"If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him ... but let him ask in faith, with no doubting"      James 1:5

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Making of a League
Over the years I've contributed to professional football team/league development and there is a formula to successful football.  And the formula is not the following:

$ × $ ± a famous name √the NFL partnership = ∞
(money × money, plus or minus a famous name, square rooted by an NFL partnership, equals infinity)

The past several years there has been a rush to cash in on what took the NFL almost a hundred years to develop.  A fantastic entertainment business.  We should review how the NFL began;

The NFL season doesn't start in September "just because."  On September 17, 1920 ten teams gathered in an automobile showroom in Canton, Ohio (yes, that's why the Hall Of Fame is located there) and talked about football for fun and profit.  In a little more than two hours they agreed to form a league.  It was called the American Professional Football Association.  A few years later it was changed to what it is today: the National Football League.

Oh, the ten initial teams?  Akron Pros, Canton Bulldogs, Cleveland Indians and Dayton Triangles from Ohio;  Hammond Pros and Muncie Flyers from Indiana;  Rochester Jeffersons from New York;  and the Rock Island Independants, Decatur Staleys, and Racine Cardinals from Illinois.  Two of these initial ten still play today.  In 1921 the Decatur Staleys moved to Chicago and were renamed the Bears.  The Racine Cardinals became the St. Louis Cardinals and today are the Arizona Cardinals.

"Papa Bear" Halas was a player, coach and manager for the Decatur Staleys (Chicago Bears) and was one of the ten team representatives who sat on a running board of one of the cars in the showroom while creating the league.  They voted that league franchises would make payment of $100 to join the league.  None of the league's charter members ever paid the franchise fee.  So much for expensive board rooms and the $
× $ part of the formula above.

In 1921 the league, hoping to boost its profile, elected the famed Jim Thorpe as its first president.  Is that what Jim Thorpe is remembered for or the amazing multi-athlete that he was?  Well, so much for the
± a famous name in the formula.

The NFL's journey and evolution to becoming the most entertaining sport in the county had detours.  From 1934 to 1945, African Americans were excluded.  Early on players didn't have a minimum salary or benefits, an injury meant no more job, no more pay, and no financial protection at all.  All the while the league has been in the forefront in development with rule innovations, equipment improvements, collective bargaining agreements, appealing broadcasting and giving fans memorable players, teams and championships.  Simply put; the NFL doesn't need other 'pro' leagues to survive.  They only need to approve of themselves due to setting the standard and continually being the leader in what's good for everyone involved.  This eliminates the final equation
the NFL partnership in the formula.

Other leagues have produced things for the NFL to build upon such as:

- USFL brought to light the amount of talent and future team locations available.
- AFL showed individuality and has pro player development with a unique formula which has been
  successful bringing indoor football to fans with a smart twist to rules/fields.
- XFL had gimmicks but developed the 'skycam', which the NFL bought the rights to after they folded, and improved television broadcasts.
- NFLEurope did not develop players as needed and was costly.  It brought interest to the world pertaining other leagues now happening and opened the world television market.
- The UFL once used a similar formula mentioned above but relinquished it by wanting to becoming a solid long term football league giving skilled staff and opportunities to those looking to advance.

So what is the best formula for making a football league?

$ +
Talent = Fans
(Money + greater time, being equal to talent, equals fans)

Simply put.  Place your money where the fans are. Give them entertaining, talented football and take time to develop.

As far as someone being the 'developmental' football league for the NFL.  It won't happen.  Semi-pro leagues and indoor football, among others, can claim placing players into the NFL.  The development is up to the player not the team/league.  That's a completely different formula.  Let the NFL sign who they want and be thankful you helped someone reach a goal.

Here's an idea.  A professional league on the west coast and a professional league on the east coast play their schedules.  The best team from each meets in the middle of the USA, let's say at the base of Mt. Rushmore, for the championship.

Then the winners face the NFL all-stars in Hawaii for a game.

Now that's being a visionary.