Conner Harris ‘19, Photo Editor
Fans of football rejoice, the football season has been extended. The Alliance of American Football (AAF) seemingly sprung up from nowhere, just a few weeks ago, to the surprise of many Sunday television viewers. The AAF, created by Charlie Ebersol and Bill Polian, has become the NFL’s farm league as well as a second chance for former NFL players. Along with the role it was born into, the AAF set out to be a “high-quality (and) dynamic” football league that connects fans, players and the game of football.
What is the AAF?
For the many who are unfamiliar with the AAF and may be just getting around to watching your first game, you may not recognize it as the football that is most widely known. For example, key rule changes such as the five-man maximum pass rush encourages a more passing as well as it takes away from the amount of hits quarterbacks take. Sacks have been in the football world’s spotlight over this past NFL season with many criticizing how protective the league had gotten of quarterbacks; this rule change in the AAF was implemented with this controversy in mind, pretty much putting it as, if you cannot take away the problem, take away its source. The AAF also features an array of gameplay changes as well. Extra-points have been deemed to “extra” and instead teams are forced to go for a two-point-conversion after every touchdown. Kickoffs have been removed onside kicks have been changed into a fourth down and long scenario if the losing team wishes to get the ball back.
What are the teams?
The AAF is an eight team league that will span a 10 week season. The inaugural eight franchises are as follows:
- Arizona Hotshots
- Atlanta Legends
- Birmingham Iron
- Memphis Express
- Orlando Apollos
- Salt Lake Stallions
- San Antonio Commanders
- San Diego Fleet
Who’s on the rosters?
The AAF has offered another platform for players to express their talents or have a second chance after a short NFL career. Some former NFL players such as Trent Richardson, Nick Novak, and Christian Hackenberg have found their way onto the rosters and have been a big part in the increase in popularity of the AAF. Some former Michigan and Michigan State allum are featured in the AAF as well. Denard Robinson, Ty Isaac, and De’Veon Smith are representing the Maize and Blue quite well. Smith scored the first rushing touchdown in AAF history and Robinson is Atlanta’s starting back. For MSU, Kurtis Drummond is a starting cornerback for San Antonio.
The opening weeks have been a success for the new league. It not only drew 3.25 million television viewers opening day, but also is seeming to draw many Silicon Valley investors that believe in its future. Scott Butere, an investor and also president of MGM Casino said that viewership was “better than expected” which he believes will lead to a successful league that the younger generation of bettors will enjoy. The AAF is starting off much better than anyone expected and hopefully will continue to have this success so that us football fans won’t have to resort to pre season baseball for our sports fix.
Photo courtesy of Football Scoop