Moose Johnston could be spending plenty of time testifying

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Former San Antonio Commanders G.M. Darryl “Moose” Johnston won’t be working for the AAF. But he could be doing plenty of work in the coming months because of the AAF.

Johnston’s recent comments to ESPN Radio’s San Antonio affiliate could make Johnston a key witness in the lawsuits already filed and any others that will be initiated based on the disconnect between representations regarding the funding that the AAF had and the reality that it lacked funding to finish a full season. The arguments made in every piece of litigation filed in connection with the demise of the AAF will be simple and clear: The AAF said the league had enough money to operate for multiple years, and the AAF in actuality did not have enough money to complete one.

“There were several people who took jobs with the Alliance because they were told they had two years, and they’re in a very difficult spot now at this stage,” Johnson said, adding that “people were misled” by the AAF. “This was something that caught me totally by surprise.”

While the remarks about the league’s financial viability may have been regarded when made as the kind of puffery and huckstering that makes the business world go round (and gets politicians elected to high office), Johnston’s comments show that, for the people who committed to the AAF, the question of whether it was a viable, multi-year endeavor or a seat-of-the-pants, close-your-eyes-and-hope-for-the-best roll of the dice became an important factor in deciding to sign on.

For example, entities like UCF wouldn’t have spent $100,000 for police and other expenses associated with staging AAF games if there hadn’t been a clear impression that this was a viable, fully-funded football operation. If the truth of the situation had been known, UCF would have put the AAF on a COD arrangement. Without funding, the AAF wouldn’t have been able to get what it needed to even have a chance at pulling it off.

Now that the AAF is gone, plenty of people are holding the bag. And the argument will be that it’s a bag they never would have held if they’d known that the AAF’s back accounts were basically empty.

10 responses to “Moose Johnston could be spending plenty of time testifying

  1. My question is this: How much did the honorable Bill Polish know, and when did he know it?

  2. I would imagine that many people were only too eager to get it on the ground floor of what possibly was a lucrative deal. Most thought the AFL was just a fly by night operation
    also.That’s the chance you take on any new startup. For every Mcrosoft there are hundreds or more failures. I imagine some people that are left high and dry might not have been considered for their jobs if it had been a more solidly capitalised venture. High reward high risk.

  3. The leadership of the AAF may very well have not been truthful. But there were contracts signed. Much will have to do with the fine print. Did they exempt the leadership from personal liability under a default? Did the contracts make statements that differed from what was said publicly?
    I can imagine with how stupidly the league was setup, that the leadership failed to protect themselves. But did they?
    The players with $2500 hotel bills, UCF, and GM’s who missed out on other jobs because they took one with the AFF didn’t think to protect themselves. There were thousands of comments from us dumbass web blog commenters saying the league would not last. Yet, UCF, Moose Johnson and so many others were totally caught off guard?
    If they can get damages from the leadership for lying I’d be all for it. But some of the victims need to look in the mirror.
    You should be able to leave your car running as you run into the store to grab a gallon of milk. You also should not be surprised to find your car stolen.

  4. ctiggs says:
    April 14, 2019 at 3:38 pm
    shame how this league just folded. What an awful business plan if there even was one.


    I think it was pretty clear from day one that the only plan was to establish some kind of partnership with the NFL. When it became obvious that this wasn’t going to happen anytime soon, they decided to fold rather than continue to bleed red ink.

  5. ee00ee says:

    April 14, 2019 at 5:21 pm

    As a lawyer don’t you recognize the promises outside the confines of the employment contract as puffery?


    Or fraud

  6. The only difference is DJ got paid while getting duped… To claim it caught him off guard only cements the fact that he was incompetent for the job any way

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