Less than two months after their eight franchises took the field, the league that had been filling the football gap for some of us is gone before the end of their first season.
Earlier today, the Alliance of American Football made the announcement that they were ceasing operations with just two games remaining in the regular season and with less than a month before they were supposed to crown their first ever champion.
AAF Chairman Tom Dundon made the decision that the league could not continue on without some sort of partnership or affiliation with the National Football League. Dundon bought the entire AAF just after the regular season started, and was the person that, officially, pulled the plug on things earlier this afternoon.
According to Sports Business Daily,
At the time he pledged to finance the venture going forward, but his tune changed just over a month later when he said the AAF needed a pipeline of practice squad players from the NFL. That had never been the plan under previous owners Charlie Ebersol and Bill Polian. They were overruled by Dundon, who has effectively ended the league.
Let’s be honest. . .if your business plan depends on cooperation from the NFL, you probably needed a better business plan in the first place. Ebersol and Polian, who were the co-founders and previous owners of the league, didn’t want that to happen. But, after they sold the league to Dundon, they really didn’t have a whole lot of say in the matter.
Frankly, I’m going to miss the AAF. Sure, it wasn’t great football, and sometimes it wasn’t even good football, but by God it was football. And there are certainly worse ways to spend a lazy Saturday or Sunday afternoon or evening than watching a bunch of guys that were looking for their first shot or another shot at the big time do what they love to do.
With that, it looks like the next shot we’re going to have at a new football league will come in the spring of 2020, when Vince McMahon will launch XFL v2.0. And, yes, I’ll be looking forward to watching that when it happens, too.