For decades upstart leagues have tried to steal a bit of the NFL’s shine, wasting millions of dollars collectively in the process.
…and for decades they have failed, with some crashing and burning more spectacularly than others that have just quietly faded into irrelevance.
The Spring League began play in 2017 with four teams, and has since expanded to six teams. They were able to fit in most of their abbreviated season in 2020 before COVID shut down the country, and now – against the odds – they’re set to expand.
The league announced today that they will welcome two new teams to the league. A six-week regular season will kick off Thursday, May 6th with teams being located in two “hub markets” – Indianapolis, IN and Houston, TX.
Indianapolis will be home to the TSL’s North Division which will be home to the Conquerors, Aviators, Alphas and Linemen.
Houston will be home base for the Generals (the defending champions), Blues, and the two new expansion teams in the Sea Lions and Jousters.
The Sea Lions will be led by former Nebraska and Oregon State head coach Mike Riley, while former Chargers head coach, and NFL coaching veteran Kevin Gilbride will lead the Jousters. Riley spent the 2019 season as the head coach of the San Antonio Commanders of the AAF, while Gilbride was the head coach of the New York Guardians of the XFL.
The league, which has hung its hat on experimental rules since they launched, will also roll out the “spot and choose” creative overtime procedure that the Ravens made waves with a few weeks ago now and will also provide new measures to protect the quarterbacks of the league more efficiently.
“We have been innovators since we launched in 2017 and will continue to experiment with new technology and rule modifications to enhance the viewing experience for our fans and make the game safer at all levels,” said The Spring League CEO Brian Woods shared in their release.
Entering their fifth season now, after sending a number of players to the NFL and Canada to play professionally, The Spring League has made it about four years longer than most startup leagues, so with two new leagues and some new rules it will be an interesting to see how this spring’s season goes for the league.
The league’s season will begin in exactly one-month and the league has partnered with FOX Sports to show an expanded slate of games throughout the season with details on the schedule being released next week.
Stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.