It seems like every off season, during the long, drawn out months without football, word comes along that a new start-up league is forming trying to become a minor-league of sorts for the NFL in one way or another.
The XFL famously took on the challenge before crashing and burning back in 2001 (they’ve since announced a pretty serious comeback attempt), The Spring League has garnered some mild attention as well thanks to Johnny Manziel’s comeback attempt, but along the way there have been a number of other attempts at leagues playing in non-traditional seasons, most of which fizzle out due to lack of interest and funding after a year with more than a handful that end before their season even begins like the National Gridiron League which was supposed to be played in Australia.
With all that said, the Alliance of American Football has a much different feel to it. It may have been easy to brush of the league’s initial announcement, but then they started naming the head coaches of their teams and it was clear that the guys overseeing the league weren’t messing around.
It started with the naming of Steve Spurrier as the head coach of the Orlando franchise, and in the weeks and months that followed, a number of well-known names in the coaching profession were also named including former NFL and college head coaches in Mike Martz (San Diego), Dennis Erickson (Salt Lake), Rick Neuheisel (Phoenix), Mike Singletary (Memphis), Brad Childress (Atlanta), Tim Lewis (Birmingham). The last remaining head coach is Mike Riley (San Antonio) – according to a tweet last night from Alex Marvez.
That’s eight teams in total, which is all the league will carry in their first season of competition.
The Alliance of American Football will begin their 10-week season with a kick off on February 9, 2019.
Rules of the league will be a bit different than most of us are used to, starting with the 50-man rosters, some of which will be chosen from a territorial draft. There will be no TV timeouts and significantly less commercials making for a much faster game experience for fans, there will be no extra point attempts after touchdowns – only two point conversions, no kickoffs (possessions will start on the 25-yard line), and the play clock will be 30-seconds instead of the 40-second clock the NFL uses, among other changes.
Below is a quick video highlighting the Alliance’s vision. It’s really tough to not be optimistic after taking in this clip.
Stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest on the coaches, their staffs, and the league as a whole.