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Volume 26 No. 181
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Funding For Alliance Of American Football Could Be Key To Success

ESPN’s Mike Golic Jr. said the Alliance of American Football, a planned spring league helmed by Charlie Ebersol, will require "some pretty serious backing," which is why the Chernin Group "throwing into this, as well as a few groups funding it ... is a key area of this." Golic Jr., appearing on ESPN Radio this morning, said, "You’ve got some big names that we all know and look and identify and say, ‘Yeah, they are part of it and you’re going to get good guidance out of that.’ My concern with all this is are you willing to do the dirty work day-to-day to make it a success?" He added, "The players coming over are going to be hungry and want to be there and do this. Is the rest of it going to be run well enough on the day-to-day?" Golic Jr.: "It sounds good right now and it feels good when you’re getting involved, but when you’ve got to do something that is netting you minimal gains, are you still going to be willing to put in as much effort as it seems right now?" ESPN's Mike Golic said of playing in the spring, "We are so programmed to go to the next sport even though we are bummed football is over. ... Now you introduce something that is not on the level of those things from the product, but there are good names involved. ... I hope it works, I hope the XFL works." Golic: "I don't think the XFL will ever come to fruition ... I hope it would work because it's more opportunities for players, but I don't think there is any way you can have two leagues sustained at the exact same time." ESPN's Adam Schefter said of the AAF, "We've seen a lot of these leagues come and go. Maybe this one will succeed, it's got a lot of brainpower" (“Golic & Wingo,” ESPN Radio, 3/21).

A DIFFERENT ROUTE: Ebersol said that the goal for his league is to "complete a game in less than 2 1/2 hours," and games will have 60% "fewer commercials." In DC, Jacob Bogage notes players on 50-man rosters will "mostly be those cut by NFL teams and those from other professional football leagues." The AAF will "grant player bonuses based on performance and fan interaction, something in which league officials said they had invested heavily." The AAF has also "vowed cheap ticket prices." The league, rather than individual franchises, will "own each team and the rights of each player." Former NFLer and AAF exec Justin Tuck said that for each season a player spends in the league, he will be "awarded a year’s scholarship for a post-secondary education" (WASHINGTON POST, 3/21). CBSSPORTS.com's Ryan Wilson noted the rosters will be "built primarily through a regionally-based draft" (CBSSPORTS.com, 3/20).

TOUGH ROAD AHEAD: In N.Y., Ken Belson writes the AAF will have to "overcome the obstacles that others could not, including runaway expenses, limited media exposure and a lack of fans." It will also have to "compete with a new development league being started by Don Yee," who reps Tom Brady, which "will focus on players who want to skip college." Then there is the XFL, which is set to relaunch in '20 (N.Y. TIMES, 3/21). Below is info on some of the spring football competition the AAF could face (THE DAILY).

LEAGUE
LAUNCH
KEY EXECS
DETAILS
KEY SPONSORS
The Spring League
'17
Brian Woods
Four games. Two per team. All games live on Turner Sports' OTT service this upcoming season. Spring League Showcase game was held in Napa in July. Almost all players have spent time on either NFL active, practice or preseason rosters.
Gilman Gear, iSEE Virtual Visualization, Sideline Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, Vicis
Pacific Pro Football
July '19
Don Yee, Ed McCaffrey, Jeff Husvar, John Chung, Lisa McCaffrey
Four teams in SoCal. For players less than four years removed from high school graduation.
Adidas
Spring League of American Football
March/
April '19
Robert Pollichino, Mike Lardner
Eight teams in eight zones playing a 10-game schedule. Each zone will have a regional team with players from colleges and high schools from that area.
n/a
Download the
Spring Football Leagues