The Alliance of American Football is reportedly set to close its doors today and, despite how momentarily fun it is for some to poke fun at those who try and fail, there's nothing good about it. Hundreds of players, dozens of coaches, league employees, all the small folk who weren't involved in billionaire investor Tom Dundon's game of thrones but are nonetheless paying the price for it, all of them are out of jobs.
It's led to some legitimate gripes, and who better than Steve Spurrier to air them.
“Everybody wanted to play out the season and everybody is disappointed,” Spurrier told the Orlando Sentinel. “Everyone was led to believe that the Alliance was well funded and we could play three years without making and money and this, that and the other. Obviously, everything that was said was not very truthful.”
The AAF's co-founders, Bill Polian and Charlie Ebersol, initially said the league was viable for years, with a plan to begin turning a profit in Year 4. But profitability by Year 4 turned into a near death by Week 2, when Dundon saved the league with a $70 million investment.
Dundon spoke well of the league's long-term prospects when he hopped aboard in mid-February, but five weeks later stated the AAF needed a formal player-sharing agreement with the NFL -- and quickly -- or the league would fold. There were reportedly discussions between the AAF, NFL and NFLPA as recently as Monday, but Dundon has apparently decided to shut the league down on Tuesday.
Since no one can wrap their minds around Dundon's motivations, speculation has filled the void. Darren Rovell reported Dundon was particularly interested in the tech side of the AAF -- the league was said to be making strides on a mobile gaming platform -- and that perhaps he was folding the league to keep that technology for himself, such a move would not be legal.
Absent an 11th hour revival, it appears the AAF will close its doors on Tuesday. Spurrier and other head coaches who were already semi-retired before the league approached them will be fine, but everyone else whose names the public doesn't know will have to move on to the next thing... whatever that may be.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.