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The AAFL: The Extra A Is For "Absolutely Pointless"

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Curious as to what Gene Corrigan is up to nowadays? Yeah, me neither. But it turns out he's putting together a new pro football league. And it makes just as much sense as you'd expect a football league that goes to a former ACC commisioner for guidance to.

The apparent logic is this. Southerner's like the football. So why not wedge a league into those months between spring football practice and summer football practice? Play the games in college stadiums, give the team state names, and hope nobody recognizes that there's absolutely no emotional fan attachment. They've got a team playing in The Swamp in Florida, as well as teams in Alabama, Tennessee, and North Carolina - the last of those will play in N.C. State's stadium, if you hadn't aleady guessed. Of course, they're also looking at Florida State for a site, which will make their naming convention rather odd, when Florida meets Other Florida for an exciting evening matchup.

Now, I think it's a stupid idea. But I think a lot of things are stupid ideas, and don't really feel the need to ridicule all of them. But what annoys me about Corrigan's triple-A football is it's blatant co-option of the goodwill college football has built up over a century. To wit, on the state-naming issue:

"If we try to call them the Gators, I don't think they're going to buy into that," [Corrigan] says, referring to the university. "But Florida is the name of a state. There's no problem using that name." He says the league hopes to use college bands as well.

Because college bands, like stadiums, just sit idle during the rest of the year. Drum majors are just left in a locker under the concourse and hauled out once a month to be Febreezed. The whole respect for the student-athlete and only hiring college graduates only applies to the folks who can run a 4.4 forty, I guess.

College football is a business. In many ways that's unfortunate from an educational standpoint, but it's a fact of life. Grafting a sycophantic business to that and essiantly bribing local schools into being a backdrop to pump a little more money from their fans isn't the noble gesture the AAFL is trying to make it out to be. It only reenforces the corporate nature of the whole thing, and for what? To squeeze a couple of more years out of the second-tier college players we just spent four years cheering on? I'll pass, thanks.