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Sunday Morning Quarterback

Sunday Morning Quarterback

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

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Here's an idea destined to wind up on this page before the decade's out: a cadre of former college presidents (and one AD), almost entirely from SEC schools and led by former NCAA prez Cedric Dempsey, is looking to head up a new pro league for scrubs - with a twist!

...eight teams will use colleges as their bases, and feature players from those schools and their affiliated conferences and surrounding regions.

They'll play their games in the schools' stadiums or in bowl facilities. All 44-48 players per team must have graduated from college and exhausted their college eligibility.
(HT: Heisman Pundit)

The Arena Football League has succeeded - i.e., survived - by only superficially resembling a kind of curious, arcadish distortion of football-like competition, which is the approximate spirit it seems to generate. All subsequent leagues not bearing the acronym 'NFL' to attempt the recreate the genuine article have flailed and flopped and left us with only kitschy, hard-to-find t-shirts with unfathomable insignias (Canadian "football" fans, of course SMQ's not dissin' y'all: under various guises, the C"F"L pre-dates even its wildly celebrated American counterpart).

The underlying logic here, one would assume, is that if folks enjoy SEC/ACC/Big Ten football, their attachment to the players will continue to fill seats even when those players are done with the actual college part - except the players aren't really going anywhere, apparently, only being paid suddenly, changing uniforms and being relieved of academic duties (if this was ever a concern to being with). This has a whiff less of the minor leagues and more of a premature old-timers gathering at the Spring game to it: the non-NFL-worthy just suit up alongside other half-notable players from various teams in their region in between fruitless training camps? Are contests supposed to play out along the lines of an interleague, honorable mention all-conference all-star game on a rotating weekly basis?

How quickly the league hits the skids depends on the depth of the pockets of the shadowy "single businessman" funding this thing, but SMQ predicts the death will be a slow, anonymous, not least because it will have to generate millions from fans who care infinitely more about schools than individual players, and regardless of location will have no ties to bind them to any of these dubious organizations. Remember: most college football programs finish in the red without paying $100,000 player salaries or sharing revenue, as the AAFC plans to with host schools. Or do Bostonians, for example, have nothing better to do than drive down to watch Quinton Porter at last team up with Amos Zereoue?

Besides, if fans are interested in the various fates of past heroes from ol' Alma Mater U., they can always check out the long list of notable Americans now plying their trade in the aformentioned league north of the border. And if you can't make it there, or among the half-field variety, then maybe you should consider another career option.

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12:44 AM

Jimmy Clausen plays for the other team.

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And don't let the name fool ya - second guessing the phenomenal athletic feats and split-second decisions of college kids under extreme physical duress is for every day of the week.

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