It’s official: the Arena League has outlasted NFL Europe/Europa/A Bunch of Teams Mostly in Germany!
Where are all the mediocre players that the NFL wants to develop going to go? Is the talent level of the AFL going to increase dramatically? I’d be perfectly happy to see the AFL become the pseudo-NFL Development League that NFL Deutchland was. That’s probably unlikely to happen, at least in an official capacity, sadly. However, the NFL’s castoffs have to go somewhere, which means my dream of instituting a system of AFL/af2 promotion and relegation is one step closer to reality.
A requiem for a league, after das jumpen:
We also would’ve accepted: Surprised QB is Surprised His League Was Shut Down
Good news: The AFL manages to outlast and out-profit another awkward, crippled football venture. Even better is that it was, until it last-gasped today, sanctioned by the NFL. Bad news: as has been mentioned in the comments, the option to play a season in Madden as the Frankfurt Galaxy has been ripped from the gaming community’s grasp. I remember the heady days of high school, when I sucked at Madden, and would force my friend to play against me with the Barcelona Dragons, so I had a fighting chance.
“I speak Eenglish ver’ well - I learn it from a boook.”
-Former Barcelona Dragons QB
Attendance was up this year, with an average of 20,000 people per game, and more than 48,000 spectators attended the World Bowl in Commerzbank Arena, but even still, the league was reportedly going to hemmorhage more than $30 million. Roger Goodell looked around, put his steely-eyed assassin face on, and, shouting “I’M THE COMMISSIONER OF THE MOST POWERFUL SPORTING LEAGUE ON EARTH,” told the league it was time to pack up its leiderhosen. Drunk with power (also possibly gin), he released the following statement:
“A foundation of American football fans in key European markets has been created and the time is right to shift our strategy. The next phase of our international growth is to focus on initiatives with global impact, including taking advantage of developing technologies that make the NFL more accessible on a global scale and ensuring the success of our new international series of regular-season games.”
He added, “While you’re figuring out what that means, I’m going to suspend some more players,” pulled out his crossbow, kicked out the window, fired a zipline to the adjoining building and made his escape.
Historians call this the “Reign of Terror Stare”
But, you might ask, why do we give a shit? Does NFL Europe play with nets at the back of their end zones? No. Do they play on a miniature field? Not since the London Monarchs stopped trying to fit a 100-yard field with two 10-yard end zones into a space measuring 93 yards total. (I have no idea how they did this.) Do they score points like ordinary people buy Cheerios at Costco? No. It’s because J.T. O’Sullivan, formerly of the Frankfurt Whatevers, now is available to either the Bears (who technically still have his rights) or the Columbus Destroyers. A bigger selection of fair-to-middlin’ players means (theoretically) less god-awful play in the Arena League.
If I had my druthers, I’d have a dispersal draft, and with the extra players, promote whatever af2 team wins the Arena Stein (okay, Arena Cup, but by God, I’m sticking with the German theme if it kills me), and relegating the Las Vegas Gladiators. Hell, promote two teams, to make the conferences even, and relegate the Gladiators. I. Want. Relegation.
If I didn’t have extra puppies to kill in the Bankingdrome today (We hired extra people - we’re gonna need a bigger blender.) I would’ve set up that dispersal draft. Alas, the plan failed, much like the league that inspired the plan. Auf weidershen, World League of American Football/NFL Europe/NFL Europa; drunken Belgian tourists unable to get tickets to the Bundesliga now have nowhere to turn but to their lagers and schnitzels.
“…It Seemed Like a Good Idea At the Time…”