I posted our weekly podcast for the network (the umbrella in which websites like this is under), then decided to take a break from work by cooking and eating hot dogs with buns for lunch. After that, while snacking on one of my favorite chips from Granny Goose, I was watching the New England Patriots versus the Pittsburgh Steelers via NFL on CBS. It was commercial break, and after a bobblehead-laden holiday greeting from CBS, I saw this:
Ah, the power of TV commercial marketing; They sure got me.
I know what most of you are thinking: "Yeah, but look what happened with the XFL." I'll go as far as to say that the XFL would have held on for a long while had they not included WWE's wrestlers to promote the league. Vince McMahon had a great idea but it was executed poorly. Had he trimmed out all that made WWE what it was, I'd say the XFL would still be on today.
Almost twenty years later, founders Charlie Ebersol and Bill Polian are putting their all, launching a brand new football league: AAF—Alliance of American Football. While the league name sounds more of a crusade than a label, the logo is quite unique.
You probably could already tell, I'm excited for this. Why? This is a perfect opportunity to launch something clean and fresh. Granted, it won't be exactly like the NFL (thank goodness), but it aims to go for something that can represent its own. Although many fans will argue that this may rival the NFL (a huge possibility), the players interested in competing and playing in the AAF will get a "shortcut" to enter the NFL. Also, this gives football fans to keep their spirit up much longer, while waiting for the annual NFL Draft, NFL Combine, various off-season trade rumors and training, and then "Back To Football" in late August.
The league will start off with eight teams, and they are as follows:
Looks like NFL's skepticism in possibly bringing the Chargers back to San Diego may stay up in the air, now that the AAF have the Fleet represent their city. Being born and raised in Los Angeles all my life, there isn't an LA team.
The rules will be a little different from the NFL's own rules, like a 50-man roster and the play clock only running for 30 seconds, for example.
The season will open and start in February 2019—the same month when NFL's Super Bowl [LIII], NBA's All-Star Weekend and MLB's Preseason Training will be scheduled, so we may be looking at a very busy February. CBS and CBS Sports Network will broadcast the AAF games—the same networks that air Professional Bull Riding, the AFL, college bowling, cheerleading, Poker Night in America and Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing to name a few. Depending on the college players moving to the AAF to play and compete, it'll be neat to see how the games will fare out and the fan/audience response will be. For myself personally, I'm eager and looking forward to this brand new league.
While keeping expectations steady, I feel AAF will hold its ground for a good, long time. Technologically speaking, we're living in an era where data is being processed faster than the average rate of a human heartbeat—or blink of an eye. No pressure of course, but this is the perfect time to introduce something fantastic that may make our country excited about football again. (I'll have to call my provider to place my subscription to CBS Sports Network.)
Judging by the updates on AAF's official website, progress is solid and smooth as their crew look ready to get to work! What do you think? Tell us about it in the comments section below!