While football nerds across the internet continue to fantasize about the XFL making its return in 2020, the AAF (Alliance of American Football) had its debut week. Backed by CBS Sports, the AAF debuted on NFL Network this past Saturday. While Oliver Luck and Vince McMahon continue to drop bread crumb size bits of information that would make even a mouse ask for more, Charlie Ebersol and Bill Polian’s league has already kicked off their league some vicious hits and real eleven on eleven gridiron action.
Week 1 Recap
The Arizona Hotshots entered week 1 as the favorite to win the title, but other teams showed they may be a force to reckon with. I was impressed by the San Antonio Commanders’ defensive presence. It’s hard to say if the league will take off, but if it does, Shaan Washington sack of Mike Bercovici during the first quarter of the San Diego at San Antonio matchup will be the hit heard around the world. Several players stood out in week one, but none as much as Mekale “Big Play” McKay. He told his coach during a timeout that he would be open and called his own play. Unfortunately, the pass was overthrown, but he was right. Given that it’s an eight-team league, stars are bound to emerge as long as the level of play continues to be high caliber.
Bill Polian, former NFL mastermind GM, is positioning this league as a feeder league for the NFL. The league features many recognized players, either from college or the NFL who’s careers haven’t quite panned out; think CFL or NFL Europe. To me, the CFL has too many different rules and the NFL Europe was a financial disaster. After thirteen seasons, the NFL Europe experiment ended due to thirty million dollars in annual losses. Something about AAF feels different. We’ll continue to watch as the season progresses.
Take-Aways from Week 1
The AAF seems to have started off with a bang. All around, the broadcasts were very well done. The commentators did a great job and having the coaches mic’d up on the sideline made watching even more compelling. The refs didn’t seem to get in the way of play and the game flowed very nicely. The games were all over in about 150 minutes. Given the fact that the teams haven’t had much time playing with each other the actual football on the field will continue to get better. It will be interesting to see if both the XFL and the AAF can coexist next year.
Week 2 Game of the Week
Orlando Apollos (1-0) @ San Antonio Commanders(1-0)
Week 2 TV Schedule
|Salt Lake at Birmingham||Saturday, Feb. 16||2 p.m.||TNT|
|Arizona at Memphis||Saturday, Feb. 16||8 p.m.||NFL Network|
|Orlando at San Antonio||Sunday, Feb. 17||4 p.m.||CBS Sports Network|
|Atlanta at San Diego||Sunday, Feb. 17||8 p.m.||NFL Network|
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