All season longs AAF fans have come here for news about their favorite team in the Alliance. Our site numbers have grown week by week, as has our Twitter following. We’ve become one of the more reputable outlets covering the AAF.
But that is in jeopardy because the league is in jeopardy, because of the impatience of one man, chairman Tom Dundon.
Co-founder Bill Polian’s strategy was to grow the league enough so by the time a new NFL CBA is wrote up in 2021 that the NFL and NFLPA would gladly want to have a signed partnership with the AAF in the CBA. But Dundon doesn’t want to wait, he’s throwing out atom bombs to the media, and there’s been nothing but scorched Earth and bad PR to show for Dundon’s ‘efforts’.
Dundon said last week that if an agreement isn’t reached with the NFLPA soon that the league may have to discontinue. The rhetoric continued on Monday when Dundon said that there’s “a real possibility” the AAF could discontinue.
This is not how you negotiate with the NFL, a league that doesn’t need the AAF. Dundon’s strategy appears to be desperate. You can intrigue the NFL by creating a good on the field product with a strong television presence and traction on social media, not by threatening to walk away from the negotiating table. Further, Dundon hasn’t even been part of the negotiations with the NFLPA, Bill Polian has, and Dundon’s comments have been a surprise to league execs and coaches in the AAF.
Here’s what Arizona Hotshots coach Rick Neuheisel had to say about Dundon’s tactics:
“I’m very hopeful, and have reason to be very hopeful, that the powers that be that are getting to Mr. Dundon, who obviously made a big stake in this thing, and saying ‘patience, this is going to be really good.’ They come from the NFL and the league office. They come from all the coaches that are enjoying watching this from the NFL side and watching the development of players,” Neuheisel said.
The plan was patience, and still should be patience, and those closest to Dundon need to sit him down and settle him down before he blows this entire operation. Damage control mode needs to be initiated before the damage is irreversible.
And if Dundon is going to invest a bunch of money and back out of funding the league in less than a two month time-frame, then so be it, he isn’t the kind of investor the AAF needs. The AAF needs a big time investor that not only gives them a lot of capital, but they need an investor that brings them much needed stability. They need an investor with sensibility and agrees with the blueprint Ebersol and Polian planned upon.
You cannot rush the NFL, and if Dundon seriously thought he’d get a deal done with the NFL before the AAF season ended, he should be classified as a crazy rich man.
Hopefully the AAF brass has a Plan B, C, and beyond if Dundon decides to pull the plug. Dundon alone can’t discontinue the AAF, this will only happen if the AAF can’t find an investor to replace the money they’d be losing with Dundon’s departure.