The AAF Allegedly Went to Vince McMahon and Said: 'Will You Please Buy Our League'


Yesterday, the AAF suspended football operations leaving many wondering what this all means for the upcoming XFL league. According to Clay Travis, the AAF actually approached Vince McMahon about buying their league because of the lack of money for a second year. But McMahon declined, finding they had nothing he didn’t already have to offer (1:14).

On this day, clearly, McMahon was wise not to buy the AAF which appears to be on its way to being omitted from the sports world sooner rather than later. With that said, the inevitable fold of the AAF is not necessarily a ticket to success for the XFL. Sure, if there is no AAF they would be facing less competition, but this is still going to be a massively expensive project that has much to learn from its first failed go-around in 2001.

The reported television deal that would air the games on ABC, ESPN, Fox, and FS1, as Clay mentioned, is clearly a positive that the AAF did not have. However, if they are unable to present good football, with players people want to see, none of that is going to matter in the long term. The biggest story surrounding the XFL is whether or not they can get college players to bypass years in college to play for them. Will they offer a player like Trevor Lawrence enough money to justify playing a year with them before going to the NFL?

It is worth wondering if McMahon’s feelings toward co-founder and CEO of the AAF, Charlie Ebersol, played a factor in this. Ebersol, a friend of McMahon’s, directed the 30 for 30 on the XFL (which McMahon launched in conjunction with his father, longtime former NBC executive Dick Ebersol) and then hastily beat McMahon to the alternative football league market.

By all indications, the XFL will have more success than what is happening with the AAF. Nobody should be anticipating a report a few months in that  McMahon approached a rival to buy his league. But let’s not be so sure all this adds up to the XFL as the next big success story.