March 21, 2018

Former Bills GM Bill Polian is the co-founder of a new football league: On Tuesday morning, entertainment producer Charlie Ebersol announced the creation of the Alliance of American Football, an outdoor football league that is scheduled to kick off on February 9, 2019.

posted by BornIcon to football at 10:37 AM - 13 comments

Here's the AAF's website. Make sure to watch the video. I'm pretty sure they bought a stock 'America, Fuck Yeah!' video with vague language that has '[insert business/organization name here]' in the script. I especially love the overselling of the athletes that will be playing for their teams: 'what if the player that missed the cut by a fraction of a second of a tenth of an inch got another chance to change the world forever?' Well, first of all, if they barely missed making a team, even as a bench warmer, then they would've been signed to a practice squad. Essentially, this new league will be practice squad and below players which will be the same level of talent for the XFL which starts a year after this league. Do we really miss football that much to watch that level of talent?

They have interesting ideas of integrating the viewing platforms and the fantasy football aspects with the league itself. They'll be streaming their games through their own app that fans can get for free and I think I heard that CBS has bought the TV rights. And the fantasy aspect will give bonuses to fantasy team owners and the players in the league? I think I may be understanding that part correctly. Also, no TV time outs, 60% fewer commercials, and no kick offs (the offense will start at their 25 yard line).

posted by NoMich at 11:23 AM on March 21

Well, first of all, if they barely missed making a team, even as a bench warmer, then they would've been signed to a practice squad.

Maybe, but there are still a lot of college football players who barely miss out on practice squads.

I would watch this league if it played outside of the NFL season window. I like these rules changes as summarized by ESPN: "There also will be no kickoffs (the ball will be placed automatically at the 25-yard line) and no onside kicks. The losing team will just start on its own 35-yard line with fourth-and-10. Play clocks will be 30 seconds and every touchdown will be followed by a two-point conversion attempt."

Do we really miss football that much to watch that level of talent?

I enjoy the CFL before the NFL season starts. How many of its players couldn't make an NFL team?

posted by rcade at 12:19 PM on March 21

But how well did those CFL franchises here in the US work out? Not very well as they are no longer functioning. Are the masses really clamoring for more football after the Super Bowl is done?

Things that will work for this new league: - no TV time outs and very limited commercial time - integrated fantasy league

I don't know what they plan for replays, but there is definitely an area of opportunity here for the new league. Limit them even more and *speed them up*. It takes too damn long for replays in the NFL. Do them like cricket and have a dedicated replay official in a special room and have them watch the slo-mo replays at all of the different angles and then give the on-field officials their opinion. Also, can a catch just be a damn catch?

posted by NoMich at 12:59 PM on March 21

The athletes all don't have to be those who have failed to make the NFL. If the AAF is willing to pay some heavy money, then you might see some good NFL players who are unhappy with what the market is offering jump to the other league. It happened with the ABA vs the NBA and the old AFL vs the NFL of the 1960s. I think of a certain Mr. Gronkowski who recently has been expressing (rather cryptically) a desire for more satisfactory remuneration.

posted by Howard_T at 01:44 PM on March 21

If the AAF is willing to pay some heavy money, then you might see some good NFL players who are unhappy with what the market is offering jump to the other league. It happened with the ABA vs the NBA and the old AFL vs the NFL of the 1960s.

And the WFL in the mid-70s. I remember Paul Warfield, Larry Csonka, and Jim Kiick jumping from the Dolphins to the new league for the moolah.

posted by NoMich at 02:04 PM on March 21

Huh. I did not know that at the time of the WFL's beginnings, NFL players were the worst-paid athletes of the big four North American sports (and no free agency?). The WFL offered up big contracts, so that explains why there were many defectors to the new league.

posted by NoMich at 02:18 PM on March 21

Wish they'd started up this year. They could have saved the NFL some monetary nausea by signing Kirk To Enterprise Cousins and Sam Bankroll Bradford.

posted by beaverboard at 02:25 PM on March 21

But how well did those CFL franchises here in the US work out? Not very well as they are no longer functioning.

The Baltimore Stallions franchise was doing quite well (finishing 1st and 2nd in attendance the years it was up and running) and had won the Grey Cup when the NFL announced they were returning to the city. For that reason only, they moved to Montreal.

posted by grum@work at 06:15 PM on March 21

Thanks for the education, grum. It's always appreciated.

Baltimore is one helluva a football town, so thinking on this, I can see a CFL team doing well there. In the Summer of '92 some friends and I roadtripped from Chicago to Balmer to check out an Orioles game at the new ballpark and there were posters all over town directed to the NFL that read, GIVE US THE BALL.

Also, Montreal did not have a CFL franchise during this Baltimore period?

posted by NoMich at 06:51 PM on March 21

No Montreal franchise during the Baltimore era does seem odd, but it was the case.

posted by grum@work at 07:27 PM on March 21

No Montreal franchise during the Baltimore era does seem odd, but it was the case.

Once the Alouettes franchise was resurrected in Montreal, it was saved again by U2

posted by tommytrump at 10:41 PM on March 21

If the AAF is willing to pay some heavy money

Their initial TV deal is with CBS' cable sports network, so I wouldn't expect that to happen. Times are different now and the NFL's TV deal dwarfs any other potential revenue stream.

posted by yerfatma at 12:04 PM on March 22

But how well did those CFL franchises here in the US work out? Not very well as they are no longer functioning.

I don't think player quality was the main reason that failed. There's an incredibly detailed article on Wikipedia about the CFL's U.S. experiment. It claims the league was "gate-driven" back then. With TV revenue as king, I could see the CFL crossing the border again.

posted by rcade at 11:38 AM on March 23

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.