Ladies and gentlemen, we come together this day to celebrate the brief yet beautiful time we had with our friend and loved one, the Alliance of American Football.
Saying goodbye is never an easy thing to do. When it is so unexpected and sudden it becomes even harder to find closure. Let us not wallow in the depths of despair at the permanence of the AAF’s end. Rather, let us ruminate on the good memories we will hold strongly in our hearts until late summer when NFL teams report for camp.
In just over two months of existence the AAF gave us so many memories. The family asked me to share a few with the congregation.
We have the “Orlando Special” that brought so much joy to our family and was part of the first package of ESPN highlights. Even though they were few and brief, they still made lasting memories in the AAF hearts.
There were instant replays that only the AAF has dared give us. Although you are gone, AAF, you will leave a legacy for football moving forward.
Our dearest AAF also brought us female coaches and officials as well as geriatric football coaches fresh from hip surgeries and canasta clubs. Our AAF was so inclusive, a trait that we will look for from our other football entities moving forward.
There were new kickoff rules and overtime rules. There were mic’d coaches and players who seemed a little XFL-ish at first. But they gave us the immortal words, “Tell him to catch it this time,” spoken by our prophet and old ball coach Steve Spurrier.
The AAF fought hard to the very end. Mike Singletary almost blew a gasket in week 8 with a missed delay of game penalty, an unfortunate loss to the AAF champion Orlando Apollos.
Existence can be so fleeting. A shooting star may appear for a moment but burn so brightly as to leave an indelible mark upon one’s life. Just because the AAF is gone, let us still gather at Ferg’s Sports Bar and continue to celebrate the beautiful bond the AAF introduced to us, Bucs Report watch parties with cold beer and great wings.
The Alliance of American Football will always be in our hearts as long as we continue to look for the good things in sports. Continued opportunities, second chances, willingness to try new things, and finally a desire to succeed that eclipses a fear of failure. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the AAF will be missed.