The Need For Spectacle To Draw Attention…CFL and UFL…

As we inch closer to NFL Training Camp, two interesting notes popped up again in the football world over the weekend, both showing what it will take for the casual fan to take notice of football outside of college or the NFL. The first was up north in the CFL, which incidentally has done a good job of rebranding itself and working with, not against the NFL in many ways. This past week, Toronto receiver Arland Bruce took the Ocho Cinco route by doing a “touchdown tribute” to Michael Jackson, complete with acting dead after a score. The move earned him not just the wrath of the league and probably his teammates, but got Bruce some great exposure on newsshows, blogs and YouTube during a week where football was nowhere near top of mind, and could draw those casual fans to watch some CFL over the next few weeks to see what antics are next for the “perfomance artist” turned wide receiver. The second move was the UFL saying again that if Michael Vick is available and free of legal trouble they would take him for their Orlando franchise. Again the piece drew the eyeballs of the media and the casual fan to the soon to be starting league at a time when people are still not thinking football, and got the league more exposure as they move toward their next steps. Any downside to entertaining Vic. For the UFL none at all. It will bring spectacle both positive and negative should it happen, and will give their efforts more relevancy for TV and fans than they would have without him. Placed in a slow media week it was a very good move, whether or not it pans out. While one was planned (UFL) and one was not (CFL) both drew attention through spectacle and got both leagues added attention that they need for casual interest. Will be interesting to see next moves on both.

Some other good reads…great piece on the Sunday New York Times on revisiting Disco Demolition Night…the LA Times Bill Dwyre had a good piece on Billie Jean King and her continued efforts with World Team Tennis…'s John Lopez had a good look back on the life of the late Steve McNair…and Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski has a good look into the brand value and craziness Ron Artest could bring to the Lakers