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New Football League Meeting The Same Fate Of Predecessors – Ignominious Failure

They come and they go. They generally don’t stay long. The Continental Football League. The World Football League. The United States Football League. The World League of American Football....

They come and they go. They generally don’t stay long.

The Continental Football League. The World Football League. The United States Football League. The World League of American Football. NFL Europe. The XFL (more about that it in a minute). The United Football League (which once employed yours truly).

These leagues, whether designed as challengers to the NFL or as “feeder” leagues to develop talent, never find the tricky balance between fast fan acceptance, revenues and expenses. Expenses always get them – travel, medical, housing, insurance, stadium rental.

And now the Alliance of American Football falls on that same sharp sword.

The AAF was in trouble almost from the start of play on Feb. 9 in its initial season. Tom Dundon, the owner of the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes, put up $250 million to stop the bleeding, but he pulled the plug on Tuesday. The league suspended all football operations. It has not folded and says it will look for “new investment capital.”

Sure.

Dundon had said last week the AAF needed cooperation from the NFL Players Association if it were to succeed. The AAF wanted to be able to sign and use players who are on NFL practice squads or signed to futures contracts. The NFLPA turned the AAF down, saying such moves could violate the labor agreement with the NFL and injuries could shorten or end player careers.

As a side note, can you name three players in the AAF? Didn’t think so.

If the AAF doesn’t make it back and your hunger for spring football cannot be sated, relax. And wait a year. The XFL, which played one season in 2001, returns in 2020, backed by World Wrestling Entertainment and its boss, Vince McMahon.

Hope springs eternal. Spring football? Ah, as short-lived as the bloom of your crocuses.

 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman

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