XFL Could Be Better Suited To Be NFL Feeder League Than AAF
There is "plenty of reason to suspect that the XFL will not only outlast the AAF, but will sustain itself longer than the first iteration did, which was only one season" in '01, according to Andy Patton of USA TODAY. The XFL has $272M "set aside" by Founder Vince McMahon, which could "allow the league to operate for a handful of seasons -- if they handle it correctly." As of now, all eight XFL teams that will begin play in '20 are "located in the same city as NFL franchises." The NFL having a successful "feeder league will likely require geographic proximity, something that the AAF doesn't have." There is "no guarantee that either league will be sustainable long-term." But should the NFL "begin to adopt a minor league system, the XFL has more advantages" (USATODAY.com, 3/31). NBCSPORTS.com's Peter King writes the "only way a spring football league is going to work is to open its doors for business and keep them open for a minimum of three years." King: "Staying power is the key. Period. To be rumored to be dying in the first month and at the end of the second month ... who would have faith in the league now?" (NBCSPORTS.com, 4/1).
NOT THE RIGHT FIT: THE MMQB's Albert Breer writes the NFLPA and AAF had been in "pretty consistent contact for weeks, and the union was surprised" that AAF Chair Tom Dundon "spoke publicly" about needing help from the NFLPA to survive. Dundon's comments do not "make the NFLPA any more likely to help, when it would take an amendment to the CBA for that to happen." Observers are "speculating that the real reason Dundon bought the league was for the gambling technology that he could take and test" with the Hurricanes (SI.com, 4/1). In Memphis, Geoff Calkins wrote there is "simply no reason for the NFL to share the players it has under contract with a minor league." NFL teams "develop young players in their off-season programs." They "don't want them getting torn up" in different leagues (DAILYMEMPHIAN.com, 3/30).
GOING OUT WITH A BANG: In Memphis, Mark Giannotto wrote if the Orlando Apollos' 34-31 win over the Memphis Express on Saturday is the "end of the latest professional football experiment in Memphis," at least it "ended with theatrics." The game at the Liberty Bowl was a "chaotic experience that felt just as unstable as the entire league's existence." It featured "two negated touchdowns, three negated interceptions" and Apollos coach Steve Spurrier "throwing shade at Tennessee once it was over" (COMMERCIALAPPEAL.com, 3/30). In Illinois, Bill Welt wrote "if you want to watch a trainwreck, I'd highly recommend" the AAF. The game saw Express QB Johnny Manziel on a "folding chair eating nachos utterly as disinterested in the game as everybody else" (LINCOLNCOURIER.com, 3/31).