Too bad. They made a nice splash in their return to Cleveland in 2008, with the Gladiators making it all the way to the Conference Championship before losing to the eventual champions from Philly. I also remember back in the day watching a Thunderbolts game for free when they played the Massachusetts Marauders with (ex-Browns) starting QB Mike Pagel.
"As you may have read in Robert Parker's Wine Newsletter, 'Donaghy Estates tastes like the urine of Satan, after a hefty portion of asparagus.'" Jack Donaghy, 30 Rock
In fact, there are a certain number of AFL teams that want to keep going. Just not the 75% needed to return to operations. Those teams might join af2 or one of the many other regional arena leagues that still exist (the American Indoor Football Association, the American Professional Football League, the Continental Indoor Football League, the Indoor Football League, the Southern Indoor Football League, United Indoor Football), or join together to form their own new league.
Obviously none of the existing leagues have the television presence the AFL had, but when your league fails, you're going to have to scale it back a little bit.
I know the indoor team in Wichita did okay attendance wise and with some success drew decent a playoff crowd. But I haven't a clue how solvent they are. With what they pay the players, it shouldn't take much to make a profit.
It hurts me personally because we had the LI Dragons playing next door at the Coliseum and they were always good for a little bump in business. It also was a nice alternative to regular football to watch at times, so it's sad to see it may be done. Hopefully, at least some of the teams will continue to keep going: the league may have to cut down to 8-10 teams, but I still think it's better than the measly 4 confirmed and 2 maybe teams that the UFL has.
One thing I wonder: what will ESPN do about this? They have a small stake in the AFL as far as I understand. Would they try to save the league, knowing that it probably wouldn't cost too much and may make decent ratings on one of their lesser channels? Or would they let it fold, knowing that if they keep the AFL alive, they may piss off the NFL and lose out on future TV contracts?
af2 will continue from everything I've heard and read. I've been a season ticket holder for the Green Bay Blizzard for 4 years now, and am following their playoff run closely. That's easy to do with the af2, since all games are televised FREE over the internet. You download a video player from niftytv.com (also available at the af2 website), and it's pretty slick.
Sorry if this sounds too much like a shill. I'm really into af2, and try to sell it anyway I can. Speaking of which, let's go change that avatar for awhile.
ETA - Go Blizzard! Bummer - the new avatar doesn't show up yet
At last, there will be justice for the real national champions of 2004, the Auburn Tigers. As far as USC is concerned, may they suffer long after the effects of this well-deserved punishment have passed. They certainly deserve it.