The Alliance of American Football has “suspended operations” effective immediately.
This has got to be the fastest collapse of a pro football league ever. These guys lasted just eight freaking weeks!!! This makes the complete flop “CFL American expansion” of the mid-Nineties look like a big hit by comparison. Even the old XFL lasted longer! Think about that for a moment.
I guess I am not surprised, there were rumors swirling that chair Tom Dundon of Carolina Hurricanes fame would pull the plug this week on his recent investment in the Alliance. Word is he lost $70 million dollars! Still, you would have thought that the Alliance would have found a way to stay afloat to the title game, at least, and then call it quits. They only had two weeks remaining in their regular season.
Overall, though, it was obvious this league was not long for the world. The attendance has been terrible to begin with, and there were lots of stories lately about league problems and how the AAF were frustrated that the NFL wasn’t willing to take them on as a developmental league, and so on. Then there was the story about how they had to move the title game from Las Vegas to this facility outside Dallas.
There was also this piece in the Orlando Sentinel about how bad things were in Orlando, which says it all because this was supposed to be one of the stronger teams in the league. The Apollos had the best record and a top notch coach (Steve Spurrier). Anyway, they’re out of business, too, along with the rest of them.
For me, personally, the final straw for this league came when Memphis’s much-over-ballyhooed quarterback Johnny Manziel suffered a head injury in his game this past weekend. Wow. One game with Manziel in it, and it’s enough to kill the league (and almost kill Manziel).
Anyhow, the bottom line is the Alliance is done. Too bad, but we have baseball now to keep us occupied until “real” football season returns.