Now that the 2018 NFL Season has concluded, many football fans will be looking for things to do to fill their weekend. Well, look no further than this weekend. A new football league will debut on Saturday, February 9. It is the Alliance of American Football, AAF, a new spring league that is the brain trust of Charlie Ebersol.
There is a buzz around this new league. That buzz is not a negative one, either. Why such a buzz? Is that buzz good for the NFL, the players, the coaches, and fans? I believe so, and here is why.
The AAF is establishing a great model. This league will be good for the NFL. It will become a league that the NFL can lean on for rule changes. If the competition committee wants to change a rule, they may throw it at the AAF for a test run. If it works there, they can implement it in the NFL. Also, some of the rules that the Alliance is already using—no TV timeouts, 30-second play clock, no kickoffs, etc.—are all rules that the NFL should be watching closely.
The Alliance of American Football will be great for the players, not only younger players but older veterans as well. It will be a place for the roster bubble players to have a spot. If they are not on a practice squad in the NFL, they could find a spot in the Alliance to hone their skills.
There is an out clause in every AAF contract for players to play in the NFL. Josh Johnson, QB for the Washington Redskins, is the first player to go from the AAF to the NFL.
There are a lot of former NFL head coaches and assistant coaches in the AAF. Steve Spurrier, Mike Martz, and Mike Singletary are some of the head coaches in the Alliance. While they may not ever be head coaches in the NFL again, they can still offer this league some great football minds.
Additionally, this will be a great place for assistants to get a start. Looking at some of the staff, you have former players such as Az-Zahir Hakim (WR Coach San Diego Fleet), Anthony Becht (TE Coach San Diego Fleet), Michael Vick (OC Atlanta Legends), and Oshiomogho Atogwe (DBs Coach Memphis Express). These are just a few of the assistants who could get coaching experience before making the leap into the NFL. Furthermore, the league could be a springboard for females to be more involved. Jen Welter (Defensive Specialist Atlanta Legends) is a full-time assistant coach.
Finally, the fans will be involved in the Alliance of American Football. They will receive in-game fantasy stats. The AAF will have a fantasy league built into their mobile broadcasts. Along with the fantasy aspect, the AAF has signed multiple deals with different broadcasting partners. Therefore, a fan should never miss the action of their favorite AAF team.
The Alliance of American Football has the best model for spring football since the USFL. This is a league that the hardcore and even casual football fan should be able to rally around. I expect good football and for the league to survive for some time.
How do you feel about the Alliance of American Football? Leave a comment below.
Follow Sean on Twitter @NFLWBLZ.