Saturday, March 15, 2014

A11FL ahead of the spring football game 12 months prior to kickoff

 

The A11 Professional Football League is 12 months away from kicking off its first full season, bringing high-quality professional spring outdoor football back to the legions of fans who find themselves wanting more from the final play of the Super Bowl to the first whistle of National Football League training camps.

And with the A11FL’s opening kickoff just one short year away, it already has seven of its eight charter cities and brands announced, a full and accomplished leadership team in place, a two-year television contract with ESPN and continues to work behind the scenes to finalize details of its two showcase games later this year in Tampa, Florida, and Dallas, Texas.

While there is no shortage of work to be done in all phases of preparation for the A11FL’s inaugural season – and a lot of details fans are itching to find out – history tells us that the A11FL is far ahead of the other three major spring outdoor football leagues in many phases of its rollout.

-         The United States Football League kicked off with 12 teams and six games on March 6-7, 1983. The USFL, however, didn’t announce its 12 cities (of which there were two franchise shifts prior to kickoff) until May 11, 1982, and it didn’t name Chet Simmons as its first Commissioner until June 13, 1982.

-         The NFL-backed World League of American Football’s first weekend of play was March 23-25, 1991. This easily was the most tenuous launch of the previous “Big Three,” given that the final league structure of 10 teams in three divisions and five countries over two continents wasn’t announced until November 14, 1990 – a little more than four months prior to kickoff. Exactly one year before kickoff, only three markets – Orlando, Florida; Birmingham, Alabama and Montreal, Quebec, Canada – had been made public.

Mike Lynn was named the WLAF’s President/CEO on October 10, 1990 – a little more than five months prior to kickoff.

-         The XFL’s inaugural weekend was February 3-4, 2001. Exactly one year prior to kickoff, on February 3, 2000, professional wrestling mogul Vince McMahon unveiled his plans to launch an eight-team professional football league. The league’s President, Basil V. DeVito Jr., was involved from the outset, but the XFL’s first franchise wasn’t publicly announced until June 13, 2000 (Chicago Enforcers), and the final franchise wasn’t revealed until September 15, 2000 (San Francisco Demons).

Waiting on new information from a new sports league can be frustrating – both for those inside and outside of the league. A11FL fans can take heart in two things – that the league is working tirelessly behind the scenes to give football fans the league they want in the spring/summer months, and that this league is well ahead of previous spring leagues in many phases of the game.

Dusty Sloan is the A11 Professional Football League’s Senior Editor/Vice President of Editorial Content.

23 comments:

  1. That sounds well and good, but are you making progress to actually taking the field, next year?

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    1. Progress is being made on a daily basis behind the scenes to take the field for the showcase games later this year and the first full season next year. Announcements will be made once details are finalized.

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    2. "..showcase games later this year..". That doesn't sound like a concrete May 2014 date anymore. I live in Tampa and when I mention a Bandit rebirth no one believes me.

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  2. Why is it that the league is copying the USFL cities and logos? What's up with that?

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    1. The league has the trademarks to most of the prior USFL team names. The league decided to use those names in most markets, and new names in others.

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  3. It's all marketing, man. People miss the USFL and those teams. that Trump killed the league.

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  6. While the A11FL brass has unveiled no shortage of team names and logos and uniform concepts, they've yet to identify just who will be providing the M-O-N-E-Y to operate the league. Who, exactly, are the deep-pocketed financiers willing to step-up and foot the bill for leasing stadiums and purchasing equipment and paying the salaries of players, coaches, staff, and game-officials?

    As more and more time slips by with no announcements regarding ownership and investment, as the number of days until the showcase games continues to dwindle, one cannot help but think that McKibbin, Keller-and-Company are hoping to use said showcases as their primary means of convincing potential investors to pony-up the dough necessary to make a 2015 A11FL kick-off possible.

    Which begs the question, what will happen to the league's prospects if fan interest in the showcases isn't sufficient to hook the investors the A11FL leadership is fishing for? One wonders if the league would resort to papering-the-house with ticket giveaways to produce the appearance of rabid fan support?

    Until there are deep-pocketed investors willing to go on-the-record as having committed to funding the long-term operation of this league, the A11FL is little more than a theoretical construct... a hypothetical entity... a fantasy. Nostalgic team names, eye-catching logos, and attractive uniform designs are all well and good... but they're not legal tender.

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  7. There is a lot of speculation and conjecture to your post, Corbin. The showcase games are to show football fans the brand of football they will get when the first full season kicks off in March of 2015 - period. There are many people who are equating the failures of past leagues (WFL, USFL, WLAF/NFLE, XFL and UFL) to the A11FL, which I always have contended is unfair.

    Those behind the scenes are working tirelessly to make the league work. There are details that fans want to know yesterday - and details the league would have liked to reveal yesterday.

    At the end of the day, the A11FL has accomplished a lot and has a lot in place a full year before its first first season begins. The work to give football fans the high-quality spring league they want and deserve isn't going to stop. And when the time is right to reveal more information - just like the time was right to reveal what has been revealed - it will be, and fans will be very pleased at the results.

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    1. "...just like the time was right to reveal what has been revealed - it will be, and fans will be very pleased at the results."

      So (based on your post) there was an occurrence(s) and it is one that would please a perspective fan?

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  8. Dusty, I am curious to find out if you know why A11FL locked down the Facebook page to comments? I know they are seeing plenty of notes wondering what is going on. Any hints on when the next big announcement might be that will make the league solid for years to come.

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  9. Richard, it wouldn't be my place to speak on behalf of the league on that. As for announcements, they will come when the league has crossed all Ts and dotted all Is.

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  10. Are the Showcase games still being played?

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  11. There have been no changes to any A11FL scheduling for this year or next.

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    1. Thanks. Kickoff is in 5 weeks. Whatever is going on, I don't see why silence on the showcases is needed.

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  12. Dusty...Talk to us! usually we can count on you as a voice of reason. Is this league dead in the water as it appears or is something really big coming? I see no way they make kick off for the showcase games unless they play them in the fall. It is not like you to go silent too!

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    1. The behind-the-scenes work continues on the league, and I am excited about the future. Remember the old saying, "No news is good news?" Well, that is true here, and when there is news, I anticipate it will be seen as great news.

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    2. Raymond James Website is still taking deposits for the showcase game on May 17th.

      http://raymondjamesstadium.com/a11fl/

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  13. Dusty why was the Tampa game in May canceled?

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  14. The league hasn't made an announcement to that affect, so anything like that is speculation. The league is preparing for play behind the scenes, and it is looking forward to giving fans more info soon.

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  15. Could we be seeing info within the next week or so?

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  16. Info will be announced when details are finalized.

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