take it head on? I thought you were a smart guy.

America is having serious and painful football withdrawls NOW!

You want to get the UFL off to a flying start? Go head-to-head with baseball. Youíll crush it. Go head-to-head with the NBA. Yes, you own the Mavericks, but are you serious about football or not?

Hereís what you do. Start the UFL season the first weekend in May, the week after the NFL draft. Play ten games, then have two weeks of playoffs. Hold your championship game on the Monday before baseballís All-Star Game. Itís one of two days on the US sports calendar when NO sports are played.

Your title game will be competing with the Home Run Derby. Are you afraid of the Home Run Derby? I assure you, on Tuesday and Wednesday everybody will be talking about the UFL. Nobody will be talking All-Star Game. The heartburn the steroids issue causes Bud Selig will be nothing compared to the discomfort your new league will bring.

Youíll reap instant ratings and profits because one of the big four networks will want your product on day one. Football fans everywhere will thank you, because youíll lead them through the summer and drop them off one week shy of NFL camp openings.

It makes too much sense, Mark. Make it easy on your wallet. Make it easier on us.

Iím begging you, please! My Tivo can only hold so many of last yearís games.

~Raphael Vega