As quickly as it came, it will apparently go away again: according to Pro Football Talk, the Alliance of American Football — short: AAF — will suspend its operations later today. And while the new league, which is currently in the ninth week of its ten-week-long regular season, will reportedly not yet fold, it certainly looks like that step will be taken sooner rather than later. If those reports therefore hold true, the league will be over soon.
Founded by Charlie Ebersol and ex-NFL executive Bill Polian, the league consisted of eight teams which played their first-ever games over the course of the weekend after the New England Patriots’ victory in Super Bowl 53. The AAF was clearly a notch below the NFL, but it still had plenty of entertainment value and adequate enough talent to for further growth — in part due to its experimental nature when it comes to rules and officiating.
Ultimately, the league’s demise appears to have more to do with internal issues regarding majority owner Tom Dundon. Just last week, Dundon threatened to pull the plug for the league — one in which he invested $250 million — in case the NFL Players Association didn’t comply with the AAF’s wishes to get access to depth players in order help his own league become more competitive and closer tie itself to its big brother.
However, it appears as if no such thing will happen. While the AAF — which according to Sports Illustrated’s Conor Orr was caught by surprise by the initial report — could still be saved, it appears as if it will join the USFL, the XFL, and other defunct leagues in the pro football graveyard.