So recently there has been a little buzz about a possible new professional football league. One of the key organizers for this new "All American Football League," which plans to field eight teams based in college towns happens to be former UCLA Chancellor Charles Young. Basic idea is to set up 8 teams primarily from the ACC, SEC, and Big-10 regions, featuring players who must graduate from college to participate. Here is what those players with diplomas will get from playing in this new league. From CSTV:
Unlike the XFL, a spring pro league that failed, the AAFL has no plans to compete with the NFL.
Instead, the AAFL, which will play under college rules, is aiming for a regional audience.
To that end, teams will feature players who have starred in that college town, and from surrounding areas and conferences. The league hopes to sign players who haven't latched onto an NFL team.
And I am not the only one who has some reservations for this new semi pro-league. From BadgerSports:
- Ticket cost is the first one. All the releases cite a $30 price per ticket. Are you kidding me? At best, it's audacious to consider selling people $30 tickets without any concept of how the game's going to play out. I was thinking $10 would be a nice ceiling for the first season. You can't take a family of four to a game you know nothing about at $30 per person, plus parking, concessions, and souvenirs.
- Access to beer could be a problem. Like all low-level professional and amateur sporting events, beer is the fuel that drives fandom. Everyone enjoys going to Warner Park to watch the Mallards, our beloved college summer league baseball team, many due to the fact that $2 pints of stellar Great Dane beer are cold and ready to drink. Most college stadiums, to my knowledge, forbid the sale and consumption of alcohol on their premises. Would the rules change for the AAFL?
- The traveling nature of the college football fan plays into this. They don't pack in over 100,000 at Neyland because the entire population of Knoxville shows up every Saturday; people come from all over, making pilgrimages to see their favorite team. Again, without knowing what's going on with the team, nobody's going to put 200 miles each way on their preferred vehicle to attend a sporting event. The spectators at first will be curious locals.
- Currently, there's no TV deal for this league. Not only is TV an important source of revenue, but it's crucial in building the fan base. If this league doesn't get on TV quickly, it tanks.
- Who wants to tailgate in June? It's way too hot. Tailgating isn't necessary, of course, but it helps change football Saturday or Sunday from a simple pastime to a culture-changing phenomenon.
But as he mentioned it could all go up in flames if they charge obnoxious ticket prices and launch without a solid TV K. Plus when morons like Peter Dalis gets involved in a project look out. For those of us who have been unlucky enough to live through his reign of botched coaching searches ending with clowns like Toledo and Lavin are first hand witness of how he damaged two major sports program (well he destroyed UCLA basketball) at the same time. Anyways we will see how this turns out when it is unveiled next spring. When it comes to football I will take anything:
How could you not dig He-Hate-Me?
Yes, I watched XFL, and I will give this league a chance since it may have a college flavor.