Typically, at this point in the Roman calendar year, I’ve cut cable and started talking about exercising only to basically wait until August and then it’s early fantasy football drafts here we go again, right? Does this also describe you? High five.
The Alliance of American Football starts its first regular season today with all 8 teams in action starting at 4pm EST.
You can plant a flag early, pick a team and go HAM (I like the Orlando Apollos or the San Diego Fleet b/c the names are awesome), or just appreciate that the XFL isn’t the only semi-pro football league in town anymore. Remember, the league was started by former Colts GM & team president Bill Polian and a TV executive named Charlie Ebersol.
The league has two conferences (East & West). In the East Conference are teams out of Atlanta, Birmingham, Memphis and Orlando. In the West Conference are teams out of Tempe, Salt Lake City, San Antonio and San Diego. Yes, they could have just called the conferences “Wet” and “Dry”. Or “Mud” and “Sand”. Or “Hurricanes” and “Earthquakes”. I could keep going.
CBS will be hosting the broadcast for the league that will last 8 weeks, or right up until the 2019 NFL Draft.
I was looking over the rules differences and see an interesting rule. There are no kickoffs after touchdowns or to begin the game or half. Instead, the offense just starts on its 25 yard line. If you want the ball back, you must run a scrimmage play from your own 28 yard line and gain at least 12 yards. I’m excited to see how this affects coaching decisions.
Another difference, other than a 35 second play clock (5 seconds shorter than the NFL), is that the league’s overtime rules are of the “Kansas Playoff” variety, meaning each team gets the ball on offense on the opponent’s 10 yard line and 4 downs to score. If both teams score a touchdown on their possession, the game ends in a tie. Game continues until one team scores on offense and holds the other team without a score. This is an improvement on the existing NFL rules. The AAF rules also only require one foot down on a catch.
Lastly, each game will have a “sky judge” that watches every single play and can CALL OR REVERSE A PENALTY made by a field official. I am here for this. I want better officiating in football, don’t you?
The football community is going to latch onto the AAF so they can stop talking about Brady and the Patriots for five minutes, so we might as well enjoy this, right?
The more I read about the AAF, the more excited I am for more football! I’m going to go dust off my treadmill no— 4pm on CBS you say? I can just do that later...