LAWeaver

Death of the Alliance of American Football

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I guess the only thing to save the league would be for the NFL to make the AAF a wholly-owned subsidiary. 

 

I think where Ebersol and his mates screwed up was the doomsday analysis (which we presently have) and not hiring the right marketing people. To market a product like this you need a door-to-door approach. You can't just say "Trent richardson is here, so buy tickets." 

 

If the AAF fails (and I hope they do not), will the next league that comes along give Memphis and Birmingham teams? No one and I mean no one will show up for games in those cities.

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14 minutes ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

 

Thanks for this! 

While Bianchi and co-host Marc Daniels accuse Ebersol and Bill Polian of having lied to people, Daniels also wonders why Dundon would have proceeded without a plan to make his money back.  Daniels goes on to characterise Dundon's act of giving the AAF money without looking at its books as "a stupid move".

And then Bianchi presses Daniels on what he is owed by the UFL's Flordia Tuskers, for whom Daniels had called some games; and Daniels reveals a few details.  Fascinating stuff!  Daniels says that the guy who "screwed everybody" was "your [Bianchi's] friend who used to run the Jaguars", to which Bianchi responds by mentioning a name that sounds like "Mike Yuke".  (Can someone who knows about this provide more?)  This segment begins at about the 20-minute mark.

Side point: local radio is fantastic when issues such as this come up.  I spent plenty of time listening to XTRA in San Diego when the Chargers moved.  And, going way back to 1996, when the Browns announced their move to Baltimore, I spent hours every night for months listening to stations in Cleveland (WWWE and WKNR) and in Baltimore (WBAL), "DX-ing" those stations on my AM radio.  I called into all of them, and even became something of a regular caller on the Cleveland stations — they would bump "Freddie from New York" up to the front of the queue!

1

They were referencing to Michael Huyghue, the former Lions and Jaguars exec who was the Commissioner for the UFL.

 

Bianchi also wrote a column on yesterday's news which was posted last night. 

https://www.orlandosentinel.com/sports/open-mike/os-sp-spurrier-aaf-apollos-dundon-fold-20190327-story.html

Excerpt:

 

Quote

From the outside looking in, this league appears to be the most disorganized, haphazard of them all.

 

I’m reading between the lines here, but from my vantage point here’s what happened: Dundon, the billionaire owner of the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes, bailed out the league early in the season, carefully went over the books and came to this conclusion:

“WHAT IN THE HELL HAVE YOU CLOWNS BEEN SPENDING YOUR MONEY ON?”

 

I guess we should have known something was majorly screwed up when the league couldn’t even get worker’s comp insurance for the Apollos, forcing coaches and players to essentially move football operations to Kingsland, Ga., where they have been practicing for a month at a high school football stadium.

 

 

Edited by dfwabel
team added; link and quote added

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20 minutes ago, NYC Cosmos said:

I guess the only thing to save the league would be for the NFL to make the AAF a wholly-owned subsidiary. 

 

I think where Ebersol and his mates screwed up was the doomsday analysis (which we presently have) and not hiring the right marketing people. To market a product like this you need a door-to-door approach. You can't just say "Trent richardson is here, so buy tickets." 

 

If the AAF fails (and I hope they do not), will the next league that comes along give Memphis and Birmingham teams? No one and I mean no one will show up for games in those cities.

As opposed to the hoardes of people showing up now?

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The Freedom Football League will have a team in Birmingham if they ever kick off. 

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12 minutes ago, Sec19Row53 said:

As opposed to the hoardes of people showing up now?

This.

After Dundon spoke with USA Today and threatened a shutter, iess you are family, there's no reason to buy a walk-up ticket this weekend.

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I'll keep checking their online shop for 75 to 90% off deals.

 

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18 minutes ago, Wings said:

I'll keep checking their online shop for 75 to 90% off deals.

 

Those items may never be restocked. Rovell posted this 15 minutes ago but deleted while I cut/paste, but below was the text.

 

Quote

Sources say many AAF vendors have not yet been paid. When Thomas Dundon bought the majority share of the league he did not assume previous debts.

 

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27 minutes ago, dfwabel said:

Those items may never be restocked. Rovell posted this 15 minutes ago but deleted while I cut/paste, but below was the text.

 

 

 

 

33 minutes ago, dfwabel said:

Those items may never be restocked. Rovell posted this 15 minutes ago but deleted while I cut/paste, but below was the text.

 

 

 

I wonder if there have been any instances of customers not receiving the products they ordered online or delays of their orders as well. I've was tempted to order something from them just to see how long it would take to receive it. 

 

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Yeah, it looks like the chances of the AAF getting in a full season done is unlikely.  They may not see the playoffs. 

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1 hour ago, Wings said:

 

 

 

I wonder if there have been any instances of customers not receiving the products they ordered online or delays of their orders as well. I've was tempted to order something from them just to see how long it would take to receive it. 

 

Back in February, many Redittors were waiting weeks for orders to be processed, but now, it seems like out of stock items won't be restocked. Lack of Orlando apparel seems to be most common.

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Stealing from a reddit comment.

 

Quote

how would threatening to fold be used for leverage?

AAF: "If you dont let us use some of your players will shut down the league!"

NFL: "Lol okay..."

AAF: "No seriously, we'll do it"

NFL: "So do it..."

 

Like the NFL doesn't have any reason to help out the AAF. The NFL already has the NCAA and practice squads (and ostensibly the CFL) and if the NFL wanted a minor league, they would probably want to start one on their own.

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spacer.png

 

I don’t think this “developmental league” approach is working out all that well.

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I don't understand this from a structural level. Are multi-year practice squad contracts even a thing? Would practice squad players even really be under contract during the AAF season? Do NFL teams even have control over practice squad players in the off-season?  Practice squad guys pay for their own training in the off-season and don't have access to team facilities. The players are only paid during training camp and the regular season. How and how much would these guys get paid?

 

I was rooting for the AAF when they were taking it seriously, but now...

c8b.jpg

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16 hours ago, dfwabel said:

This.

After Dundon spoke with USA Today and threatened a shutter, iess you are family, there's no reason to buy a walk-up ticket this weekend.

Well I definitely wouldn't be buying a ticket online ahead of time... but if you were planning to go, and a game is actually being held, then why not?

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17 hours ago, dfwabel said:

Those items may never be restocked. Rovell posted this 15 minutes ago but deleted while I cut/paste, but below was the text.

 

Quote

Sources say many AAF vendors have not yet been paid. When Thomas Dundon bought the majority share of the league he did not assume previous debts.

 

 

If that’s true, it’s enormously important and tells us something about what he really wanted. 

 

If Dundon really wanted the league to survive, he’d make good with the vendors and creditors.  Hard to have a Season 2 if you don’t pay your bills on Season 3.  Then again, if Ebersol and the like were smart, they’d have written that into the contract so he couldn’t stiff them. 

 

Really looking like Dundon just wanted to be able to strip-mine the league for its tech.   I wonder how a bankruptcy court would view this move, or if they’d assess (correctly) that the tech is the league’s only significant asset and require it to be sold to pay creditors.  Have to think a judge’d take issue with a business owner saying “No, your Honor, I don’t want to have to pay those debts. I’d rather just keep the valuable bits for myself.”

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@Gothamite (Glances at recent retail bankruptcies)

Are you SURE about that?

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16 minutes ago, rams80 said:

@Gothamite (Glances at recent retail bankruptcies)

Are you SURE about that?

 

Oh, the officers get to walk away with insane compensation, to be sure.  But company assets?  If Sears goes under, will Eddie Lampert be allowed to stiff his creditors and walk away with the Craftsman brand, or will the court require he sell the assets to pay down those debts?

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Article making the case for/against Tom Dundon actually bluffing when he's saying he wants to shut down the AAF.

 

Hell, bluffing makes more sense than anything else barring Tom Dundon rigging the league to fail from the start. Latter does seem to make more sense considering the 18 carat run of bad luck (more like management, but New Vegas reference) the AAF has had.

 

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Let's all go back to Week 1 when Charlie Ebersol spoke with Yahoo Finance and Fox Business.

From the Fox Business story, dated February 9:

Quote

Quality football is important, but football is not the engine. It’s not the economic engine of this business year one. The long-term goal is to build a technology company that has a multi-billion-dollar valuation, and so we’re going to invest heavily in putting good football on the field that mimics in the NFL in terms of the quality and the type of play, so that our technology can travel to not only the NFL, but other sports and other industries.”

1

 

Are they/were they supposed to be a "developmental league" or not? Ebersol from Yahoo Finance also posted on February 9:

 

Quote

“Our business model doesn’t require Day 1 success.”

This has been painfully obvious.

 

Quote

That said, the AAF is not an NFL development league, and it’s not the minor leagues, where a pro team can call up a player any time. “We call it symbiotic or complementary” to the NFL, Ebersol says.

 

 

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11 minutes ago, Red Comet said:

Article making the case for/against Tom Dundon actually bluffing when he's saying he wants to shut down the AAF.

 

Hell, bluffing makes more sense than anything else barring Tom Dundon rigging the league to fail from the start. Latter does seem to make more sense considering the 18 carat run of bad luck (more like management, but New Vegas reference) the AAF has had.

 

The SB Nation author fails to take into consideration the money which Dundon has already put into the business plus the fact the AAF isn't getting rights fees.  More importantly, the author overlooked the attendance and revenue issues.

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