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Sunday, February 23, 2020

AAF responds to Eminem’s request for team in Detroit

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by Mark Phillips

Eminem wants to fight

On Monday, rap icon and Michigan native, Marshall Mathers took to Twitter to give some free advice to the AAF.

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Charlie Ebersol quickly responded.

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AAF

The AAF, or Alliance of American Football, has been quite the novelty.  Started by Charlie Ebersol (son of former chairman of NBC Sports, Dick Ebersol) and former NFL executive Bill Polian, and meant to give fans football in the off-season.

This distinction is key.  The USFL (United States Football League) was the most successful alternative to the NFL.  They played their games in the spring from 1982 to 1985.  However, in 1986, the owners voted to move their games to the fall and compete directly with the NFL.  They believed this would force a merger.  It failed.  The league folded after the 1986 season.

Struggling to survive

Even though the AAF is doing things “the right way” and avoiding direct competition with the NFL, they are still struggling in year one.  They were in danger of shuttering after only one week.  The owner of the Carolina Hurricanes, Tom Dundon, agreed to shell out $250 million to keep them afloat.

The AAF has amassed an impressive crew of former NFL players, including Johnny Manziel, and they have placed franchises in mostly non-NFL markets.

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Despite all that, they are still struggling to make it through their first year.

Destination Detroit

So would Detroit be a great place for a franchise?  I know, I know, let the “Detroit doesn’t have a football team” jokes roll in.  But practically speaking, the Lions sell out Ford field every week and passion for the Lions (along with disdain) runs deep.  Could Detroit support another football team?

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I think Charlie Ebersol would do better to take Eminem’s advice about the fighting rather than focusing on expansion.  What do you think?

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