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UFL makes its likely exit with Virginia winning title

UFL Championships

Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer of the Virginia Destroyers talks with the crowd at the end of the United Football League Championship game 17 - 3 win over the Las Vegas Locomotives. Oct. 21, 2011 at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex in Virginia Beach, Virginia. (AP Photo/L. Todd Spencer - The Virginian-Pilot) MAGS OUT


Who says Marty Schottenheimer can’t win the big one?

Schottenheimer’s Virginia Destroyers, in their first season of UFL football (actually, they’re the relocated Florida Tuskers), won the league’s championship game on Friday, 17-3 over the Las Vegas Locomotives.

Las Vegas had won the first two UFL titles.

Defensive back Aaron Rouse pulled a Rod Martin for the Destroyers, picking off three passes in a game played only 20 minutes from the high school he attended. “From day one, when people said this league wouldn’t happen and this team wouldn’t happen, and through Hurricane Irene when we were out there in trailers,” Rouse said. “We stuck together. Nobody complained. And here we are.”

And there they go.

It would be a shock if the UFL plays in 2012. Crippled by debt (and unpaid bills and wages, allegedly) and faced with the reality that the league can generate interest only on a local scale, the three-year experiment likely will be ending.

There will be hope that the NFL will buy the carcass, but what would the NFL be getting? To be an effective minor league, the UFL needs at least eight teams. Ideally, the NFL-owned UFL would set up shop in 32 non-NFL cities and act as an in-season source of game-ready players.

Then again, when the NFL already has a free farm system known as college football, there’s less of a need to operate a minor league at a loss.