Guys, I’m starting to think the Freedom Football League won’t be getting off the ground in May.
It doesn’t look like Major League Football will tee it up then, either.
And the Pacific Pro Football League, slated for a July launch, has been deathly quiet for quite a while.
So much for the Summer of (alternative football) Love.
Fans who can’t get enough gridiron action will be able to watch the XFL reboot starting on February 8 and follow it until the championship game on April 26. But the FFL and MLF promised to kick off in May, ensuring that those of you with a tackle football addiction could always get a fix.
I just don’t see it happening – at least not this year.
If my calendar is correct (and I’m pretty sure it is) today is January 18. That means if the FFL and MLF are to start in early May, they need to get cracking in securing stadium and media deals and hiring players, coaches and staff.
To the best of my knowledge, none of those things have happened.
The Freedom Football League, in fact, has worked backward.
Instead of putting together franchises and then giving them nicknames, the FFL branded teams without actually forming them.
Take the Birmingham Kings, for example. As a native of the Magic City I’d certainly root for them. But unless I missed something, this team doesn’t even exist. And I’d assume if they wanted to play at Legion Field in May, the Birmingham Park and Recreation Board would probably have gotten a heads-up by now.
I messaged the league a few weeks back and asked if the May 2020 start was still planned but haven’t heard anything.
Their website hasn’t been updated in months, and the FFL’s last tweet seeking employees was sent on Oct. 8, 2019.
In this case, no news is bad news.
As for MLF, that enterprise continues to get flagged for false starts.
Founded in 2014, it has threatened to play every season but never comes close to reaching the starting gate.
In July, 2019, the league announced on its Facebook page that it would commence play in six cities in 2020 with training camp set for April in Florida.
And last October MLF revealed it had purchased football equipment, video equipment, and medical supplies from the defunct Alliance of American Football.
That was the last transmission from the league. However, if you happen to see some dude running around wearing a San Diego Fleet helmet with a roving end zone camera in one hand and ankle tape in the other, you might be able to get some intel from him.
So, yeah, not really counting on Major League Football to ever be anything more than a minor footnote.
I guess Pac Pro still has a puncher’s chance since it will primarily target prep graduates who don’t want to go to college. With many high schools wrapping up in May or early June, that would be the time when the bulk of players are made available.
Still, this is another league that has developed a habit of pushing back its start date. It was originally supposed to take the field in 2018, then 2019, and here we are still waiting for any news about the four Southern California-based teams set to serve as inaugural franchises.
The Pac Pro website hasn’t had fresh content in almost a year, and that suggests to me it might be finished before it ever begins.
So what happened?
Well, there are many pro football ventures that never got beyond the planning stages.
Remember the “new” United States Football League?
Or the All-American Football League?
Or the United National Gridiron League?
Or the North American Football League?
For all that have come and gone, many never showed up at all.
But who knows? Perhaps we’ll hear exciting news about the Freedom Football League, Major League Football and the Pacific Pro Football League any day now.
Regardless, all you alternative football league fans are just three weeks away from the sport’s latest spring fling – courtesy of the XFL.
But if you’re really jonesing for summer pro football, you don’t need to wait for the FFL, MLF or Pac Pro.
A new Canadian Football League season kicks off on June 11.