AAF Does the Big TU
At least no one can say Johnny Manziel broke it.
After all, the AAF damn near broke him, but pro partier that he is, missing a beat was not an option.
Can't say the same for the rest of the AAF's dudepack, some of whom had hopes and dreams of making it to The Shield.
Unfortunately, though, the league's gone the way of the dodo bird.
Only two weeks from the finish line, too.
Really, when viewed in the harsh light of cold reality, how does a flameout like this happen?
- How do two dudes with careers in and/or directly involved with the NFL underestimate their business plan?
- Especially when they're boasting about this being a data-driven enterprise?
- And how does serial successful entrepreneur Tom Dundon get roped into it?
A case study in growth hacking this is not.
What's really cruel is how many dudes this ill-conceived disaster screwed up.
It's totally unconscionable that the players are left high and dry with rents to pay and other expenses that'll extend longer than the end of their paychecks.
They're not the only ones, either.
Multiple #AAF assistant coaches said today they were on contract that was supposed to pay them through the year. Now they are no longer being paid and have to pay for their own flights home. A lot of understandably upset people who gave up theirs lives to be a part of this.— Ben Kercheval (@BenKercheval) April 4, 2019
Yes, the XFL now gets springtime football all to themselves when they fire up operations in 2020. Of course, this'll be their second shot at making pro grid viable at that time of year.
Could it possibly time to re-evaluate whatever projections all these spring leagues -- going back to the USFL -- are basing for their decisions and wonder ...
Maybe casual fans don't actually want to see pro football outta the traditional season.
After all ...
- College basketball conference tournaments and March Madness dominate late winter and early spring;
- The more monied viewers are tuning into the PGA and assorted tours;
- Baseball season is baseball season, which is quite successful with its regional programing; and
- The NHL and NBA seasons' home stretches and playoffs are in riveting, full-drama mode.
What do all these sporting endeavors' players have that pro spring football's don't?
Minor league baseball and hockey can make player anonymity work because their business model is more promotional at the game.
The lack of familiar names in pro spring football seems to be a hard hurdle to clear at the national level. That's likely been the killer issue so far.
Not even the sportsbooks tossing out tempting odds can significantly increase the draw.
Incidentally, full marks to that usually hard-hearted community for giving their punters a break.
FanDuel and others are paying out all plays as winners. Too bad AAF players couldn't bet on their games.
Mike Bercovici getting lit up pic.twitter.com/f16x8X1t6z— Steelers Depot (@Steelersdepot) February 10, 2019
Too bad the AAF itself couldn't go out like that. It left with a whimper.
And a lotta collateral damage.