My sports fandom’s ability to disappoint is legendary. From the Cowboys and the Rangers to the Mavs and the Aggies of Texas A&M, each season my optimism gets teased harder than a teenager on prom night. I’ve sort of come to accept it, even the flashes of greatness like the ’11 World Series, the ’12 TAMU football season, and, most soul-crushingly, in 2014 when Dez caught it, only lift me up to hurl me and all my happiness to the ground like a shuttle coming back to Earth. It’s a sad existence, but such has been my cross to bear, I thought, singularly.
Now though, it seems my ability to create athletic failure has spread to entire leagues. Last Saturday I decided to watch some of the newly formed Alliance of American Football (AAF). Johnny Manziel had recently signed with the Memphis Express, and they were playing the Orlando Apollos on a day when the weather had forced me inside and I was already glued to my TV by the Dell Matchplay. I watched one snap. Johnny threw a bobbled pass in the end zone that was intercepted, leading him to get knocked the fuck out trying to tackle the returning defender. I was mortified. I watched one freaking play, and it just so happened to be a game ender for Johnny. I immediately flipped back to the Dell and haven’t sniffed the AAF or its goings-on, until today. According to ESPN, the AAF is immediately suspending all operations. Johnny Manziel’s own Twitter account has corroborated the suspension, as he tweeted advice to fellow AAF players on potential next steps.
Is this my fault? Maybe. The league has had its share of problems long before I offered my fandom though, from payroll, insurance, securing venues, and rumors of an eventual evolution into the XFL. Maybe this is just a new business venture succumbing to unforeseen and unresolvable consequences. Certainly, some blame needs to go to Tom Dundon, the current owner of the Carolina Hurricanes and de facto owner of the AAF thanks to his $250 million majority investment. Guy needs to quit being a chickenshit. If you’ve got $250mil to gamble in the first place, you don’t mash the eject button the second things get tough. Sack up, Tom. Scared money don’t make none. Still, despite all the controversy and poor managing surrounding the sport I can’t help but think I killed the AAF. I hope I didn’t, but if it comes out my terrible spectator’s luck is to blame y’all know where to send your angry mob.