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WITH TURNER/NBC LEAGUE ON HORIZON, AAFL "HOLDING LAUNCH"
Published June 1, 1998
Following last week's announcement of a proposed NBC/ Turner Sports pro football league, MA-based attorney Bob Caporale and his partner, Randy Vataha, "are not revving up the engines for their proposed All-American Football League, which had been slated to start next spring," according to Will McDonough of the BOSTON GLOBE. Caporale: "We are holding the launch. We want to find out for sure what this juggernaut is going to do before we reconsider what we want to do." Caporale added: "Going up against the NFL is tough. ... I don't know how much [NBC and Turner] have thought it through. One of the big problems is going to be finding stadiums to play in" (Will McDonough, BOSTON GLOBE, 5/30). HERE'S ONE: Mark Williams, GM of the Metropolitan Exposition-Recreation Commission in Portland, OR, which operates the city's Civic Stadium, on the NBC/Turner league: "We would be happy to be a part of it" (OREGONIAN, 5/29). NATIONAL REAX: Steelers President Dan Rooney, on the proposed new league: "It's their business; I don't know how successful it will be. ... But I guess in America everybody has the right to do what they want to do" (PITTSBURGH POST- GAZETTE, 5/29) In Philadelphia, Bill Lyon wrote that the plan "smacks of sheer spite" and is a reflection of "the sorry state of sports: Television can now order up an entire league as casually as it creates yet another new and brainless sitcom" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 5/30). On L.I., Bob Glauber: "[J]ust two quick questions: Who's going to play, and who's going to watch?" (NEWSDAY, 5/31). In San Jose, Mark Purdy wrote the "hardest task" for NBC and Turner "will not" be getting decent ratings, "but finding the cities and stadiums where the teams can play in front of a decent-size 'studio audience'" (MERCURY NEWS, 5/31). COULD IT WORK? In Richmond, Paul Woody said with a GE and Time Warner league, "the NFL is in for the most serious challenge in its history" (TIMES-DISPATCH, 5/31). In Jacksonville, Gene Frenette questioned going up against the NFL in the fall: "Give football-starved America a different look, but do it in the spring and do it with some fiscal responsibility" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 5/31). In Toronto, Garth Woolsey said the net's would need "only minimum ratings" to "make the league fly" (TORONTO STAR, 6/1).