We had the privilege to speak with the man behind the most anticipated documentary about a spring football league, Alliances Broken. This goes into the details about the rise and fall of the Alliance of American Football (AAF). Straight from the guys who were in the league, whether they were team staff, players, vendors, executives, many of the insiders tell their stories about big promises, that unfortunately never came to fruition.
My first question to Steve was just a simple one, let me hear about your background. What got you here?
“First, thanks again for having me. I appreciate it. I’m from New Jersey, South Jersey, close to Philadelphia. So I’m a diehard Eagles fan. Yes, I grew up loving sports my whole life. So when it came time to go to college, I wanted to do something in sports. So I went to Full Sail University in Orlando, Florida, which is, you know, Orlando, home of the Apollos.“Steve Potter
More of the background on him, to see where he comes from, and how he got into following the AAF:
“I ended up kind of getting involved in the sports scene down there. I spent some time over at Fox Sports in Orlando and I caught wind of this new sports league that’s coming up. And, they were looking for a ton of promotion and, everybody to get involved in any way, shape or form. So I actually ended up doing some of the players that played at UCF because of what the league did was they pulled guys from their local college applications.”Steve Potter
“So I knew some guys that played at UCF that ended up going to the Apollos. So I was doing some kind of side promo work for some of the football players. And I got to know them pretty well throughout that process. And they were basically talking about how the league had turned into shit show and, you know, everything’s kind of a little too good to be true.
I saw the NFL documentary that was the NFL. And then I also saw the one about the USFL, the Small Potatoes one with Donald Trump. And I was like, man, this is like the same story, like very similar. And I, you know, wanted to go to make a documentary. That was kind of the goal.
So I was like, you want to start filming these players experiences as they’re kind of going through this. And then within like two weeks of that happening, the league filed for bankruptcy and closed the doors. So I was kind of in the right place at the right time from a journalistic perspective and had a bunch of upset staff workers. You know, I knew some of the staff because actually I went to college with some of them. And just again, from the local Orlando sports scene, I know these smart people in their front office and everybody was just like they heard I was doing it at the time.”Steve Potter
The wave just keeps going from there:
“It was just more of a smaller type documentary. Everybody said, I want to talk, I want to talk to me and share my story.
“So I ended up filming like other people and then other teams and other cities caught wind of it. And they were like, oh, you know, can we be in it?
“So it ended up, you know, when I thought was going to take a couple weeks, the film to be like a small little mini documentary ended up being almost a three year process, feature length film.”Steve Potter
We know that it comes out soon. August 10th is the date that it is supposed to be available. How can people watch it?
“So if you head over to Amazon Prime or Prime video or whatever way you browse Amazon Prime, just type ‘Alliances Broken’ in. And it is ususally the first one that pops up. And it also will be available on Apple TV.”Steve Potter
So the next move was about what has happened since. He tells me he had a few calls from NFL teams want him to do some work, but I wanted Steve to tell you in his way about his next project, which has to do with extreme sports:
“So I started a documentary on New Jersey, East Coast Surfing, which is my next project that I’m working on. And we’ve been filming for like two months now, which is pretty cool.”Steve Potter
Now, are there any certain story types or tales from the documentary that you want to try to focus on or anything interesting that you found while you were making the movie?
“No, definitely. The biggest thing was honestly, you know, I kind of went into it with the vision of like, hey, I’m going to tell the story of this league front to back how it opened, how it closed and where it’s at now.
“You didn’t really realize how many people were truly affected by this in many other ways that just, you know, I’m not playing football anymore.”Steve Potter
I said to Steve that some players had given up college eligibility to be part of one of the leagues. And guys gave up their homes, gave up their apartment leases to move to where they were supposed to be playing. And these guys are those types of stories that are often not heard and not necessarily known because they don’t really talk about it a lot. But this documentary seems to do just that.
“Yeah, exactly. That’s the biggest difference, is that, you could talk to every rich CEO that was involved and he could tell you, oh, it wasn’t that bad. You know, we got everything covered. And, you know, that was definitely the angle I didn’t want to take because like I said, I knew a lot of these guys on a personal level and I knew what they were going through.
“So I knew that it was not as simple as we just closed down and moved on. It was, you know, now they have a 30 year mortgage on a home that they can’t afford because they were promised, you know, $150k a year to work in the league or they were promised, you know, X amount of dollars and play time and endorsements and, you know, everything along those lines, that there was a lot of empty promises. And that was, you know, we interviewed Steve Spurrier and that was the biggest thing he said was that everything was just a lot of empty promises.”Steve Potter
Not to give too much of it away, we ended with this:
“I would just say I’m I’m super pumped for everybody in the football world and you know, who in the sports world to see this. See, this project is something, you know, me and my friends worked a lot on. And I’m really excited for everybody’s story to be told.”Steve Potter
We are just as excited as he is for this release. The story from the employees and players of the AAF’s rise and fall, Alliances Broken debuts on Amazon Prime and Apple TV on August 10th. And you can pre-order it on Amazon here.
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