On August 6, 2006, I reported (with excitement) that there was a new football league sprouting up in college towns across the country called the All American Football League (AAFL). At that point in time, people were wondering which new league idea would win out, the AAFL or the UFL, much like the old school debate of Beta vs. VHS. The AAFL looked promising, with the expectation of high salaries in strong markets.
Then AAFL news took a hiatus for a while until major media outlets started picking up on its inaugural draft, which occurred earlier this year. Through my position as Public Relations Director of the Entertainment and Sports Law Society at UF Law, I was invited to attend Team Florida’s first official draft and subsequent after party, where many players were getting very loose on the dance floor. They were surely happy about their pending $50,000+ checks awaiting them at the start of the 2008 season.
But that happiness may need to be tabled for the time being. ESPN news services reports that the AAFL may be forced to wait until 2009 for games to begin. The first games of 2008 are supposed to start in April, but without a TV deal to broadcast AAFL games, the league’s backers, including CEO Marcus Katz, cannot afford to kickoff the inaugural season. Is the AAFL already shaping up to be a failure like its USFL and XFL predecessors? Are UFL backers pleased or worried by the news that the AAFL is having problems finding a TV entity to pick up its games?