Whether you’d call it a preemptive strike against Comcast’s Versus channel, or just a great way for ex-Saints QB Adrian McPherson to get some publicity for something other than being run over by a giant racoonESPN has purchased a minority share in the Arena Football League.

ESPN will televise a minimum of 17 regular-season games and nine playoff games — including a minimum three wild-card games, three divisional playoff games, both conference championships and the Arena Bowl — on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC.

ESPN will also have an exclusive window for weekly Monday night primetime games on ESPN2 — continuing to establish Monday night as a “football night” for fans.

Sadly for MacPherson and Austin Wranglers part-owner Deion Sanders, there’s no flexible scheduling happening here.  ESPN’s already announced their 2007 broadcast schedule, and the Wranglers are nowhere to be found.

Given Disney’s history of sports ownership, I’ll just refute in advance any rumors that Mo Vaughn will be serving as a player/coach/studio host/fitness instructor.