Alabama Blackbirds

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The Alabama Blackbirds (formerly called the Alabama Dragons) were a planned minor-league football team, part of the 8 franchises of the unrealized United National Gridiron League (formerly called the United National Football League). The league was headed by CEO Marvin Tomlin and commissioner Joe Cribbs. Originally hoping to begin play in January 2009, then in May of that year, the UNGL made plans to debut in 2010 before folding.

Woody Widenhofer was hired as the team's coach, with former Troy University athletic director Jimmy Williams as general manager. An on-line draft was held in advance of the planned 2009 season, with UAB's Dan Burks, Larry McSwain, and Norris Drinkard, Alabama's Eric Gray, Alabama State's Alvance Robinson, Alabama A&M's Curtis Blake and Fernandez Shaw, North Alabama's Marcus Avies, and Troy's Omar Haugabook and Henry Tells all being picked for Alabama.

The league folded due to a lack of funding. Widenhofer relocated to Destin, Florida.

UNGL teams

  • Alabama Blackbirds
  • Dallas Bluestorm (Dallas, Texas)
  • Georgia Slashers (Columbus, Georgia)
  • Louisiana Lancers (Shreveport, Louisiana)
  • Miami Scorchers (Miami, Florida)
  • North Carolina Comets (Winston-Salem, North Carolina)
  • Ohio Marauders (Akron/Cleveland, Ohio)
  • Virginia Swarm (Salem, Virginia)


  • Crowley, Gene (July 2009) "Alabama Blackbirds."
  • Sketo, Tosha (January 10, 2010) "Heart of Steel: Four-time Super Bowl winner turns Destinite." Destin Log
  • "United National Gridiron League" (March 14, 2010) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia - accessed March 29, 2010