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Wednesday 3 April 2019
I was planning on going to a professional football game this weekend when the Atlanta Legends played the Salt Lake Stallions at Georgia State Stadium on Sunday. But now I will not be doing that.
Not because I've got other plans or because I couldn't afford tickets. No, I will not be doing that because the Alliance of American Football has taken its ball and gone home. The league "suspended operations" yesterday, which is a euphemism for "went out of business."
Unlike previous off-Broadway versions of the NFL, I had been enjoying the AAF games. I loved their tweaks to the usual NFL rules. (No kickoffs. All extra point attempts had to be 2-point conversions. Referees for the referees.) Alas, it was too beautiful to survive. By which I mean, obviously, the NFL had to kill it.
The Alliance had been struggling for capital since they started play in February. Attendance and television numbers were actually very encouraging, but behind-the-scenes backing was not. The nail in the AAF's coffin was the NFL and NFLPA refusing to play ball and allow young, signed NFL talent to crossover and make the AAF a true developmental league like the World League was in the aughts. I can't say as I blame them. There's only so much money to be made from professional football, and right now, they have it all. Why should they share if they can get away without? (Capitalism Rule #1: Business ethics is an oxymoron.)
Anyway, I'll be free this Sunday afternoon. Maybe I'll take in a movie.