With the upstart Alliance of American Football League set to kick off this weekend, we no longer do we have to wait until the start of college football training camp in August to get a bit of our football fix in. What that product is going to look like is the question everyone has been asking themselves since the league formed.
Over the past few months, the AAF has put together an all-star cast of coaches, and following the past few weeks and months of unique draft formats, combines, tryouts, and cuts, those coaches finally get their opportunity this weekend to put their roster and product on the field for fans.
The first season of the AAF will feature a 10-game regular season schedule (40 games total) with the championship game taking place on April 27. CBS will broadcast the two opening night games tomorrow night.
Here’s what the weekend’s schedule of games looks like:
Saturday February 9th, 2019
Atlanta Legends vs. Orlando Apollos – 8pm EST
San Diego Fleet vs. San Antonio Commanders – 8pm EST
Sunday February 10th, 2019
Memphis Express vs. Birmingham Iron – 4pm EST
Salt Lake Stallions at Arizona Hotshots – 8pm EST
A few quick reminders about how the AAF will be different than the NFL and college games we all love for those who plan on watching, or are on the fence about it.
- There are no kickoffs. Teams will start drives from their own 25-yard line and if a situation comes up that would call for a traditional onside kick, teams in the AAF will instead have to convert a 4th-and-12 from their own 28. If they convert, they get to keep the ball. If they don’t, the opposing team takes over from where the conversion attempt ended — just like an onside kick.
- No extra points – After scoring, teams will always go for two.
- Overtime – Only one overtime period will be played. Each team will get a possession starting at the opposing 10-yard line and will be required to go for two after a score. In an effort to keep games within a two-and-a-half hour time frame, game are permitted to end in a tie after that one period.
Guys like Steve Spurrier, Mike Singletary, Mike Riley, and Dennis Erickson leading teams out on the field this weekend should draw some eyes and attention.
Try to make some time this weekend to at least give this new league a shot and see what the on-field product is like. It’s a second chance for a lot of players, and coaches who love our great game.