Thursday, July 27, 2006

Spring Football

Great news in today's newspaper -- more American football to be created in Spring 2007 with the creation of the All American Football League (AAFL) !!!

I love all forms of football -- Canadian, Australian, college, NFL, NFL Europe, Arena, and even some elements of the now defunct XFL -- so I welcome the AAFL and wish them luck. The AAFL could use a name change -- perhaps Campus Football League -- since AAFL is a bit wordy plus such a name change would reflect the AAFL's business model. The AAFL plans to field :) eight teams for their 2007 season which would play their games in university football stadiums.

The AAFL is being created by former NCAA President, Cedric Dempsey and 12 other founders from the "worlds of sports, education, and business..........". Investors can secure team franchise rights for $2 million to $3 million and team players must be college graduates with expected salaries of $100,000 per season.

From what I have read so far about the AAFL I like the model for these reasons --
  • The $100,000 per player salary goes against my free market principles BUT it gives the league a known budget for franchise owners as the league launches its initial season.
  • The AAFL's focus on using university football stadiums makes better use of such facilities since the AAFL's season will be in the Spring with the college football games beginning in late August/early September. This should help improve university revenues plus it would help create career opportunities for current and former university team members.
  • This league creates a US-based development league for the NFL or even the CFL for second tier talent at the university football level -- players that need to develop their skills more to compete at the highest levels.
  • Baseball -- I love our national past time but after Spring Training in Arizona and Florida I have to admit the season is a little boring until the World Series hits so having some football to watch would be a nice distraction.

Granted we have already seen the US Football League and the World Football League come and go so perhaps the AAFL will simply produce more collectibles for consumers to trade on eBay but regardless of their future I am excited to see this league play within the university environment.

See you on the gridiron,


1 comment:

Ted Altman said...

A couple of articles came out last week on this. Seems to be heating up. I've also read where ticket prices will start at $10 and go up from there. Previously there was a $30 price announced, so I guess that was just the high price.

This is the Anniston Star's Column from Saturday:
(The link won't work for you so I had to paste the text. )


Start-up pro league hopefully won't be another W-Laugh

When you watch Auburn play Mississippi State this morning and then take in the Alabama-Vanderbilt game this afternoon, you'll be seeing several players who'll be in the NFL next season.

And you could be seeing several players who'll be in the fledgling All-American Football League next season, as well.

Reports are that Birmingham's Legion Field likely will host one of the eight flagship franchises when the league kicks off in the spring of 2007. The AAFL is designed to be something of a post-graduate pro league; the players must have college degrees to be eligible, and the teams, for the most part, will play on college campuses.

West Lafayette, Ind., home of Purdue University, has secured a franchise, while Gainesville, Fla., and Knoxville, Tenn. — where the NCAA's Gators and Volunteers, respectively, call home — also are sure bets.

Legion Field is not located on a college campus. However, it qualifies as a venue because it's the site of a college bowl game. Any team that played there primarily would be made up of Alabama, Auburn and UAB graduates, although I'm sure former Jacksonville State Gamecocks and Troy Trojans also will be on the field — as long as they have degrees, of course.

On the one hand the AAFL has potential. With players making $100,000 per season, the league will attract far better athletes than those who toil in semi-pro leagues. And with the blessings of the NCAA, it has credibility right out of the gate.

But ...

While quite a few football nuts like myself gladly would watch the gridiron game 52 weeks out of the year, the only non-NFL pro football circuit that has thrived in the United States is the Arena Football League.

And let's be honest: The AFL can be fun to watch, but it's not “real” football. It's a niche sport stocked mostly with minor league-caliber athletes.

Next thing you know the USFL is fodder for trivia aficionados.

So what do we make of the All-American Football League? It's a nice idea with credible people behind it. It's something I'd watch and likely enjoy.

I guess we'll see.