Fans there are only 9 weeks left to get tickets for opening weekend. No, not MLB’s opening day, and not the opening round of the NCAA tournament either. We’re talking Team Michigan vs. Team Tennessee in the long anticipated AAFL kick-off!
What’s that? You’ve never heard of those teams or the league? Well you aren’t alone. The All-American Football League starts play this year. The six team league (sorry Ohio, no team for us) represents Florida, Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Michigan and Alabama. Because there obviously isn’t enough football in the world, you will now have the option of laying down between $23 and $53 dollars (!) a game to watch washed up college players that couldn’t hack it in the NFL. Want to know who’s playing….
A quick look at the league’s homepage will give you a good indication. The poster boy for the league is Heisman Trophy QB Eric Crouch. Yep. Cut from the Toronto Argonauts Eric Crouch. He is on ‘Team Texas’. (Oh by the way, these lame teams apparently don’t have nicknames.) Other ‘big names’ in the league are Florida QB Chris Leak, and all-everything WR Peter Warrick. Can’t wait for those two to hook up on some deep passes! Ohio State fans will have the opportunity to cheer for Ryan Hamby, the only former Buckeye in the league. Unfortunately, you’d be cheering for Team Michigan if you decided to give a rip about Hamby’s career.
You tell me which is worse, that Chris Leak was drafted in the 6th round or that Notre Dame’s Ron Israel was drafted at all? Oh, and Chris Leak wasn’t even the first QB drafted by his team. But this is not your typical XFL type start-up league. This league has academic standards. Yeah, you read that right. They have a policy that you have to have your college degree to play for the league.
League teams will employ only those players who have both completed their college football eligibility and earned a four-year degree. This policy is expected to have a very positive impact on universities’ NCAA Graduation Success Rate and their Academic Progress Rate. To the extent practical, graduates of host universities will play for the team hosted by their Alma mater.
But wait, there’s more stupidity ahead…
The League intends that each League team will sell memberships to its fans and supporters. Members may be entitled to renewable season tickets in preferred locations, preferred parking, and other “insider” benefits. The League also hopes to provide Members access to high-definition private broadcasts of League games.
So let’s recap here. We have a new league that is marketing itself to ‘University areas’, bringing in third or fourth tier athletes, all of which have their degrees and presumably can make a living somewhere else. They are charging the ‘fans’ membership fees and upwards of $45 dollars a seat per game. Sniff…sniff…I smell a bomb.