Forever Swords Up

Written by: Keith "Grizz" Crear | SFL Photographer/Sports Blogger

It took me awhile to write this article because its all so surreal and disappointing. It seems, me and the crew were just on the I-10 headed to San Antonio from Houston to cover the game to shocked.

 After learning the AAF had shut down operations of the league, you began to wonder what was the reasoning of Dundon's axe. Did Dundon expect the NFLPA to just hand over players, and did he REALLY think that after only 8 weeks of games in an inaugural season, the NFL was just have open arms. I mean why push for that when there are countless amounts of talented players coming out of college and or who didn't enter the NFL draft that could have created a solid foundation for the AAF. Resistance was already given from outsiders who said the AAF wouldn't work. Attendance from teams around the league was sub-par to say the least.

The anomaly out this whole situation and who I really feel bad for are the Commander fans and the Commander organization. Outside of Orlando, the Commanders had the #1 home game attendance of fans in the league, EVERY GAME. But despite having the amazing fanbase, in the end, they would be the ones to get the short end of the sword. Its like being the unpopular kid in high school only to be pranked with a date to the prom. Its that deep feeling in the pit of your stomach you get when you get hustled.

I remember rolling into the city to cover the second home game and seeing all the flags around the Alamodome, sea of red jerseys, and the excitement on fan faces as they walked to the gates for the game. It reminded me of going to a Texans game. That adrenaline rush you get of hearing the tailgaters in the parking lots, the smell of the stadium hotdogs and the anticipation of iced cold beer, was enough to hypnotize any aspiring or curious football on-looker. It was at that moment I realized that after just 2 weeks into the season, San Antonio had EMBRACED the AAF and called the Commanders family. Now they had a football team to call their own. The fans showed out in attendance with 29,000+ fans and 30,000+ fans in attendance of the 3rd home game.

Fast forward to April 1st, and what seemed to be a bad April fools joke, rumors were spreading around the league of a shutdown, but with tickets still being sold via the website, and just getting notification of Media Coverage credentials from the front office, who would have thought the sword was coming the next day.

The powers that be, have to be ashamed of themselves with the thought of a promising spring football league just coming to a hault and leaving staff and players out of work. Player contracts were IMMEDIATELY terminated and staff were instantly laid off. Seeing players leave stadiums like the Alamodome with no answer as to whats next with all to be bundled in trashbags was heart-wrenching.

The San Antonio Commanders have issued a statement after the Alliance of American Football announced it was suspending operations just 8 games into the league's first season.

"On behalf of all of us with the San Antonio Commanders organization, we were shocked and incredibly disappointed to learn of the Boards' decision to suspend football operations.

Charlie Ebersol and Bill Polian delivered a quality football product that fans nationally were watching on TV, online, and here in San Antonio on each and every game day.

While all startups encounter some challenges, we believed ours could be addressed in the offseason, after a successful completion to our first season.

We are grateful to our players, coaches, staff, corporate partners, and especially our fans that supported us from the moment our team was announced through the record-setting attendance -- San Antonio proved to be the best fans in The Alliance time and time again.

We hope to be able to share information from The Alliance about ticket refunds in the future."

With fan built organizations and groups, like The Commander Post Podcast, Lady CommndHERS, Commanders Tailgate Brigade and the Commanders Tailgating Club Facebook Page, the spirit of the Commanders will definitely live on in San Antonio. The love THEY have to the team has shown by fans alike offering services to players due to the league leaving them stranded and basically out on the street as sources say that players were not getting paid.

The question now is, Whats next? San Antonio definitely has shown that they DESERVE a professional football team that is long overdue. I REALLY hope they are blessed with a longtime forever love. #SwordsUp #TakeCommand #CommandTheField

No comments

Powered by Blogger.