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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Less than two months after playing its first games, and with the postseason just two weeks away, the Alliance of American Football (AAF) has suspended all football operations.

Why it matters: The Alliance is the latest in a long line of upstart football leagues that tried and failed to feed Americans a side of football with their football. Its demise will be the subject of much debate in the coming months.

  • Also, a lot of people are out of a job today with bills that need to be paid. Plenty of players dropped everything for this opportunity, and yesterday's news came as a shock.

The backdrop: A quick timeline detailing how this all went down.

  • Feb. 9: The AAF's opening night is widely heralded as a success, with the football producing plenty of highlights and the CBS broadcast drawing favorable ratings (roughly three million viewers).
  • Feb. 18: News breaks that the AAF was on the cusp of not being able to pay its players after Week 2 but was bailed out by Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon, who made a $250 million investment and effectively became the league's majority stakeholder.
  • March 27: Dundon tells USA Today that the AAF could be in danger of folding because it hadn't secured an agreement with the NFL. "If the players union is not going to give us young players, we can't be a development league," he said. "We are looking at our options, one of which is discontinuing the league."
  • Yesterday: AAF folds.

What happened: According to The Action Network's Darren Rovell, AAF founders Charlie Ebersol and Bill Polian had a plan to develop the league for three years before becoming a feeder system to the NFL.

  • "Dundon, however, wanted to create a minor league relationship immediately and sought to use the leverage of folding the AAF" to get a deal done. He has also apparently been funding the league on a week-to-week basis, having only committed $70 million of the $250 million so far.
  • Emerging narrative: SI's Albert Breer claims the perception inside the AAF is that Dundon bought a majority stake simply for the gambling app being developed. "Dundon got the technology he wanted and he’s now minus one rather large headache," a source told him.
  • My take on that narrative: You're telling me my man paid $70 million for an app? Yeah, no.

What they're saying: League co-founder Bill Polian is pissed.

"When Mr. Dundon took over, it was the belief of my co-founder, Charlie Ebersol, and myself that we would finish the season, pay our creditors, and make the necessary adjustments to move forward in a manner that made economic sense for all. Unfortunately, Mr. Dundon has elected this course of action."
— Bill Polian (via Twitter)

The bottom line: The AAF created a quality football product that appears to have ultimately been undone by a lack of funding and, later, a lack of a singular vision for the future.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
3 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Key clean power provision likely won't survive in Dems' spending bill

A construction worker walks along a dirt road at the Avangrid Renewables La Joya wind farm in Encino, New Mexico, on Aug. 5, 2020. Photo: Cate Dingley/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A pillar of Democrats' plans to speed deployment of zero-carbon electricity is likely to be cut from major spending and tax legislation they are struggling to move on a party-line vote, per multiple reports and a Capitol Hill aide.

Driving the news: The New York Times, citing anonymous congressional aides and lobbyists, reports that West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) has told the White House he "strongly opposes" the Clean Electricity Performance Program.

Updated 5 hours ago - World

Fatal stabbing of British MP David Amess declared a terrorist incident

Police outside Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, England, on Oct. 15. Photo: John Keeble/Getty Images

Authorities have declared the death of David Amess a terrorist incident, hours after the Conservative Party lawmaker in the U.K. was fatally stabbed while meeting with local constituents in a church in eastern England on Friday.

The big picture: The Metropolitan Police has found "a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism."

Biden: DOJ should prosecute those who defy Jan. 6 subpoenas

President Biden speaks with reporters at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that the Justice Department should prosecute those who defy subpoenas from the Jan. 6 select committee.

Why it matters: The president's remarks come one day after Donald Trump ally Steve Bannon failed to show up for a deposition before the committee.