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UFL debut draws small crowd

The UFL had hoped to have 15,000 fans at Thursday night’s debut of the new pro football league.

Though the announced attendance was 14,209, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that the actual numbers were not “even a third” of the stated goal.

Given that the team named for Las Vegas will only play two games in Las Vegas, it’s not encouraging.

In the game itself, the Las Vegas Locomotives defeated the California Redwoods, 30-17.

The Locos trailed 14-3 in the first half, but they came back for the win.

Las Vegas quarterback J.P. Losman completed 21 of 31 passes for 226 yards and two touchdowns.

“It’s definitely different from what I’m used to,’' said Losman, the only member of the first-round quarterback class of 2004 who didn’t get a nine-figure second contract. ''The atmosphere. The size of the crowd. The speed of the game. But as the game went on, I got more comfortable with the receivers and the general speed of the game.”

In other words, it’s a step below the NFL.

The problem is that it also looks like it’s a step below the NFL. To call the uniforms “dreadful” would be a compliment to whoever designed them, and watching the game conjured the same feelings I’ve previously experienced when taking in Arena Football, the CFL, the USFL, the World League of American Football/the World League/NFL Europe/NFL Europa, the XFL and anything that wasn’t and isn’t college football or the NFL.

But we’ll give the UFL a chance. These are tough times and we admire the league for trudging ahead.

Based on last night’s game, however, there’s still a long way to go.