Struggling UFL might lose team

Could the struggling United Football League be headed back to its original four-team, 2009 roots?

Speculation is running rampant that the Hartford Colonials will be contracted, giving the financially troubled UFL four teams for 2011, instead of five.

The UFL has lost $100 million in its first two years of operation and is facing another year of red ink without a profitable TV deal. Commissioner Michael Huyghue said Wednesday an announcement will be made Aug. 10.

“We’re exploring all options,” Huyghue said. “Everything is on the table. But we’re in that 30-day period where we’re doing a full review of everything. That process continues as we speak.”

Hartford coach and general manager Jerry Glanville told the Hartford (Conn.) Courant he’s not sure what’s going to happen.

“All I know is we want to save this thing,” he said. “The league, the team, all of the above.”

■ BUYERS’ MARKET — With the NFL back to the business of playing football, fans are showing their approval of the new 10-year collective bargaining agreement that was reached Monday by purchasing tickets. Lots of tickets.

Ticketmaster said Tuesday that sales on its NFL Ticket Exchange were up 332 percent Monday from the day before. They were up 294 percent from the previous Monday.

■ FALSE START — With cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie reportedly headed to the Philadelphia Eagles and the Arizona Cardinals nearing a deal for quarterback Kevin Kolb, the Eagles’ online store was selling a No. 29 Rodgers-Cromartie jersey Wednesday morning.

But in a matter of hours, the Rodgers-Cromartie name had been deleted from the drop-down menu and Kolb’s No. 4 jersey was still available. Retail price? Just $274.99.

■ BALLAD OF PASTOR JOE — Who says life doesn’t imitate art?

A Baptist preacher revved up a NASCAR crowd with his high-powered invocation Saturday before the Nationwide race in Nashville, Tenn.

Pastor Joe Nelms of the Family Baptist Church in Lebanon, Tenn., gave thanks for the race cars, the race teams, the tires and “my smoking hot wife, Lisa.” He also thanked the Lord for his two children, Eli and Emma — “or, as we like to call them, ‘The Little Es.’ ”

Nelms also invoked the Darrell Waltrip phrase the former driver uses at the start of televised races — “Boogity, boogity, boogity” — drawing cheers from the crowd.

“I tried to spice it up a little,” Nelms told The Associated Press.

The 35-year-old Nelms, pastor at “a small country church,” said he thought it was appropriate to have a little fun with the invocation.

“I put in some driver lingo,” he said. “The Bible says laughter is like a medicine, and I wanted people to see that side of religion.”

He drew from the stock car-themed movie “Talladega Nights,” which he has seen a couple of times.

“It was the inspiration,” Nelms said.


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