First of all, congratulations to the Apollos on winning the ‘ship. They went 7-1 and dominated this league from the get go.
Second, it’s a sad day for football fans everywhere but not really surprising. The AAF finally folded today and suspended all league activities. The league is not officially over yet, but according to the reports out there it’s only a matter of time before that happens.
The real story here is about the man who “saved” the AAF a few weeks ago and invested enough in the league to become the chairman, Tom Dundon. Dundon owes the Carolina Hurricanes and has lost $70,000,000 now on his investment in the AAF. BUT, here is what he did get: their technology.
If we go back to the start, the AAF’s goal was to eventually become a minor league for the NFL. In the past few weeks, more info has come out that the AAF wanted to eventually come into agreement withe NFL and be able to use their practice squad players, fringe roster guys, etc. as a developmental part of their league. Obviously, this wasn’t going to happen in year one.
This was going to take a lot of work on part of the AAF, NFL teams, and the NFLPA. For an easy and commonly used example, what happens if a guy whose signed a contract with the Tennessee Titans, goes to play for the Memphis Express in the spring and tears an ACL. Who pays that bill? Who brigs him through rehab? Yes, he was singed with the Titans but he was playing for the Express at the time. You can see where the complications would begin and that’s only one issue. However, I think the NFL would have worked as well as they could with the AAF to come up with a solution if this league proved it could survive a year, and have a successful offseason going into year two. The NFL wanted to wait, and it was reported Dundon would shut down the league if the NFL didn’t get involved soon. Well, we know what happened first.
So here’s what we know for sure: Jame Dundon is suspending the AAF’s operations today. We don’t know what he’s said to the teams, coaches, or players but I’m sure that will come out soon. It looks like he wanted in on the AAF’s technology, and APP. He is suspending the league for unknown reasons, and many people are surprised by this.
I feel bad for the coaches and fans, but more importantly the players that thought this was their chance to play a game they love, still make a living, and have the opportunity to show the NFL they can still play.
FYI, this is Tom Dundon.