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Once You Get Real Football...

By RD Heldenfels Published: June 30, 2006

This was in the e-mail:

NEW YORK - June 30, 2006 - The Arena Football League and NBC Sports have failed to reach an agreement to extend their broadcasting contract, both organizations jointly announced today. The AFL will immediately begin broadcast discussions with numerous organizations.

"NBC has been a great partner," said AFL Commissioner David Baker. "We are forever grateful to them for exhibiting our game with the utmost respect and integrity. We wish them well, but are also excited to begin a new chapter that will continue our unprecedented growth."

Ken Schanzer, President, NBC Sports said: "Unfortunately we were unable to reach an agreement. We've enjoyed our partnership with the Arena Football League. It's a great game with great people. We wish them all the best."

Arena football was supposed to be NBC's more economical way of having punts and passes than paying the NFL freight. Then it recognized what the NFL could do for its prime time fortunes, making the deal for Sunday night games this fall -- and a deal with arena football was no longer a priority.

One sign of the length of my sports-watching life: "AFL" makes me think of the American Football League...

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