In What Serves as a Preemptive Punchline, The AAF Agreed to Pay Marshawn Lynch $5,000 IN QUARTERS For a Quick Draft Day Interview in November
SI- Another story that spread far across the AAF offices has Marshawn Lynch crashing the league’s quarterback draft last November at the Luxor casino in Las Vegas. According to one employee, Lynch, whose cousin Josh Johnson was the first pick in that draft, and who is notoriously media-averse, agreed to do a two-minute interview for the Alliance at that event in exchange for $5,000. But when a check was presented to Lynch, he asked that his money be delivered instead in quarters—which AAF co-founder Charlie Ebersol took seriously. In the end, 20,000 quarters were delivered to Lynch’s room and the interview apparently took place.
I mean, that should have been it, right? Certainly feels as though the AAF could have saved themselves some embarrassment and a whole hell of a lot of inevitably unsettled lawsuits if they just ceased operations before they truly started when they got bitch slapped with such an unmistakable sign. Granted, it's silly to expect those that somehow still thought we lived in a world in which the NFL would even allow an alternative football league to flourish aren't exactly great at taking a hint. Still, having to pay a laughably literal $5,000 toll for a couple minutes of a professional athlete's time should have made it quite clear that there wasn't enough money in the world to make people care about minor league football.
That professional athlete being Marshawn Lynch makes this story exponentially more hilarious, as you could probably base an entire episode of 'Where Are They Now?' on the life and times of those coins. Such a preposterously disrespectful ask could only be the brainchild of a mind that's birthed no shortage of comedic brilliance, so a special thanks must go to Beast Mode for making a seemingly satirical report of such a ridiculous request possible.
That being said, the fact that a league that wanted to be seen as professional felt enough pressure to fulfill it should have spoken immutable volumes about how impossible it is to be seen as enough competition to force an absolute behemoth of a self-sustaining business model into a coalition. The AAF was bound to become a punchline at some point, but it's pretty crazy they couldn't tell how quickly they were headed to the ass end of the joke when they felt it worthwhile to haul 20,000 quarters out of a bank and through a hotel lobby in exchange for a few words, that were just as likely to be repeated on a loop, from a legendarily enigmatic athlete.