AAF may fold

bamamick

All-SEC
Feb 22, 2005
1,910
104
73
Yeah, I know people are saying that McMahon is o.k. losing 275 million dollars without a chance of getting anything back, but I can't see it. I wonder what the total amount of loss was for the USFL, pro-rated to today's numbers?

This league was set up to succeed, except for one thing: a billionaire with a desire to see it make it. Without that it never had a chance, we just didn't realize that until yesterday.

rtr
 

CrimsonNagus

All-American
Jun 6, 2007
4,806
627
148
41
Montgomery, Alabama, United States
These leagues are really not geared around making money is the point. They are trying to be that “feeder” or “expiremental” league that has NFL backing.
That is their problem. So, basically they were football fans who wanted a spring league so, they started one that all their buddies could come and watch. NFL owners are not owners because of the love of the game. They are business men who want to make money first, fans second.

If you are not running the business to make money then you don't really have a business. Even as a "feeder" league, you have to be profitable. The NFL isn't going to invest in a money pit.



Honestly, I just don't think the interest for spring football is as high as some people think. Spring brings March Madness, spring breaks, vacations and warmer weather where folks can get outside more on weekends instead of watching football. You also have baseball starting up and I know many people here love to hate on the MLB but, there are still plenty of baseball fans. I'm one of them and once spring training started my attention went to baseball. The only time I really saw anything related to the AAF was here on TF. It just wasn't on my radar because it was full of other things.
 

jashleyren2

Scout Team
Aug 27, 2018
316
65
38
Yeah, I am not sure if anyone cares how this effects those involved who are already wealthy. But a lot of coaches and players just lost their only income because they trusted the people who put this together. I am sure that some left other jobs for this opportunity.
I would expect lawsuits to be forthcoming. For some reason, people think they can write in all the clauses and fine print in the world, then just break the contract.
 

81usaf92

Hall of Fame
Apr 26, 2008
14,563
3,166
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Sylacauga,AL
Yeah, I know people are saying that McMahon is o.k. losing 275 million dollars without a chance of getting anything back, but I can't see it. I wonder what the total amount of loss was for the USFL, pro-rated to today's numbers?

This league was set up to succeed, except for one thing: a billionaire with a desire to see it make it. Without that it never had a chance, we just didn't realize that until yesterday.

rtr
You do know the AAF was originally going to be XFL2? Vince backed out and wanted to have NFL cities instead of college football ones. The XFL will be more like the AAF in terms of gameplay with 2 huge expectations 1) Vince is funding the majority of the cost and 2) DraftKings is the gambling aspect.

I think we will get at least 2 years of the XFL due to this being a Vince McMahon passion project and he has the Mouse probably involved for television.

Will it be good? Idk but at least Vince learned that setting up teams takes more than 30 days

Will it last? I’m not one to say never especially when it is involving someone like Vince, but the odds are against him. But I do think he has a grasp on what went wrong in 2001 and has corrected most of the issues.
 
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RTR91

Super Moderator
Nov 23, 2007
39,407
2
0
Prattville
You do know the AAF was originally going to be XFL2? Vince backed out and wanted to have NFL cities instead of college football ones. The XFL will be more like the AAF in terms of gameplay with 2 huge expectations 1) Vince is funding the majority of the cost and 2) DraftKings is the gambling aspect.

I think we will get at least 2 years of the XFL due to this being a Vince McMahon passion project and he has the Mouse probably involved for television.
I've seen some speculation that the AAF started earlier than it should have to get ahead of Vince and the XFL after Vince said they couldn't use the XFL name.
 

Pilot172000

1st Team
Sep 25, 2017
450
9
28
Winnsboro, LA
I listened to Bill Polian's interview about it and from what I gather, they rushed it and got hammered. He kept mentioning operating cost spiraling out of control because they weren't properly organized. That tells me they were contracting out stuff they should have been able to do in house and that's a death spiral for a start up. I would be willing to bet that they were giving away the media rights to CBS and others for free just to get the product out there and praying attendance and merchandising would get them through the first couple of years. That's a horrible plan if true.
 

81usaf92

Hall of Fame
Apr 26, 2008
14,563
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178
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I've seen some speculation that the AAF started earlier than it should have to get ahead of Vince and the XFL after Vince said they couldn't use the XFL name.
From what I’ve read, after the 30 for 30 Charlie Ebersol approached Vince about it, and Vince basically said “ interesting, I’ll get back with you”. Then they started having serious conversations but it went south after they disagreed on the cities and the gambling technology. But Ebersol tried to buy the name, but Vince wouldn’t sell.
 

jashleyren2

Scout Team
Aug 27, 2018
316
65
38
I will be honest with you. I really thought they were onto something with this league. It garnered a tremendous amount of traction and had better than average football. The game plan looked legit and the franchise locations were solid. This was a complete and total failure from a management point of view and will more than likely scuttle any chances of a legitimate spring football league ever succeeding.
It got a lot of interest here in Birmingham, but I doubt Atlanta or Orlando even knew it was going on. Trouble is, football is king here in Alabama, but those other places have lots of other things to capture their attention, like MLS, NBA, and MLB in the case of Atlanta.

Interest was strong in Birmingham. We had attendance. I don't know about other cities, but it could have done well here.
 

81usaf92

Hall of Fame
Apr 26, 2008
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https://www.sbnation.com/2019/4/3/18293514/aaf-collapse-explained-tom-dundon-charlie-ebersol-bill-polian

How it all began.

Influential TV producer Charlie Ebersol (son of former NBC Sports head Dick Ebersol) formed the idea for the AAF in 2016 after working on ESPN’s 30-for-30 documentary on the collapse of the XFL. In researching and producing the documentary, Ebersol came to the conclusion that the concept for a secondary football league was viable in the US, but the XFL’s on-field product and presentation was its downfall. Feeling he could correct the XFL’s errors, Ebersol planned out how the AAF would operate for a launch in 2019.
During those early planning stages Vince McMahon, chairman and CEO of WWE, announced he would be re-launching the XFL, starting in 2020. Initially Ebersol approached McMahon in the hopes of parlaying his idea for the AAF with McMahon’s vision, but ultimately the sides didn’t reach an agreement — which included Ebersol wanting ownership of the XFL brand.
Ebersol continued work on his concept for a football league, and it wasn’t until 2018 that the public heard more information about the AAF. Ebersol secured the services of renowned household names and football minds, including Bill Polian, Troy Polamalu, Hines Ward, J.K. McKay, and Justin Tuck. He followed this up by announcing Steve Spurrier would be the league’s first head coach, lending more credence to the idea that the AAF was a league in its own right, not the machination of a TV producer.
One major issue was that Reggie Fowler, slated to be a $170 million investor in the AAF pulled back, committing only $28 million to the league and leaving the AAF in a lurch.
However, there’s speculation that none of this was really about football. One of the AAF’s most valuable assets was proprietary gambling software the league had built into its app. This combination of real-time fantasy football paired with sports gambling had attractive potential, especially at a time where more states are legalizing sports gambling. Some believe that Dundon’s interest in the AAF was only to secure the technology behind the gambling app.



It’s unclear if Dundon has the right to claim ownership to the technology, should that be his play. Everything hinges on whether his investment agreement with the AAF included AAF technologies, or just the league itself — in addition it’s murky whether the AAF owned the intellectual property of the app in the first place, or whether MGM Casinos owned the app and licensed it to the AAF. Reports indicate that Dundon does not own the technology, regardless of what happens.
If this speculation is true, it could be a long time before we see how it plays out, with the court system getting involved.
In the end, the story of the AAF might not be one of a league full of promise that flew too close to the sun, and instead the tale of a billionaire destroying a league to get some software. Nobody is better off for the AAF dying, and it’s all a shame.
Basically... Little Ebersol is an idiot for trusting money not in the bank from would be investors, and Dundon is a snake in the grass.
 
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cuda.1973

Hall of Fame
Dec 6, 2009
8,389
493
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Allen, Texas
https://www.sbnation.com/2019/4/3/18293514/aaf-collapse-explained-tom-dundon-charlie-ebersol-bill-polian
Basically... Little Ebersol is an idiot for trusting money not in the bank from would be investors, and Dundon is a snake in the grass.
That article did a good job of summing up what probably took place. Sounds like Dundon was a con man, who fleeced them, in the hopes he would walk away with a valuable asset. (Looks like he won't.)


It’s here where billionaire Tom Dundon enters the picture. Dundon, owner of the Carolina Hurricanes, made his fortune off subprime car loans, before parlaying that into a 55 percent purchase of “TopGolf,” which marries sport and technology. Dundon came through as the AAF’s bailout, committing a reported $250 million to ensure operations could continue, but in reality only gave $70 million to the AAF and was operating on a weekly basis. The result of this investment was that Dundon became chairman of the board — and had full control of its future.

Seeing how he made his fortune explains pretty much all that you need to know about him.
 

81usaf92

Hall of Fame
Apr 26, 2008
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That article did a good job of summing up what probably took place. Sounds like Dundon was a con man, who fleeced them, in the hopes he would walk away with a valuable asset. (Looks like he won't.)





Seeing how he made his fortune explains pretty much all that you need to know about him.
Yeah its what I make of it. I think Charlie has heard all of these stories about "How Vince destroyed a good idea" from his dad that he believed starting up a league off logical ideas was easy. He thought he had a good investor, but didn't hold him to a 128 million pledge. I think at that point is where things went south. I thought from the start that Dundon wasn't after making this a better league as much as controlling key patented items. You don't just get a NHL owner interested in a spring football league to the degree of 250 million dollars and majority control out of the blue. I think Ebersol should've went around to folks like Jerry Jones and other well off NFL owners to buy into this if he wanted it to succeed. Because I'm sure there was some interest over some of the technological aspects that would have them interested enough to burn money for a few years to gauge the NFL interest in the league. But Ebersol probably made two of the worst decision of all time for spring football ever made 1) starting a league without hard money and 2) selling total control to a person that is a known con man without hard money.

It would've been better for Ebersol to have made peace with Vince from the get go. From what I read, one of the issues was having a SLC and Phoenix team.
 

ReturnToGlory

All-American
Nov 22, 2006
3,265
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Blakely, Georgia
It got a lot of interest here in Birmingham, but I doubt Atlanta or Orlando even knew it was going on. Trouble is, football is king here in Alabama, but those other places have lots of other things to capture their attention, like MLS, NBA, and MLB in the case of Atlanta.

Interest was strong in Birmingham. We had attendance. I don't know about other cities, but it could have done well here.
Yep. They have a lot in Atlanta that they aren't particularly good at.
 

crimsonaudio

Administrator
Staff member
Sep 9, 2002
46,109
5,883
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Yeah, I am not sure if anyone cares how this effects those involved who are already wealthy. But a lot of coaches and players just lost their only income because they trusted the people who put this together. I am sure that some left other jobs for this opportunity.
Oh, I get it, I'm just not feeling sorry for a coach who walked out on his own CFB team then whines about getting treated the same way. Screw Spurrier.
 

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