From AAF to XFL to collapse tragedy

XFL Football discussion.
Post Reply
4th&long
Head Coach
Posts: 1332
Joined: Sun Nov 24, 2019 2:27 pm

From AAF to XFL to collapse tragedy

Post by 4th&long »

Its 2018 - The AAF sounded so promising to start with Charlie Ebersol and Bill Polian at the top. They were going to help the player, have a betting APP, be a dev league or not, and they were funded for 7 yrs per Charlie early on.

Well, we all were to find out that Charlie Ebersol was a massive liar, a modern snake oil salesman. Yet the AAF launched on schedule and played 8 games. Thanks to Tom Dundon stepping in.

Unfortunately, they didn’t finish the year and its gone now.

Ebersol boxed himself in early by lying and bragging about the money behind the league, and he almost didn’t get the $20-30mm they needed in Dec 2018 need to launch, but they did. But his lies really boxed him in, he could not make cost saving changes without admitting to being underfunded and he was too weak to navigate what was needed.

Bill Polian in post AAF suspension interviews said the goal of yr 1 was to prove worthy of a paying TV contract in yr 2 or formal agreement with the NFL. Well that makes sense yet they didn’t behave like that. Instead they spent big, fearing the upcoming XFL, rushed and went into cities not worthy of TV contracts The cities, namely Birmingham and Memphis, don’t have the size to generate a large TV audience yet have the same costs (more or less).

They also over paid players (sans QBs) and locked them into 3 yr contracts to prevent them from jumping to the upcoming XFL. They went with 53 player in a 10 game season (is that necessary- IMO no); 8 teams / 4 games a week yet they only could afford to televise 3 of those and 1 of those was on the weak CBSSN.

After week 1 - which went well and drew just as well as week one (the CBS game) as XFL opener, they faced financial issues. Enter Tom Dundon. He actually got them to cut some costs but they were spending $10mm a week to put on games. After 7 weeks as owner he called it a day - partially for XFL fears and of course bleeding money.

If XFL wasn’t coming - he may have road it out the remains weeks to see about that TV deal.

Now if the AAF HAD done what Bill Polian originally discussed just wanting to prove a concept, and kept costs in control. I do think they would have made it thru year 1.
How about 6 teams since 2 were un attractive in any way to TV nets plus they weren’t televised anyway. How about an 8 game season. How about 44-45 man rosters? How about 4k a game vs 7k with 10k for QBs. It’s not rocket science. They just SPENT other people’s money because Polian never knew a day without it and Charlie was a spoiled brat child.
In this case weekly costs likely go from $10million to $6mm and the camp cost/upfront startup costs drop too. They would have roved they can finance a season and were worthy on a TV deal. But nope hubris, greed, pride and stupidity got in the way.

Enter the XFL….
Last edited by 4th&long on Sun Mar 14, 2021 10:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
4th&long
Head Coach
Posts: 1332
Joined: Sun Nov 24, 2019 2:27 pm

Re: rom AAF to XFL to collapse tragedy

Post by 4th&long »

Enter the XFL….

The XFL was announced in 2018 prior to the AAF big PR show in order to steal some attention and build buzz. It was to be funded long term by VM. It was to be REAL FB no gimmicks like XFL 1.0. It was to be about FB and not SJW diversions.

After the AAF crashed and burned - yet did pretty well on TV considering… they slowly got things going behind the scenes. OL was hired to run it and once again bought into the siren song of $$. He knew VM was willing to put up $300mm for three years and instead of going for a one yr TV deal went for 2-3 years since VM was going to fund losses anyway.
- This is why I think VM hates OL. OL knew, as many of us did, that XFL would be a TV success right out of the gate… why give it away? I like OL but I also dislike his decision here.

OL spared no expense - EXCEPT IN PROMOTING THE LEAGUE. I will say he did lower player salaries, which was good. But 53 man rosters, team 9 and extra players. Also I will say VM was on board and it worked.

Anyway - they brought it former coaches and worked with TSL and networks on rules and what would work and they just did it right but costly.

The result was a big opening w/e and v solid ratings thru week 5, averging 1.9 million over broadcast and cable. WOW!

Then came covid, fear porn and politics and Lockdowns etc… VM saw his WWE stock plummet and panicked IMO. He also saw this IMO as a way out of OL ridiculous contract and the XFL’s non-paying TV deals. So he suspended and then filed bankruptcy. He gambled, he lost. If RBC/DG/Rk had not bought it back, even with all the negatives and pressure he got he likely would have. And it would have played in 2021 and fully in 2022 - IMO.

So what do fans have now? No spring FB because of an unbelievable set of circumstances, events (and thank you Xxxxxx). It’s all a shame. I really hope RBC/DG/Rk do something or call it quits ASAP so someone else can. There IS TV/Streaming money out there to make this happen. Step up or move aside.
Post Reply