Well the day that I hoped would never come is here. The AAF has folded like a lawn chair putting an end to a league that probably should have never started to begin with—at least not before having the NFL’s support. It should have been set up from the start as a type of “minor” league where deserving players could be “called up” to designated affiliated NFL rosters.
Charlie Ebersol, the league’s creator, had the idea to start the league after directing the 30 for 30 on the collapse of the XFL for ESPN in 2016. He ignored the old saying “learn from other people’s mistakes” just like the NFL ignored him when he came calling for backup. Instead he had to convince Tom Dundon, The Alliance’s majority owner and most recent league chairman, to invest $250M this February to bail out the failing league. Dundon, also the owner of the Carolina Hurricane’s of the NHL, has now lost $70M of the money he invested less than a month and a half ago. That might be the worst investment in American sports history, all things considered. Doing some quick math, Dundon lost $1,666,667 every day since his February 19th investment. That might cement his legacy on this planet. Nobody had a clue who the guy was before this blunder.
Anyway my team, the Orlando Apollos, ended up being the winningest franchise in the history of the AAF. Orlando had as many no-name players as the next team, but the difference was the winning mentality brought to the field every Sunday (or sometimes Saturday) by the head ball coach, Steve Spurrier. The Apollos also had me. I officially declared myself the franchise’s #1 fan at the beginning of the season. I know my support went unmatched. I watched at least parts of every game and even supported them financially by buying a jacket which is now a collector’s item. I know almost all of the starters names. I didn’t get upset after they started games with multiple ‘three and outs’ or missed field goals. Lastly, I was actually sad when I heard they wouldn’t get the chance to finish off the rest of the league’s dumpster fires and eventually win the Alliance Championship.