Why the AAF Failed

Marky Billson
4 min readApr 4, 2019

But with the league owning all the teams and its crazy rules, we should be thankful.

The Alliance of American Football is gone, proving, once again, that league ownership of all the teams does not work.

In this case, the man who killed the league is Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon, the majority owner and the one who called the shots.

Think of it. If Dundon was the owner of one of the teams and he found it unprofitable or unsuccessful, he could sell it or move it or even fold it but he would not kill the league.

Here, with one man paying all of the bills, his option when he finds goings on unsatisfactory is to take a tax loss.

The San Antonio Commanders drew more than 27,000 fans a game, but the Salt Lake Stallions barely drew 9,000.

Reports are Dundon wanted a deal with the NFL Players Union where they would supply him with players, but that’s bogus.

First of all, it regulates the league to second-string status. Honestly, are you ever excited about the start of a new minor league?

Quick- who was the G-League champion last year? Or better yet, who won the Appalachian League title?

But there were plenty of players available without having to delve in to practice squads and second stringers of NFL teams. One of the biggest splashes of the league was to sign Johnny Manziel.

What really is the appeal of a practice squad player when a hometown hero overlooked by the NFL begging for a second chance would likely be a major drawing card for such a franchise?

Besides, players have come from “minor” football leagues to become stars. Kurt Warner went from Arena Football to Canton, Ohio. Tommy Maddox won’t have a bust made in his likeness, but he did go from XFL MVP to starting quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and architect of one of the great playoff comebacks in NFL history in 2002, and winning the division title as a starter.

Even Darnell Dinkins came off the sandlots to have an eight-year NFL career culminating with a Super Bowl ring in 2010.

Getting cup of coffee players from the NFL isn’t a good strategy. Finding the diamonds in the rough who could develop in to notable players on the team that signs them always is.