You’ll have to forgive us for dropping the ball on this one (Football joke!) but even four months later, this is too good not to share.
A good lesson in life for those of you with money to throw around/invest: Do not invest in football that is not the NFL, or NCAA Division 1. Do that, and there’s a slightly higher chance you won’t lose all your money in either a failed team or league, or in today’s case, in a league that never existed.
Today’s gem comes from the Northwest Florida Daily News, who posted a story in May that a Florida couple arrested after allegedly getting more than $700,00 from investors for a phony football league and media company.
According to the Daily Times, Christopher White, 45, and his wife Tracy White, 46, spent 15 months collecting more than $700,00 from investors to back up their pretend football league, the North American Football League.
From the Daily Times:
White claimed to have $400 million dollars in escrow to finance the league and offered the victim an opportunity to be a part of the production company, according to BCSO.
He also allegedly created a website with digital logos for the teams and league, for which he claimed to have played and later coached, BCSO reported. He also allegedly wore a ring he claimed was for winning a championship game, but investigators said they believe it was one of the props used to gain trust and get money from investors.
My favorite part of this, by far, is the fact that the husband in the scheme was so invested in it that he even created a fake championship ring to wear to meetings to make it look legit. That’s just incredible dedication.
And the website! Guess what? IT STILL EXISTS!
And really, it looks pretty good on the surface! It has teams helmets, links to team pages, links to the phony media group that would be covering the league, and even a shop where you can buy team gear! Don’t click on the Shop link, I did yesterday for research purposes and it takes you to some shady page selling old-looking Apple products.
And how about those teams!
The phony teams were in some pretty big markets, so it’s amazing that these investors didn’t do the tiniest bit of research to realize, hey, there is literally no info about this team outside of what these people are telling us, that seems suspicious.
The eight teams were/are the Birmingham Freedom, Columbus Flight, Connecticut Colonials, Kentucky Thoroughbreds, Memphis Kings, North Carolina Redwolves, Orlando Sentinels, and Virginia Crusaders.
They actually had some pretty good logos too!
And as with any legit league, you need social media! The Facebook Page for the league is still active and has links to the team pages, so you can stay up to date on all the latest Birmingham Freedom news!
Really though, you have to appreciate that kind of dedication to the fake product. These people didn’t just go and ask for money from investors, they went all-in making logos, team pages, a nice website, and even championship rings. I wonder how much money they could have made with a business that actually existed!
God speed NAFL, you were the best fake sports this side of the Amarillo Lone Stars.