UFL not promoting itself well

That was a pretty big deal, the Las Vegas franchise in the upstart United Football League landing former Buffalo Bill J.P. Losman as its quarterback.

No doubt it is sparking more interest in the team and league, which starts play in October, certainly heightened by the news conference announcing Losman's arrival.

Oh, there wasn't a formal announcement?

There also wasn't a news conference announcing Jim Fassel as Las Vegas' coach or that the team was even coming here. And Thursday's league-wide draft seemed more like a rumor than an event considering the lack of advance notice.

The UFL has had plenty of news to pass along but doesn't seem to want anyone to know. Former NFL executives are involved, and maybe that's the problem. They are used to the media catering to them.

NBA commissioner David Stern learned a long time ago the value of hyping your top players and finding ways to make the league relevant with the mainstream sports audience.

The UFL constantly needs to bug already skeptical media members for coverage, or it won't succeed. Its chances aren't great to begin with, especially in a recession.

The stories are out there for the league to push, but the Las Vegas team doesn't even have Web site.

Maybe the UFL will succeed in Las Vegas and elsewhere, but it's not off to a promising start. There is time to improve, but the league can't waste time by continuing to treat legitimate news like state secrets.

DESTINED TO FAIL? -- Baseball phenom Bryce Harper's decision to skip his final two years at Las Vegas High School to enroll at the College of Southern Nevada has elicited varied reactions nationally.

Perhaps no one is more pointedly opposed than CBS Sports.com columnist Gregg Doyel.

He wrote because baseball is such a mental challenge, Harper's rush to get to the major leagues is misguided and that being Sports Illustrated's cover boy will do him no favors as he works through the minor leagues.

"When this fails -- and it will fail spectacularly -- I want Bryce Harper's dad in the paper," Doyel wrote. "I want his name in headlines and his photo on the front page. What I really want, when this fails -- and it will fail enormously -- is Bryce Harper's dad before a judge, trying to talk his way out of reckless endangerment charges."

A little harsh and a little presumptuous, but it's difficult to dispute more hard days lie ahead for Bryce Harper than he can imagine.

BRING IN DICKIE V -- The U.S. Open, being played this weekend at Bethpage Black on Long Island, N.Y., is annually one of sports' top events, especially when Tiger Woods is in the mix.

But some people don't believe golf can ever be exciting, no matter who's playing. Fair enough.

SlateV.com's solution is for basketball announcers to broadcast golf tournaments. Need a good laugh? Check out the video on the site.

Click on the one with Tiger's face, of course.