The Day The Sky Fell

I’m not sure if I mentioned it before but my fiance Adam and I started a football blog about the AAF team the Orlando Apollos called Apollo’s Arrow. We wrote articles on our website and ran a weekly podcast called The Quiver. It was a fun hobby that brought us closer together. It was a lot of hard work. I managed the Facebook page and ran most of the social media campaigns. It was a lot of hard work staying current and in the know. But we had a lot of fun doing it.

Today, it was announced that the AAF was suspending all operations. Basically, the league folded with just 2 regular season games scheduled. The Apollos were actually a great football team their record was 7-1. We really enjoyed this league because the thought behind it was that the AAF was a second chance unofficial developmental league for the NFL. That is what made it different than all the other spring football start-ups. They weren’t competing with the NFL but acting more like an unofficial partner.

Adam and I really enjoying covering the games. We bought season tickets but spent most of our time in the press box. Adam also started experimenting with sports photography. We truly grew a following on Facebook with 550 likes on our page and 919 followers on Twitter. We invested time, lots of effort, and money into this league.

Recently a new investor Tom Dundon invested $250 million into the league and became the majority stakeholder. He is in the sports game being the owner of a hockey team. At first, it seemed to be a good fit. But over the past week things took a turn. Dundon announced earlier this week that is the NFL players Association didn’t agree to provide players and make the AAF the official developmental league of the NFL then he was going to fold the league. Most fans didn’t take what he said seriously and thought he was just throwing an adult trantrum in order to get his way. All of this news seemed to blow over but today he dropped the bomb. Players, coaches, and office staff were all caught off guard. Adam and I had heard some rumors and were braced for what was about it happen.

I was hoping against hope that someone would bail the league out. According to Dundon, the league was losing a lot of money. In other words, he didn’t want to lose a big chunk of his huge investment. I am truly upset by this news even though I knew it was coming. I invested a lot of my own personal time building a decent following on social media. I really became the go-to for information on the team. People actually thought I worked for the team. Adam spent a lot of time writing blog posts and editing/recording our podcast. As a fan, I feel robbed. The Apollos made it to the playoff game and had a real chance at the league championship. Now all of those players and coaches are out of the job. Not to mention the hard-working office staff. It’s really a shame that this had to happen.

Final Thoughts

In my opinion, the league didn’t market themselves properly. They didn’t even run their own official facebook group, I did. I knew a lot but I didn’t work for the team so I didn’t always have all the answers. They never really communicated when season ticket holder events were. They tended to announce them a few days before and plan them at weird times. I also think the sponsorships weren’t there and the TV/radio deals were not solid.

On the plus side, Adam and I learned a lot. We ran a successful blog and podcast. I learned all the ins and outs of social media. I am going to use those skills and start offering them to small businesses through Adam’s web development business, Impossibly Creative. We also decided to rebrand and start covering the Orlando Predators, an arena football team. Today we put all the pieces into place to start doing that for the season kick-off on April 13th. Check us out soon our podcast is called The Jungle Podcast. We also decided to start covering the new XFL Tampa Bay team that starts in 2020. We have more than enough to keep us busy. We are looking forward to what the future holds and will always #takeaim.