Sean Combs hints at starting a new football league

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In a stream of Tuesday night tweets, music and entertainment mogul Sean Diddy Combs expressed a desire to buy the NFL. As in all of the NFL. At a likely cost in excess of $100 billion (assuming he could convince 31 different owners to sell and buy up at least 50.1 percent of non-transferable Packers stock), that’s not realistic.

But here’s what is realistic: Starting his own football league. And he seems to be considering that, too.

“I did have a dream to own a NFL team but now my dream is to own our own league!” Combs tweeted at one point. “A league where you can be yourself. Have a retirement plan. . . . Have freedom to be a great human and protest for your people without being demonized for your beliefs as a KING!! NEW DREAM ALERT!!!!”

The NFL (which already has a retirement plan) has enjoyed a monopoly over pro football for decades. With enough funding, could Combs and any partners he’d recruit set up a league that would be less buttoned up and stifling to player freedoms than the NFL? They’d have the money to get it started; the question becomes whether it would resonate with the audience enough to generate a return on the investment.

In recent years, I’ve wondered whether the time has come for an old-school football league, where the kind of hits for which people like the President wax nostalgic are legal, and where all players assume the risks of playing rough-and-tumble tackle football. Given recent developments, maybe it’s time for a new-school football league. One that attracts younger fans and those who have had enough of the rules and policies and edicts and mandates.

Regardless of philosophy, it won’t be easy to compete with the NFL. Many have tried; all have failed. Still, maybe the window has opened for an alternative. And maybe someone with significant resources will decide to give it a whirl.

62 responses to “Sean Combs hints at starting a new football league

  1. Stifling to player freedoms? Lmao. Players want money first and foremost…. and they get it. Everything else is noise…. and the writers on the site don’t see it.

  2. It takes a lot more than money to start and run a football league. Combs is an extremely successful entrepreneur, but even so, the logistics would be daunting. Rather than taking on the monumental task of forming a new league, why doesn’t Combs seriously contend for a franchise? All the problems he mentioned can be resolved simply by replacing Goodell with a competent commissioner. As an owner, he might be able to influence that decision.

  3. If the biggest knock on the NFL is this concussion business, how is a racially based (ie, unpopular) league that flaunts liberal identity politics (ie, unpopular) and leaves its retirees wheelchair-bound at age 40 going to draw viewers?

  4. While a small NFL Europe style league would be good for player development I wouldn’t watch and don’t see it working.

  5. The NFL is a tough nut to crack. All this talk about how everyone hates the NFL is just fake talk. The NFL raked in more revenue last year than ever before. Don’t believe everything you hear. The NFL product is near perfect, and it’s the best form of entertainment in the world. Just buy a team Puff Daddy. You could have an advantage signing free agents if the owners get too stupid with this anthem thing.

  6. As someone who hates Puff Daddy, I hope he starts this league and sinks every penny he owns into it and will enjoy him fading out of our lives …

  7. It would be better to have a league where players respect the flag, law enforcement, and are good role models. And they wouldn’t be allowed in the league unless they had at least the reading level of a high school student.

  8. Go ahead and start your own league. I’m sure you’ll get all the liberals to watch your league. But let me ask you… what happens when one of your players deicides to protest AGAINST gay marriage? Or AGAINST abortions and then alienates 75% of your fan base?? And viewers start dropping? And advertisers start bailing???

    Are you still going to be that “cool” easy going owner and let them destroy your league that you have invested millions of your own money? I would love to see it. I love it when liberals have to face the consequencies of their own stupidity and faulty logic.

  9. the packers stock thats sold is non voting stock.

    it would cost ten billion to start a league. lets hit kick starter.

    my team would be named in honor of the once great nfl champions. the New Providence Steamrollers

  10. All these players are highly educated and would fall into multi-million dollar jobs without football.

    Let’s see who caves in… I’d watch replacements before I watch pouty, everything’s been given to me, spoiled adults.

    You’re paid performers, now dance!

  11. Go for it. The GREAT judgment of the organizers will help advance the end of the NFL and their plan. And along the way ESPN and NBC sports gets their just reward too. And all small town lawyers carrying the water for protesters can head to their office and wait
    for a siren.

  12. Ha! Ha! “…and protest for your people…” – league fails before the first kickoff.

    I have to believe he hasn’t really been paying attention to all the blowback these “protests” have caused…

  13. no chance on this. it’s not even about whether someone can pull off setting it up. the problem is with talent. you’d have to be able to steal so much talent from the NFL. nobody wants to watch a bunch of people off the street playing football. the NFL is so exciting to watch because you have the best athletes in the world playing the sport. so unless you can steal that talent from the NFL, which would be even more difficult then coming up with the funds to just start the league, good luck.

  14. Start small. Eight teams max. Teams in cities that don’t have a franchise. Run it in the spring. Have entire season/playoff/championship wrapped up and done by Father’s Day. If it can’t compete with early season mlb, the nhl and nba playoff slogs, then it wasn’t meant to be.

  15. I hear what Florio is saying about an “old school” league. So let’s cut to the chase, call Vince McMahon, and let him know the XFL is back on!

  16. 4rings4brady says:

    the packers stock thats sold is non voting stock.
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    That’s incorrect. It is voting stock, but before they sold the “souvenir” stock, the real stockowners gave themselves a 1000 – 1 stock split. That made the original 6,000 shares equal 6,000,000 shares.

    The Packers have sold 1.25 million shares of “souvenir” stock. If 100% of those shareholders were to all actually decied vote the same way, they wouldn’t be able to overcome the real stockholders votes.

  17. “I did have a dream to own a NFL team but now my dream is to own our own league!”

    So “he” had a dream. He now has a “new” dream.

    What I want to know is how “his” dream became “our” dream?

    I think it’s time for him to wake up from this nightmare. For someone who is so accustomed to having money, the sudden loss of all his money would be devastating.

    I don’t think the lifestyle of the “poor and homeless” is one that he wants to aspire to.

  18. Looking at his net worth and team values – he’d need financing and/or investors to buy a team much less start a league.

    If he and a group of like minded people were willing to start a league it wouldn’t make it past the 6 month mark.

    1. Where do they play? Who pays for that?
    2. Where do they get players? People don’t want to watch Football for the protests, even if they agree with them. They watch it for quality play.
    3. Even if they get players – they can’t afford to pay them what the established NFL can and believe me, the NFL will do what it needs to so as to keep talent.
    4. No TV channel that can afford to give good revenues to the new league will touch it. Not at the risk of losing the NFL forever.

    Look Puffy is wealthy, 840 million worth but the Cowboys do that each year in revenues. There simply aren’t enough investors that will allow a competitive league to sprout up and still function. WAY to many cooks in the kitchen then.

  19. Reminds me of the time when Donald Trump drove the USFL into bankruptcy. I still get a chuckle out of that $1 in damages the court gave him when he sued the NFL.

    Ironically, he also called the Dallas Cowboys a poor investment when they were up for sale in the mid-1980s. Meanwhile, Jerry Jones buys it, and uses his role as owner to create a bunch of profitable side businessses that are related to football as well.

  20. That’s why America is the greatest country in history. If you don’t like the product that is being offered, you have the opportunity to offer an alternative

  21. Isn’t it ironic that the whole reason a man in this country can dream this up and contemplate it the freedom that one has due to the constitution, protected by free men, the military choosing to fight for it, the flag, etc. The ignorance has become non-laughable. We as a nation have become to wealthy. Eating ourselves.

  22. History works against the idea and the fact Congress has repeatedly refused to deal with NFL monopoly status makes the initiative impossible but there is nothing to stop a run at it. I can almost agree with it but to me it looks more like a league that in someone’s head is a “take that – in your face NFL” kind of thing than a sound business plan.

  23. Whatever you do don’t let Trump anywhere near your league. He destroyed the USFL, he’s wrecking the NFL, and he’ll destroy your league.

  24. All they will do is introduce a weaker version of the NFL with tricked up rules like “he hate me” name plates and stupid camera angles. It will be like WWE football. No thanks.

    Now if they want to create like an NFL Minor leagues then that would be great. I think the NCAA would have a huge issue with it, but imagine something structured like the NFL that competes alongside colleges. But players can get paid. Star athletes can go there for better coaching, graduated college players could play there like a practice squad, and just have rules about needing to be under a certain age or with fewer than a certain number of games in the NFL in order to be eligible. That keeps out the old NFL players that are looking to just stay relevant and blocking the young guys.

  25. “the question becomes whether it would resonate with the audience enough to generate a return on the investment”

    Let’s save ol’ Puffy a lot of time and money here.

    The answer would be “no.”

  26. It’s not a totally insane idea. It would take a lot of logistics. And you cant market it as competition to the NFL, but more an alternative/developmental league (like the CFL. Then slowly build towards being direct competition.

    Talent would be less of an issue, people want to act like they need to steal NFL talent, but they dont. Stop and think for a minute, millions of people spend all day Saturdays watching College football. And out of all the college football players, maybe 300 make it into the league each year. You spend hours each Saturday watching players who have a shelf life of graduation.

    The biggest problem it would have is when does it air on television (where the real money is going to be coming from)? Thursday, Sunday and Monday are linked to the NFL, Saturdays are locked on by the NCAA. People work during the week so its hard pick a weekday. Friday nights are locked for people with high school football players, so primetime friday night is kind of out of the questions as well. So Tuesdays and Wednesdays are really your only options for television slotting. And you cant make every game primetime due to different timezones. You could slot 8 teams in the central united states but then there is the logistics of who get what games as you get further towards the coasts.

    If you try to run it in the NFL offseason, how do you lure in young college kids, because a bunch of NFL washout will only get you so far to start. You cant draft kids in the middle of a college season. You could try right after the national championship, but youre not going to have anyone enter who has even the slightest chance of making an NFL squad, because thats where the big money is.

  27. People going back to the example of the AFL need to give it a rest. The NFL was not the dominating media/sports entertainment monster it is now. It wasn’t even close. The NFL back then was closer to the RFL (Regional Football League) for all intents and purposes. A few very wise NFL and AFL owners realized they needed each other to survive and grow.

    The merger put the NFL into position to truly become “national,” and you put that together with the fortunate fact the game was ideal for TV and the way TV became THE media cash cow it is today – and voila – you have today’s NFL.

    The NFL is a monster now. Its only interest in another league would be to destroy it. Check the headstones of the USFL and XFL for reference.

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