I remember the WFL. It lasted a minute. It was an NFL rival. I remember the USFL. A few big stars like Herschel Walker and Jim Kelly. But it was a rival, and it was just a thread better than college football. At times, it was worse.
The XFL… nuff said.
Enter the AAF. The Alliance of American Football. It’s not a rival. It’s on the NFL Network… It’s like the NFL’s AAA Clubs without the assigned teams. That’s to avoid collusion on salaries. When you only play a few years in the NFL, getting sent down could be the end of the line.
The league is made up of southern cities in areas that live, love or lost professional football. Atlanta, Orlando, Birmingham, San Antonio, Memphis, San Diego …. They are all cities dying for pro football.
The stands are bare right now. Maybe 20,000 at best. Maybe 4,000 at worst. But the league has been built for early MLB Spring training and NFL hangover from the Super Bowl. It’s also a TV League with a TV Contract. Games are weekends at 1pm or 4pm with a nightcap at 8. Saturdays and Sunday. I haven’t seen much betting yet. Nobody knows how good anyone team is. Betting starts week 4. It’s this upcoming week. Cha-Ching!
More than anything, while the teams are raw and in need of summer camp, they are pretty darn exciting. There are big runs, great hits and nice grabs on offense and defense. I mean great hits! Great media coaches like Steve Spurrier. Great players who coach like Mike Singletary, And once High Flyer talents trying to hold on like Christian Hackenberg who’s having a tough time in Memphis. Matt Simms looks serviceable.!
The teams are in great uniforms and great names. The San Diego Fleet and the Orlando Apollos. Birmingham Iron look like the Raiders and the Apollo is by far the best emblem. Arizona Hot Shots need some work…
Give it a Hot Shot! Spring training stinks early on and the NFL is backing its new G League to get players a chance to prove themselves. To the enjoyment of this reporter, it’s not wrestling with a football and there isn’t a POS like Donald Trump, Jerry Jones or Bob Kraft anywhere to be seen.
Let the AAF KICKOFF! Oh, there aren’t any of them. Tune in.