An Arena Football League logo. An Arena Football League logo. (Wikipedia.)

Back in March, some Arena Football League games were announced as heading to NFL Network. But the first wave of games there, set to air this past Saturday and Sunday, did not happen. And Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported Thursday that the remaining ones have also been pulled from the NFLN schedule:

Here’s more from that piece, which details how that March announcement has fallen apart:

In March, the NFL announced that Arena Football League games would be televised on NFL Network. Now? Not.

The Week 1 games were scrapped. A pair of Week 2 games, one that was due to be televised tonight and another one scheduled for Sunday night, have disappeared from the NFLN listings.

A game scheduled for Thursday, May 9, also has vanished.

NFL Network did not respond to an email sent earlier this week seeking clarification as to the relationship between the NFL and the AFL.

At The Philadelphia Inquirer, Christian Red has more on a disastrous week for the Philadelphia Soul (which the league took over earlier this year after another ownership deal fell through). That team “played” (with only a few of their players, and mostly replacements from another league) in Lafayette, Louisiana Saturday. Here are some of the details there.

Tristen Burnett, a certified sports agent based in Fredericksburg, Va., who represents Joe Mancuso, the Soul’s scheduled starting quarterback, said in a phone interview Friday that his client had a demoralizing experience at the Super 8. Burnett said the Soul players were kicked out of the motel and into the street early Friday morning, that the motel bill wasn’t paid, and that the players’ luggage was taken from them and locked in a motel room.

“Law enforcement got their stuff from Super 8,” Burnett said. “Joe is just down. He left a good situation in the IFL [Indoor Football League] with the Vegas Knight Hawks. He took a bet on himself in a new league. He had a nice apartment for his young son and wife in Henderson [Nev.], and he comes to this? The [Soul] players were promised apartments. There were drugs and prostitution coming in and out of this motel. It’s been a disgrace. Joe was like, ‘I haven’t gotten a W-2 yet to get paid.’ With no players association, nobody is going to stick up for these guys.”

…“That was something, I tell ya. Nothing I’ve ever experienced before. In terms of the Soul, I don’t know if that’s in my future. With the current ownership, they did us wrong, so there’s no trust,” said Mancuso, who played college football at the University of Richmond. “[Friday] when we got kicked out of the motel, I wanted to go home, so I came back to North Carolina. Internally, our Soul team was good. We would have shined. But everything outside wasn’t aligning for us.”

…Malik Honeycutt, a Soul wide receiver who signed with the club in February, posted a video to his Instagram Story on Saturday, when he repeated over and over, “It’s crazy.”

“Louisiana is playing the Philly team. But that is not the Philadelphia team, nor coaching staff. They just made another head coach today. It’s a team from another league that’s gonna put on our jerseys and play as us,” Honeycutt said in a second video.

All of this bodes quite poorly for this version of the AFL. It’s notable that the league has had plenty of past struggles, including 2008 and 2019 bankruptcies. And the current reports are certainly concerning for its future.

[Pro Football TalkThe Philadelphia Inquirer; image via Wikipedia]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.