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Food
Holy Cardinal and Five Star General of the Righteous Knighthood of Jabootu

USA
342 Posts

Posted - 10/23/2008 :  7:18:01 PM  Show Profile  Visit Food's Homepage
I have a mini-obsession with the history of failed sports leagues. It's far more extensive than most sports fans are aware, with some leagues collapsing this decade before a single game was played (the AAFL and UNGL), others dying in infancy (the XFL and WUSA), and a couple more leagues due to fail in the next few years (the embryonic UFL and reboots of the USFL and WUSA, and the extant AFL). It seems that Jabootu has a hand in leagues that stink up the joint, leagues that collapse either because of mismanagement right off the bat or because the league was an idea that was lousy to begin with. And then there was the glorious failure of the original USFL, a Greek tragedy that simple Didn't Have To End This Way. I miss it.

Was anybody a fan of any of these erstwhile leagues?

RossM
Holy Cardinal and Five Star General of the Righteous Knighthood of Jabootu

USA
427 Posts

Posted - 10/23/2008 :  8:27:07 PM  Show Profile
Some of these leagues were great ideas but just underfunded. For example was the American Basketball Association. They forced a merger with the more solvent of their teams. I wish that the red white and blue ball was kept though. The earlier American Basketball League was a good idea but just underfunded. During the 1940s the All American Football Conference gave the NFL a real run for its money and forced a Merger. The original Cleveland Browns came out of that league and destroyed the NFL teams, mostly becauee they had made a major effort to recruit Black players.

A disaster was the World Hockey League which spent millions of dollars on over the hill players like Derek Sanderson.

Its very difficult to start up a league against a well established powerhouse. It takes detailed planning and a lot of money. The American Baseball League learned from the failure of the Federal League and didnt start until they were well funded and had a striong presence in markets ignored by the National league.

Its a topic dear to my heart as well and love to talk about it. But I'll stop rambling now.
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Sardu
Holy Cardinal and Five Star General of the Righteous Knighthood of Jabootu

1126 Posts

Posted - 10/23/2008 :  10:55:14 PM  Show Profile
Jabootu's arm grows long.


---------------------------------------
I sleep now!!
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Ericb
Holy Cardinal and Five Star General of the Righteous Knighthood of Jabootu

USA
648 Posts

Posted - 10/24/2008 :  05:52:54 AM  Show Profile
There was the short lived World Football League in the 70s and the World League of American Football in the early 90s. This eventually shed it's North American teams (duh, as Canada and the US already had Football leagues of their own they didn't need a new set of inferior teams) became NFL Europe which eventually became defunct.

"You talk to us about heavy artillery. Thank God, we don't have any. It's the lightness of its guns that make the French army what it is." - representative of the French General Staff to the budget commission of the Chamber of Deputies, 1909
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Ericb
Holy Cardinal and Five Star General of the Righteous Knighthood of Jabootu

USA
648 Posts

Posted - 10/24/2008 :  05:55:42 AM  Show Profile
I did enjoy watching the World Bowl with teams like the Frankfurt Galaxy playing the Barcelona Dragons in empty stadiums.

"You talk to us about heavy artillery. Thank God, we don't have any. It's the lightness of its guns that make the French army what it is." - representative of the French General Staff to the budget commission of the Chamber of Deputies, 1909
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Terrahawk
Holy Cardinal and Five Star General of the Righteous Knighthood of Jabootu

USA
644 Posts

Posted - 10/24/2008 :  12:59:03 PM  Show Profile
Truly the greatest Jabootu league is the WNBA. The ratings and fan attendance are bottom of the barrel. No one really cares about it. Yet, the NBA continues to keep it on life support like a spouse who won't let their loved one die. Someone has to write the history of that league once someone finally decides to pull the plug.

I summon Bigger Fish!
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RossM
Holy Cardinal and Five Star General of the Righteous Knighthood of Jabootu

USA
427 Posts

Posted - 10/24/2008 :  2:01:00 PM  Show Profile
The European foot league was reasonable idea. It was used as a league for player development for the NFL and they hoped to expand the product into Europe. It turns out that Europe is as slow to embrace NFL football as we are to embrace soccer.

The various soccer leagues in the country all belong on Jabootu, especially with their excessive payouts to way over the hill former stars. .

The USFL was actually doing well. They played in the spring, kept their expenses and ticket prices low, pre signed a TV contract, signed players who were not yet taken by the NFL and hoped to make a later profit by selling their contracts to the NFL when the players proved themselves, and they slowly expanded.

Then that financial genius Donald Trump got involved and decided to compete directly with the NFL like the AFL did. He did not notice that the AFL did it right and at the right time. The NFL had no presence at all in many growing markets like San Diego and Houston. Trump moved the USFO games to the fall and on Sundays and pumped in big bucks on over the hill players. This financial genius bankrupted the entire league in less than one season
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Food
Holy Cardinal and Five Star General of the Righteous Knighthood of Jabootu

USA
342 Posts

Posted - 10/24/2008 :  8:12:12 PM  Show Profile  Visit Food's Homepage
quote:
Originally posted by RossM

The various soccer leagues in the country all belong on Jabootu, especially with their excessive payouts to way over the hill former stars.


I knew something was screwy with the league when they advertised Beckham as a goal-scoring machine. That'd be like the NBA marketing John Stockton as a slam-dunk wizard. But they've actually come a long way. They've been phasing out their single-entity model (a model that has never succeeded once in sports history, as near as I can tell), and begun selling their teams to private entities. Now, if only those private entities would keep their corporate names out of their team names (New York Red Bulls?!? Go to hell!!!)

quote:
The USFL was actually doing well........Then that financial genius Donald Trump got involved and decided to compete directly with the NFL like the AFL did.....Trump moved the USFO games to the fall and on Sundays and pumped in big bucks on over the hill players. This financial genius bankrupted the entire league in less than one season.


Trump had no say in the expansion, as he didn't become owner until after the league had already decided to expand by 6 after the '83 season. His crime against the league is that from the moment he bought the Generals, he never had any interest in helping the USFL thrive as the top spring football league. His goal all along was to get the Generals into the NFL, either through merger or absorption. His ownership of one of the three ABC-mandated teams (with the others, LA and Chicago, having HORRID attendance) gave him de facto control over the decision-making process. So when the league took the vote as to whether to move to the fall, only the owners of the Denver Gold and Tampa Bay Bandits voted no.

I'm glad to find someone who is as into this niche subject as I am. Too cool! :)


Hey Ross, wanna see something REALLY niche?....http://www.womensfootballcentral.com/

Edited by - Food on 10/24/2008 8:16:36 PM
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RossM
Holy Cardinal and Five Star General of the Righteous Knighthood of Jabootu

USA
427 Posts

Posted - 10/24/2008 :  9:46:10 PM  Show Profile
Part of trump's reasoning was that if he could force a merger with the NFL his stake in the New York team would jump in value by a factor of ten times (and to hell with the rest of the league). Baring that he sued the NFL for antitrust violations. I attended the trial from time to time and one day sat on the bench right next to Trump. He is indeed the jackass he portrays himself to be. The NFL didn't bite and refused to be cowed by him. Remember he WON the case. The jury did say that that the NFL engaged in restrictions of trade. The damages were exactly one dollar, which was trebled to three.

The AFL started off very slowly as well (we all remember Harry Wizmer and the NY Titans) but they didn't move until they had Lamar Hunt's money invested and a contract with ABC. There were not many NFL teams at that time and many growing markets were ignored by them which the AFL filled. There was also a large body of untapped talent to choose and so the AFL was quickly the equal of the NFL in quality of play. Only then did they go after big stars like Joe Namath and Pete Gogolak. Building a business in a very competitive market requires time, money, and patience and intelligence. Since Trump inherited all his money he simply never understood this.
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Food
Holy Cardinal and Five Star General of the Righteous Knighthood of Jabootu

USA
342 Posts

Posted - 10/24/2008 :  10:14:44 PM  Show Profile  Visit Food's Homepage
That's awesome, you got to actually be there for parts of the trial!

I understand some of the jury later said that if they had known that the USFL was only gonna get a buck, they might've ruled differently; also that Al Davis and Howard Cosell both testified for the USFL.

If they'd held up on the lawsuit/switch-to-fall until after the '86 season, the NFL strike may well have kicked the USFL's appeal up a few notches, as key NFL players may have defected. Of course, given how badly that strike backfired, maybe not.

Here's my favorite USFL pic, at the bottom of this page. Their highest single-game attendance ever. 73,227 for the Generals-Bulls game in Week 3 of 1984:

[url="http://www.oursportscentral.com/usfl/bulls.php"]What Could've Been.[/url]
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RossM
Holy Cardinal and Five Star General of the Righteous Knighthood of Jabootu

USA
427 Posts

Posted - 10/25/2008 :  04:25:31 AM  Show Profile
I believe that the jury saw through Trump's scam. Most did not want to give him anything and felt that the NFL should have sued trump for wasting their time. There were one or two holdouts who simply did not understand anything and were sympathetic to trump and refused to vote. The vote and comical reward was a compromise. Howard Cosell's bizarre testimony is a Jabootu classic of jurisprudence.

Had they stayed with Basset and remained in the spring they would have been able to take advantage of the strike and would have had a fighting chance. By following Trump to the fall so that Trump could force his team (and not theirs) into the NFL was lunacy.
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Ericb
Holy Cardinal and Five Star General of the Righteous Knighthood of Jabootu

USA
648 Posts

Posted - 10/27/2008 :  10:56:54 AM  Show Profile
Though it's still extant and, perhaps, even profitable, the Arena Football League seems Jabootu inspired.

"You talk to us about heavy artillery. Thank God, we don't have any. It's the lightness of its guns that make the French army what it is." - representative of the French General Staff to the budget commission of the Chamber of Deputies, 1909
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RossM
Holy Cardinal and Five Star General of the Righteous Knighthood of Jabootu

USA
427 Posts

Posted - 10/27/2008 :  11:49:05 AM  Show Profile
The arena football league survives because it is being used as a kind of minor league by the NFL and so it attracts good and eager players, Keeps its expenses reletively low, and does not compete directly with the NFL. As a sport its very strange, sort of like beig inside a pinball machine.

To me a true Jabootu side sport it women's boxing, truly bizarre I think.

How about World team Tennis? tennis is purely an individual sport. No matter how they divvy it up and try to generate fans like a baseball team it is not goign to work.
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Food
Holy Cardinal and Five Star General of the Righteous Knighthood of Jabootu

USA
342 Posts

Posted - 10/27/2008 :  10:47:40 PM  Show Profile  Visit Food's Homepage
Arena Football sold 40% stake to Platinum Equity on October 20th. The owner of the very successful (both on-field and in attendance) New Orleans VooDoo had disbanded the team altogether one week previous because he knew it was coming. The Nashville Kats had already disbanded. This isn't good. The single-entity league model almost never works, and that's where the AFL seems to be going.

Don't get me wrong: The 23-year existence of the AFL is jaw-dropping. In defiance of all common sense and all natural laws, they've not only hung around, they've thrived. The average attendance for the 2007 season was 12,392, the highest in its history and fourth straight year of over 12K*. By comparison, the WNBA averaged only 7,948 for the 2008 season*. And it even has a minor league of its own, afl2 (Horrible name for a minor league, but still!).

Ultimately, though, the league has two key inhibitors:

1. Nomadicism. The league has yet to have back-to-back seasons where none of th teams either disbanded or relocated. The movement/disbanding of the franchises today looks like a league still in its infancy rather than approaching the quarter-century mark. That makes it very difficult for teams to develop a loyal fan base.
2. Nicheness (Nichery?). Arena Football is an alternative form of football, and some NFL fans see it as Gimmick Football. As such, it only attracts a limited number of NFL fans. It's to the credit of the league's PR department that it never claimed nor tried to be anything other than a minor league, but that very minor-league status also contributes to keep some NFL fans away.

* - Stats found on Wikipedia, so it could be Type O Negative anal blood for all I know.
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Ericb
Holy Cardinal and Five Star General of the Righteous Knighthood of Jabootu

USA
648 Posts

Posted - 12/03/2008 :  06:21:57 AM  Show Profile
They just won't quit:

http://www.ufl-football.com/home

"I am Temujin ... Barbarian ... I fight! I love! I conquer ... like a Barbarian!"
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Flangepart
Holy Cardinal and Five Star General of the Righteous Knighthood of Jabootu

USA
2329 Posts

Posted - 12/03/2008 :  07:17:03 AM  Show Profile
Frankfurt galaxy, Barcelona dragons...some great team names here.
Imagin some B-movie inspired team names.
The Kobe Kaiju vs. the London Gorgos...

Saudi Sand worms vs. the Nevade grabboids.

R/C robot teams like The Gorts Vs. the Crows...( I miss battlebots.)


Marvin the Paranoid Android to Buzz Lightyear "Too infinity and beyond-i've been there, its rubbish!"

"Hoody Hoo, i waste 'em with my cross bow!" Bob Herzog- KODT

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