Welcome The Alliance of American Football – AAF

The AAF?  Oooohhh my gosh…..!  Can it be?  Football in the NFL offseason?  Yes!  Enter: the Alliance of American Football.

For those of you who may have missed the AAF over the past weekend, you missed out on the birth of something pretty spectacular.  If you’re curious about what the AAF is, The Fantasy Whisperers have a great article by Travis Caples titled WTF is AAF? that dives into more details about the league.  I am going to touch on my personal takeaways from the Alliance’s debut.

Transparency

One thing that makes this league so unique right off the get go is the unprecedented access to the players, coaches, and even the referees.  Sean O’Hara, of the NFL Network, said during his analysis that one thing he misses the most about football is the huddle.  Well, Mr. O’Hara, fear not!  The huddle shall come to you.

Seriously, though, for someone like myself who has never been in a football huddle, hearing the play calls and seeing the chemistry emerging between the players was fascinating.  And confusing.  But again, I didn’t play football, so what do I know?

Let’s be honest, after the Rams/Saints game, I think we all want to keep the referees accountable and listen to them talk through their terrible officiating.  Ahem.  I digress.

NO FLAGS!

Well, almost no flags.  There’s the usual delay of game, off-sides, and one ridiculous flag when Trent Richardson spiked the ball and it flew into the stands.   Apparently, that is considered unsportsmanlike conduct.  I think whoever caught the ball calls it a free and awesome souvenir.  But, not the point.

Behold!  The hit below was legal and utterly amazing to witness.

Aaahhh…. I never get tired of watching that.  Even super boring Marvin Lewis, former head coach of the Bengals, commented about the lack of flags constantly being tossed onto the field.  Unlike bubble wrapping quarterbacks in the NFL, the AAF let’s these gentlemen just play football.

How refreshing.

All Heart, No Drama

This is my most important takeaway from the weekend of AAF games.  If anyone thought this was going to be nine weeks of Pro Bowl-esque intensity or watching NFL and college washouts scrimmage, I hope you were happily surprised.  These guys are working desperately to get back to the NFL or redeem themselves from poor NFL performances and it shows.  This is a big reason why I love college football so much. Temper tantrums on the sidelines and proposing to kicking nets?  Nah.  Players working their butts off to succeed without all the drama?  Yes, please.

Pace of the Game

Ben Kervechal, of CBSSports.com, said it perfectly.  “The AAF is not trying to reinvent pro football as much as cut out the fat.”  The games are slated to last between two and two and half hours with a 35 second play clock.  They have eliminated television timeouts, no kickoffs, and limited official reviews.  The games are exciting, fast paced, and intense.

If you missed the debut of the Alliance of American Football, don’t worry.  You can watch Week 2, streaming on CBSSports and also on the NFL Network, but of course… check your local listings.  Hopefully we’ll see this league continue to grow and in popularity and we can have football practically all season long!

Oh, and Fantasy Football implications?  Yes, there are leagues on Yahoo! and also Daily Fantasy tournaments.  Let the games begin!

You can find me on Twitter and also on Facebook!

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