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Death of the Alliance of American Football


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Just now, dfwabel said:

One player for every $9M Dundon put in, or $6M for every player in terms of money owed to creditors. 

 

Getting to the CFL wasn't the goal. 

Probably not, but moving up to a higher league should always be the goal, with the NFL the desired location. 

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21 minutes ago, MJWalker45 said:

Probably not, but moving up to a higher league should always be the goal, with the NFL the desired location. 

 

No, not really.  No one would imagine that every single player in the AAF or XFL or any other league is capable of playing in the NFL; even the players themselves wouldn't think this.  For most players, the AAF was their big-time.  The pay was good as compared to any normal job, even if it was a fraction of NFL pay.   Just as, during the days when the Arena Football League was a legitimate league, playing in that league was in itself an accomplishment, because the league paid pretty well. 

 

If nine AAF players made it onto NFL rosters, that is just over one per team, which is a great testiment to the level of AAF talent, considering that the pay was not near what the NFL pays.  (By contrast, there were more than 100 USFL players who eventually played in the NFL; but the USFL's salary structure was a lot closer to what the NFL's was at the time than any alternative league could ever be now.)

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4 minutes ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

 

No, not really.  No one would imagine that every single player in the AAF or XFL or any other league is capable of playing in the NFL; even the players themselves wouldn't think this.  For most players, the AAF was their big-time.  The pay was good as compared to any normal job, even if it was a fraction of NFL pay.   Just as, during the days when the Arena Football League was a legitimate league, playing in that league was in itself an accomplishment, because the league paid pretty well. 

 

If nine AAF players made it onto NFL rosters, that is just over one per team, which is a great testiment to the level of AAF talent, considering that the pay was not near what the NFL pays.  (By contrast, there were more than 100 USFL players who eventually played in the NFL; but the USFL's salary structure was a lot closer to what the NFL's was at the time than any alternative league could ever be now.)

The XFL was around 30 players as well with higher salaries, per inflation, than the AAF had. 

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23 minutes ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

If nine AAF players made it onto NFL rosters, that is just over one per team, which is a great testiment to the level of AAF talent, considering that the pay was not near what the NFL pays.

 

No, it’s really not. 

 

Nine players?  Out of a total of 420-something?  That’s a lower level of talent than a whole lot of college teams.

 

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40 minutes ago, Gothamite said:

Nine players?  Out of a total of 420-something?  That’s a lower level of talent than a whole lot of college teams.

 

Maybe for giant programs.  But to have one player make the NFL in any given year is plenty for most colleges.

 

 

31 minutes ago, dfwabel said:

And remember, the average [age] of an AAF player was 26. 

 

Which makes the nine players' accomplishment of getting signed by an NFL team still more impressive.

 

 

31 minutes ago, dfwabel said:

On the bright side (/sarcasm), nine more made a Practice Squad.

 

Sneer all you like.  But this demonstrates that the AAF employed high-quality players.  And it's not as if the NFL signees were playing against Sunday beer-league players; their competition in the AAF had to be of a level nearly as high, as these players didn't tear up the league.  

To think that a league paying players an average salary of $75,000 could get any closer to NFL calibre than the AAF did is fantasy.

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13 minutes ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

 

Maybe for giant programs.  But to have one player make the NFL in any given year is plenty for most colleges.

 

 

 

Which makes the nine players' accomplishment of getting signed by an NFL team still more impressive.

 

 

 

Sneer all you like.  But this demonstrates that the AAF employed high-quality players.  And it's not as if the NFL signees were playing against Sunday beer-league players; their competition in the AAF had to be of a level nearly as high, as these players didn't tear up the league.  

To think that a league paying players an average salary of $75,000 could get any closer to NFL calibre than the AAF did is fantasy.

And to think that four undrafted rookies from the state of Alabama made a 53.  It makes that Ebersol $30M and the Dundon $70M look even worse.  Note those guys were being "paid" the full cost of attendance at schools like Troy.  

 

$5M/player signed is not a great investment, especially when you cannot complete your initial season. 

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10 minutes ago, dfwabel said:

$5M/player signed is not a great investment, especially when you cannot complete your initial season. 

 

This rests on the faulty presumption that the entire purpose of the AAF was to get people NFL jobs.  In fact the purpose of the league, as Ebersol conceived it, was simply to have a league for those players who are a step below NFL-calibre but who are still elite athletes.  The signing of the best of these former AAF players by the NFL is just a side effect, and one which is a tribute to the AAF, considering that the average age of the players there was far beyond what is normally considered a prospect.

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18 minutes ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

 

This rests on the faulty presumption that the entire purpose of the AAF was to get people NFL jobs.  In fact the purpose of the league, as Ebersol conceived it, was simply to have a league for those players who are a step below NFL-calibre but who are still elite athletes.  The signing of the best of these former AAF players by the NFL is just a side effect, and one which is a tribute to the AAF, considering that the average age of the players there was far beyond what is normally considered a prospect.

 

The brass at the AAF said they wanted to compliment the NFL. Hard to do that if less than double-digit percentages of players make the roster. Look, I enjoyed the AAF while it was on too but it was ACC-tier (sans Clemson) on a good day.

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51 minutes ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

Maybe for giant programs.  But to have one player make the NFL in any given year is plenty for most colleges.

 

Exactly.  And we don't tout it as "a great testiment" to the level of that college's talent.

 

The AAF was not a high-level league.  That's okay, I myself really love low-level soccer.  I just don't pretend it's anything other than it is.

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The AAF having NFL quality players is more an indictment of the NFL not able to correctly judge players for their NFL credentials than it says anything about lesser leagues hosting them before the NFL corrects their mistake. 

 

Because technically, the XFL was around when there was 31 NFL teams. Which means the XFL had 30 players beyond the NFL cutoff, but now the NFL counts 106 more players as "NFL quality" which means the AAF is counting players 54-62 beyond the same cutoff you're judging the XFL. 

 

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9 hours ago, Sykotyk said:

The AAF having NFL quality players is more an indictment of the NFL not able to correctly judge players for their NFL credentials than it says anything about lesser leagues hosting them before the NFL corrects their mistake. 

 

Because technically, the XFL was around when there was 31 NFL teams. Which means the XFL had 30 players beyond the NFL cutoff, but now the NFL counts 106 more players as "NFL quality" which means the AAF is counting players 54-62 beyond the same cutoff you're judging the XFL. 

 

And there's always a good sized gray area the covers the ends of major league rosters and the top end of minor league rosters- or in the NFL's case those guys who are in the practice squad/last cut range and the guys who are rostered. 

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10 hours ago, Sykotyk said:

The AAF having NFL quality players is more an indictment of the NFL not able to correctly judge players for their NFL credentials than it says anything about lesser leagues hosting them before the NFL corrects their mistake. 

 

Because technically, the XFL was around when there was 31 NFL teams. Which means the XFL had 30 players beyond the NFL cutoff, but now the NFL counts 106 more players as "NFL quality" which means the AAF is counting players 54-62 beyond the same cutoff you're judging the XFL. 

 

That's some pretty faulty logic, as has already been mentioned in this thread. The bottom portion of any NFL roster is always churning. Being on a roster doesn't mean you will get playing time, or even be active, or even more that you will be on the roster next week.

 

An indictment of NFL judgement? Yep - mistakes are made all the time. Take a look at every draft, and then re-draft it 3 years later.  

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12 hours ago, Sykotyk said:

The AAF having NFL quality players is more an indictment of the NFL not able to correctly judge players for their NFL credentials than it says anything about lesser leagues hosting them before the NFL corrects their mistake.

 

I don't even think we can say that.  There are always more players than roster spots, and anyone on the very bottom of the depth chart is pretty much interchangeable with other players who are in the CFL or got undrafted after college.  So these nine AAF players may be marginally better than someone currently playing in Canada, or in a semi-pro league somewhere, or they may just be closer.

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17 minutes ago, Gothamite said:

 

I don't even think we can say that.  There are always more players than roster spots, and anyone on the very bottom of the depth chart is pretty much interchangeable with other players who are in the CFL or got undrafted after college.  So these nine AAF players may be marginally better than someone currently playing in Canada, or in a semi-pro league somewhere, or they may just be closer.

This.

And remember, folks weren't paying to see those guys play in February and March (and the league wasn't paying creditors for even longer).

 

The business model for this is still like a house of cards.

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Probably.

 

Because we already have minor-league football; we just call it "college".   Whatever market niche these guys think they see is already more than filled with college ball.

 

If schools start paying players, and the entire system falls apart as a result, maybe then we can start talking about a professional minor league.  Until then, there just isn't any market for it no matter how many times a rich guy thinks it would be kinda awesome to own a league.

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28 minutes ago, Gothamite said:

Probably.

 

Because we already have minor-league football; we just call it "college".   Whatever market niche these guys think they see is already more than filled with college ball.

 

If schools start paying players, and the entire system falls apart as a result, maybe then we can start talking about a professional minor league.  Until then, there just isn't any market for it no matter how many times a rich guy thinks it would be kinda awesome to own a league.

 

At least if this rich guy doesn't understand that such a product is always going to be a money pit barring some financial fudgery like putting players on the hook for their own insurance or doing what the guy running The Spring League does and charge the players to play for him. 

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1 hour ago, Gothamite said:

Probably.

 

Because we already have minor-league football; we just call it "college".   Whatever market niche these guys think they see is already more than filled with college ball.

 

If schools start paying players, and the entire system falls apart as a result, maybe then we can start talking about a professional minor league.  Until then, there just isn't any market for it no matter how many times a rich guy thinks it would be kinda awesome to own a league.

 

College football can easily be a minor league tier.  We have NCAA (FBS, FCS, Division II and Division III), NAIA and Junior College. 

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