Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Adios, AAF

      RIP Alliance of American Football.  They had potential, and started out hot, but any league that needed a $250 million infusion of cash after its first week of play was skating on thin ice from the jump.
      The league had a few innovations that the NFL in its infinite wisdom (and I use that term lightly) should take a look at implementing. Or like Trump, they'll implement them and claim they invented them.  Among other things, eliminating kickoffs, not putting skirts on quarterbacks and conversion kicks. Also miking the refs during penalty discussions were especially noteworthy.
     But like the XFL Version 1.0, USFL, the World Football League, NFL Europe, and other attempts at creating an alternative to the NFL, football fans who are used to watching the best players in the world aren't gonna settle for watching a bunch of guys who rode the pine on an NFL team's bench or had a cup of coffee in an  NFL training camp. 
     Which is sad because while the AAF didn't directly go after players seeking an alternative route to the pros other than college, I really want to see college football get out of the business of being the developmental system for the NFL by admitting players who's sole purpose for being on a college campus is to play football and take bullshit classes to do so. But you know the saying about free milk and a cow.
       In the end, it all comes down to the green stuff. Everybody's making money off that racket except for the poor bastards who put themselves through the meat grinder for a 'scholarship'.  But I digress. 
       Too bad the AAF went belly up. They had some quality former players who bought in on the management side, notably for yinzers, two of the classier players to play for the Stillers, Hines Ward and Troy Polamalu. You'd think that those two would not hitch their wagon to a bum horse. (Though Hines should probably stop trying to play the restaurant game.  It ain't working for him. The best way to make a million in the restaurant business is to start out with two million.) 
     I hope their reputations don't take a hit from this demise.  But knowing Ward and Polamalu, they'll land on their feet and won't need a bake sale held on their behalf anytime soon. Oh well, them's the breaks. You buy into a promising venture only to see it flop. Plenty of people with Hah-vahd MBA's do it every day.
      The AAF seemed like it had quality people who knew something about football running it, One hopes that Vince McMahon took notes on where the AAF went wrong when rolling out version 2.0  of the XFL, but it's hard to persuade people who are used to drinking bourbon-barrel imperial stouts to go back to quaffing 'Dilly, Dilly.' Just sayin'

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