After 10 weeks of close games, hard hits and record-setting performances, the time has come to crown the United Football League champion for the 2010 season.
Saturday at 11am Central (noon Eastern, 9am Pacific), the Las Vegas Locomotives (5-3) and Florida Tuskers (5-3) will face off in a rematch of the UFL 2009 season finale. This year’s championship game will be contested at venerable Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Nebraska – the final major sporting event in the 62-year history of the longtime home of the College World Series.
In the first-ever UFL Championship Game, played on November 27, 2009 in front of 14,801 fans at Sam Boyd Stadium, the Locos won on a 33-yard field goal by kicker Graham Gano just 1:43 into overtime after cornerback Isaiah Trufant picked off Tuskers quarterback Brooks Bollinger on the first possession of the extra period. Las Vegas running back DeDe Dorsey was named the game’s Most Valuable Player after rushing for 66 yards on 11 carries, catching four passes for 32 yards and scoring two key fourth-quarter touchdowns.
Dorsey is back to lead the Locos offense, along with fellow running back Marcel Shipp. Las Vegas head coach Jim Fassel will choose between first-year quarterbacks Drew Willy or Chase Clement as to who is the team’s starting signal-caller. Defensively, the Locos feature a unit that allowed just five touchdowns during the team’s five-game winning streak.
Florida has the UFL touchdown leader (10) and a past Super Bowl hero in running back Dominic Rhodes. The Tuskers also boast a defense, led by ball-hawking cornerbacks Simeon Castille and Darius Vinnett, sack masters Patrick Chukwurah and Joe Clermond and tackling machine Odell Thurman, which has stayed stout despite leading the league in debilitating injuries.
The Locos and Tuskers already have an extensive history against each other despite the UFL being just two years old. The Championship Game will be the sixth meeting between Las Vegas and Florida. The Tuskers swept the two regular season meetings during the 2009 Premiere season (29-15 and 27-24), the Locos won the first UFL Championship Game, then the two teams split the regular-season meetings this fall (a 27-20 Tuskers win in Week 1, and a 20-17 Locos win in Week 3).
The Championship Game features the two top teams in the brief history of the UFL in terms of on-field success. The Locos won the 2009 league title and has an all-time record of 10-5. The Tuskers lost in the title game last year and has an all-time record of 11-4.
Join Craig Minervini (play-by-play), Doug Flutie (analyst), Ryan Nece and Damon Hack (sideline) for the live broadcast of Saturday’s Championship Game on Versus.
Thank You Omaha from UFL Commissioner Michael Huyghue
“On behalf of the United Football League and all our coaches, players and staff, I wish the people of Omaha a warm Thanksgiving week welcome to the highlight of our season – the 2010 Championship Game.
We selected Omaha, Nebraska, as the venue for the game because of the incredible fans here who have shown devoted support for the Omaha Nighthawks and the UFL. All four regular season games here were sellouts and the social media interaction, merchandise sales and quite simply the passion for the team surpassed anything we could have anticipated when we announced we were bringing a UFL team here in April.
The icing on the cake would have been having the hometown Nighthawks competing in the game, but we still have a compelling match up between two exciting 5-3 teams.
I would like to thank Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle and Greater Omaha Chamber President and CEO David Brown for their support, which made this week of events and hosting the game possible. They have embraced the Nighthawks and the Championship Game and ensured the UFL always feels welcome in Omaha.
I would like to recognize our owners and investors, whose vision and belief that there is a place for professional football in markets across the United States such as Omaha inspires our success. Attending the game will be league founder and Las Vegas Locos owner Bill Hambrecht, Florida Tuskers owner president Joe Theismann, Omaha Nighthawks investor Zach Nelson, Sacramento Mountain Lions owner Paul Pelosi, Hartford Colonials owner Bill Mayer and several other investors. We also welcome our sponsors and partners this week and thank them for their continued support.
We look forward to your continued passion for our league here in Omaha and I personally am already excited to be back here in 2011 for our third UFL season.
Enjoy the game and have a Happy Thanksgiving week.”
Welcome to Omaha from Mayor Jim Suttle
“We are proud and excited to welcome the United Football League and its two Championship Game teams the Las Vegas Locos and Florida Tuskers to our city.
It is a great measure of the devotion of sports fans in Omaha that their loyalty and support of the Nighthawks earned the city the right to host the UFL showpiece.
Omaha businesses and individuals have embraced the game and the many events that are being held during the week and we are very appreciative of their support.
We are delighted that the Locos and Tuskers are also immersing themselves in community activities such as serving meals at the Siena Francis House homeless shelter on Thanksgiving Day and inspiring young football players at a youth clinic this week.
Welcome United Football League fans, officials, players and coaches to the City of Omaha.”
Can’t get away from work to catch kickoff or get home to switch on the TV to watch the UFL Championship Game? Then take advantage of the live streaming options offered by the official www.UFL-Football.com website, www.Versus.com, www.Fanhouse.com and www.Boxee.TV to enjoy live online viewing. There are no excuses for missing all the UFL has to offer, even if it means sneaking on a pair of headphones while sitting at your workstation.
Championship Halftime, Pre-Game Entertainment Pumps Up The Volume
The Championship Game will feature some high-quality and high-energy entertainment, both during halftime and before the game.
Legendary funk artist George Clinton, the principal architect of P-Funk and the mastermind of the bands Parliament and Funkadelic, will entertain fans during halftime of the Championship Game. Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic have told fans to “bring two bootys” with them to the game – one to sit down on and one to dance with.
“We’re going to rock the house,” said the enigmatic Clinton. “We’re going to tear the roof off. We’re going to have a funky good time.”
Pre-game entertainment will be provided by Freedom Williams, co-founder and front man of C+C Music Factory, Omaha’s own world champion Stepper-ettes fresh from their Macy’s Day Parade performance in Manhattan and the Omaha Nighthawks cheerleaders.
The ever-popular Omaha Nighthawks Cheerleaders will join Williams with a specially choreographed routine to warm up the crowd before Championship Game kickoff.
“I’m really looking forward to it and we’re going to make people boogie and be ready for the game,” said Williams. “I hear it could be cold there in Omaha, but we will have a cool show that will get people warmed up and on their feet.
“I’m a big sports fan, I used to be on a basketball team and I remember the Locos coach Jim Fassel when he coached with the New York Giants. So I’m really excited to be playing for the UFL Championship Game crowd. It sounds like a lot of fun.”
Fans also are encouraged to get to their seats early to witness the 106 baton twirlers that make up the spectacular Omaha-based Stepper-ettes open the pregame excitement by performing a special four-minute routine to holiday theme music.
Sue Foehlinger’s Stepper-ettes Parade and Dance Team was formed in 1973 and the group has grown to be the largest baton twirling and dance organization in the Midwest. Youth between the ages of 4 and college participate and have performed at more than 600 area events including parades, community celebrations, halftime shows and the Special Olympics, and have performed and competed internationally.
2010 United Football League Championship Game Preview
Las Vegas Locomotives (5-3) vs. Florida Tuskers (5-3) at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Nebraska – Saturday, November 27, 11am Central
ALL-TIME SERIES: Florida 3, Las Vegas 2. LAST MEETING: Las Vegas 20, Florida 17 (September 30, 2010).
BROADCAST: Versus – Craig Minervini (play-by-play), Doug Flutie (analyst), Ryan Nece and Damon Hack (sideline).
NOTES: Las Vegas running back DEDE DORSEY became the first UFL player to post at least 200 all-purpose yards in a game (204) when he had 99 rushing yards and 105 receiving yards in Week 3 at the Tuskers… Locos defensive end ERIC HENDERSON had two sacks in the second meeting with the Tuskers this season… Las Vegas punter DANNY BAUGHER averaged 42.9 yards per punt against Florida during the 2010 regular season… The Locos yielded 214 yards in Week 3 to the Tuskers after giving up 389 yards to Florida in Week 1… Florida quarterback CHRIS GREISEN is 56-for-79 for 643 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions for a 105.6 passer rating in three starts, all wins, this season… Tuskers outside linebacker ODELL THURMAN has 18 total tackles, a forced fumble and an interception in two games against the Locos in 2010… Florida punter KEN PARRISH saw four of his 10 punts against Las Vegas downed inside the 20-yard line this season… The Tuskers average 405.7 yards of offense in three wins all-time against the Locos.