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Vince McMahon to Target Alienated NFL Fans with 'New XFL'

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by deepest_background, Dec 27, 2017.

  1. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    I think the AAFC had that general goal when it formed in 1946, but that was in the days before TV contracts became the overwhelming factor in the viability of sports leagues.

    Plus in 1946 it wasn't like the NFL was an overwhelming cultural institution, it was barely out of the barnstorming stage itself, so I'm sure the initial thinking behind the AAFC was that they could make it on their own merits.

    We know now, 50+ years later, that the AFL owners were quietly pulling for a merger with the NFL from day one, although publicly they put on a brave face and insisted they had the will (and the money) to go it on their own for decades if necessary.

    But the reason the AFL made it when no other "startup league" since the AL in 1903 has, is they stayed alive long enough to get a TV contract which was essentially enough to guarantee its survival, if not success.

    The WFL and USFL both claimed they had the goal of making it on their own from the get-go.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2019
  2. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    There's no doubt the WNBA lasts as long as it has without a lot of financial help from the NBA. But much like in soccer, the real money for the women is made overseas.

    As has been suggested, some sort of tie-in with the NFL may be the only way a second-tier league makes it over the long haul. Maybe mix in some elements of MLS, with smaller venues. And after the WFL, USFL, CFL, XFL, World League and AAF, can we just concede the pro football isn't going to work in Birmingham?
  3. mpcincal

    mpcincal Well-Known Member

    I think it had more to do with the leagues they were in as a whole, and the fact that they weren't the NFL, than it did with the city. If someone had the gumption to get a new stadium built in Birmingham and get an NFL team in there, it would do fine.
  4. Neutral Corner

    Neutral Corner Well-Known Member

    There will be a new municipal stadium in Birmingham, opening in 2021. UAB will be playing it's home games there.

    There isn't a more football crazy town, but I don't know if a pro football team makes it here. 80% of the state follows 'Bama. An exhibition game between two decent teams would sell out, but long term? It's a coin flip whether a franchise makes it here.
  5. cyclingwriter2

    cyclingwriter2 Well-Known Member

    Something else to remember, when the AFL forced its way on the landscape, a large part of america didn’t have pro football. The NFL was a 12-team league playing in 11 cities and was finally growing after decades of instability. It’s owners mainly made their money off their football teams, not by other financial means so they were happy to be turning a profit and not be losing their shirts. They didn’t see a reason to expand to places like Dallas, Houston or Denver. Or even back to Boston. They were content.

    It’s a great question. Let say the NFL sold the Cardinals to Lamar Hunt and let him move the team to Dallas. Or to Bud Adams. Or expanded when those two came calling the first time. The AFL never exists then. Does the NFL just begin expanding normally by adding teams every few years or does someone like a Fred Bassett come along by the late 1960s with franchises in Miami, New Orleans, Atlanta and Birmingham? Without the success off the afl, it’s possible the ABA and WHA don’t launch until later?
  6. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    It's pretty well acknowledged the ABA and WHA took direct inspiration from the AFL, and hoped for similar results -- they were aiming for a merger with the established leagues.

    But the economic doldrums of the mid-Seventies put the brakes on both leagues in terms of landing a legitimate national teevee contract, so pretty much half the franchises were hanging on by their fingernails, and the NBA/NHL had no incentive to agree to full mergers as had the NFL -- instead, they just cherry-picked the best franchises and left the rest in the cold.

    A full-fledged NBA-ABA merger, with no folded franchises, was agreed to in 1971 IIRC, but the NBAPA objected (correctly) that a merger would put a huge brake on salaries, and they got an antitrust injunction to stop it.

    By the time the leagues were ready to try again and try to get agreement by the players, it was 1976 and the ABA was on life support, primarily because it had never been able to get a serious network teevee contract (as the AFL had done in 1965).

    The demise of the WHA in 1980 followed pretty much the same pattern.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2019
    cyclingwriter2 likes this.
  7. Neutral Corner

    Neutral Corner Well-Known Member

    This guy has a bright future in PR work.

  8. outofplace

    outofplace Well-Known Member

    That was the claim and the USFL started off that way. By the end, there was no coherent plan, but at least some owners were angling for a merger.
  9. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    Well ... no politics, ahem ...

    One stupid fucker hijacked the whole league, abandoned the original plan (to become a viable operation in the spring) and launched into direct confrontation with the NFL. At that point their only hope was an unconditional victory in the court case.
  10. outofplace

    outofplace Well-Known Member

    I don't think it is a political statement to say that as owner of the New Jersey Generals, Donald Trump screwed over the other owners in the hope that he could force the NFL to bring his team into the fold.
    HanSenSE likes this.
  11. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    Report: AAF approached XFL about a merger in December 2018

    This is nuts. If the founders are lucky, they'll only have to deal with lawsuits. Wouldn't be surprised if some fraud was involved - like Theranos, the blood testing outfit. I'm guessing all of the money went into PR. I'd like to see the New Yorker or someone dig into venture capital firms. They have a reputation/image of being companies that can sniff out BS - I wonder how many have "taken a stake" in some ventures just by adding their names with the idea that it will attract additional investment who assume everything is on the up and up.
  12. justgladtobehere

    justgladtobehere Well-Known Member

    Teams survive on getting businesses and very wealthy people to pay for boxes, etc. Another thing is local revenue is a factor of population. I don't know a lot about Birmingham, but I don't think it would rate well in either area.
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