The hottest thing in sports right now is launching a fledgling football league for the NFL offseason. The AAF is in the midst of its inaugural season, with mixed results in terms of quality of games and interest.
In 2020, the XFL will return, as Vince McMahon announced a year ago, in hopes of capturing some nostalgia from its initial effort at creating an alternate league to the NFL in 2001. However, the XFL almost made its return under the direction of someone else other than McMahon and was supposed to be what the AAF became.
According to Darren Rovell of The Action Network, a lawsuit filed by Robert Vanech against the AAF and Charlie Ebersol claims the league was planning on buying the XFL name from WWE and NBC, only for McMahon to decide to relaunch the league on his own.
As a result, the AAF was created as a separate league, which Vanech alleges went against a “handshake agreement” he had with Ebersol to be a founder of the new football league. Vanech believes he’s entitled to 50 percent of ownership of the AAF as well as his rightful place in history as its founder.
Now, there have already been some questions about the AAF’s longterm viability, given they just needed a $250 million investment, but it is interesting that McMahon was apparently swayed to relaunch the XFL after learning of the interest from prospective buyers that became the AAF, choosing to compete with them instead.