Football is BACK!!!
Yes, for real. Even though the College Football and the NFL season has concluded, the football Gods have blessed us with more football and I couldn’t be any more excited. Recently, I found out that the AAF (Alliance of American Football) is a real, legit league for former college stars who didn’t make it in the pros, or guys who want a shot at the big time. No, I am not talking about the XFL or Canadian Football League, I am talking about the AAF, Alliance of American Football.
I understand a lot of these football leagues come in hot and that fizzle out until it’s no more. Usually these leagues last a year or 2, if that. However, I believe the AAF is different. I think the AAF has a legit chance of succeeding. Why? Because instead of it trying to compete with the NFL, which we all know is impossible, this league can act as a Minor Leagues of the NFL.
In the AFL, there is two conferences (just like the NFL), the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference. Each conference is composed of 4 teams.
- Atlanta Legends
- Birmingham Iron
- Memphis Express
- Orlando Apollos
- Arizona Hotshots
- Salt Lake Stallions
- San Antonio Commanders
- San Diego Fleet
Now here is why I think this league will succeed. The committee of the AAF is former NFL executives and legends. Guys who have been around the NFL and know how a football organization and league should be run. For example, you got guys like Bill Polian as the Co-Founder along with Charlie Ebersol, a young and very successful Television producer, television director, film producer, film director. He has produced USA Network’s NFL Characters Unite and a co-producer of The Profit. Obviously, Ebersol has been around the league and knows how to run a successful organization, even at the age of 36. Next, you have former NFL players involved. Guys like, Justin Tuck, Troy Polamalu, J.K McKay, Hines Ward and Charlie Ebersol’s very successful father, who has produced television events like NFL games and the Olympics, Dick. Right off the bat, you have guys who have been around football forever, have been very successful on and off the field, and are proven leaders. You couldn’t handpick a better group of guys to help run this league.
The people in charge of the AAF are already making significant progress and already have reached a demographic in which they can be successful. First, look at the teams in the Eastern Conference. You have teams all located in the Southern part of the United States. The part of the United States where they eat, sleep, breathe, Football. Especially since this league will take place from February to the end of April, in which the NCAAF and the NFL aren’t taking place, those people will be in attendance for more football. It’s in their blood. Second, let’s look at the Western Conference. Besides Arizona, what other city in the West has professional sports. Salt Lake City only have the Jazz; San Antonio only have the Spurs and San Diego just lost their beloved Chargers to Los Angeles. The AAF has successfully added teams to cities in which football has never existed or where they just lost their team. You’re telling me those people in those cities haven’t been craving to go to football games? In my honest opinion, I think they’ll be all over this.
Here’s another reason this league will be successful. Guys will come and play. We already have names likes Aaron Murray, Trent Richardson, Denard Robinson, Christian Hackenberg, Zach Mettenberger, Blake Sims, Stephen Hill, Garrett Gilbert, Matt Asiata, Bishop Sankey and many more. The league will pay these guys $50,000-$75,000 for about 4 months of work, which is a nice chunk of change. And the best part about this league is ends at the end of April. Why is that important? Well if these guys succeed and do well, then they’ll have a chance to jump right into Training Camp without worrying about not finishing their AAF season. This league gives guys a chance to prove themselves again while being coached by former NFL head coaches.
Lastly, another good part about this league is the rules:
Ebersol deliberately avoided making radical changes to the rules of the game so as to make it recognizable to the American public. He stated that he used the standard length of a feature film, slightly over two hours, as the basis for a typical fan’s attention span.
- Teams will have 52 players on each roster, with some selected by a territorial draft. The territory assigned to a team consists of at least five colleges plus designated professional teams, one Canadian Football League, and four NFL teams, for those from Big Ten and the Big 12 conferences. Only one quarterback can be taken from their region. A quarterbacks-only “Protect or Pick” draft was conducted in November 2018 in which teams may retain their allocated quarterback or select an unprotected quarterback from another team.
- Telecasts will feature no television timeouts and 60 percent fewer “full-screen commercials,” with the league aiming for an approximate real-time game length of 150 minutes, down from just over 180 in the NFL. In turn, the AAF aims to charge more money for the remaining commercial slots, also alluding to product placement opportunities that do not interrupt the game telecast.
- All teams must attempt two-point conversions after each touchdown; there will be no extra point kicks.
- There will be no kickoffs; halves, odd overtime periods and after scores will begin on each team’s own 25-yard line, the same as touchbacks in the NFL and NCAA. In lieu of an onside kick, a team can keep possession of the ball by attempting a scrimmage play from their own 28-yard line and gaining at least 12 yards. (The original proposal for this play had teams making a 10-yard play from the 35-yard line.)
- The play clock will run only 35 seconds, five seconds shorter than in the NFL. (The league originally proposed a 30-second play clock, but Ebersol concluded that a clock that short would have negative impact on the quality of play.)
- Two coach’s challenges per team are the only replays; no challenges in last two minutes of either half nor any overtime period, as they are automatic.
- Outside organizations will handle head-safety protocols.
- In the event of a tie at the end of regulation, a single overtime period will be played, under the high school football rules of the “Kansas Playoff.” Each team will begin on their opponent’s 10-yard line and be given one possession (four downs) to score. If the score remains tied after each team has been given their possession, the game ends in a tie.
- Playoffs will consist of four teams, the top two teams from each conference.
Those rules are awesome and rules that fans might be seeing in the NFL shortly, so it’s god for the fans to get used to them while they watch the AAF.
Here is what we’re going to do at #TheSpan. We’re all in on this league. We’re going to cover this league from start to finish. Soon we will have a breakdown on each conference before Week 1. We will be AAF masters, so if you want to jump on in on the AAF, you know what to do ⏬⏬⏬⏬⏬⏬⏬⏬