Alliance of American Football (AAF) | Showing Comments:

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3/25/18 6:55 AM Quote
This new professional football league is slated to begin play one week after Super Bowl 53 is played in February 2019.

One game per week will be broadcast by the CBS network (but mainly CBS SN) which also broadcasts NFL games. The remaining games will be available to stream through the league's app. I have not seen any information yet regarding possible radio broadcasts of the games.

The AAF will be accommodating the gaming community, such as fantasy gaming, interactive gaming, etc. They want to be on the cutting edge of this lucrative aspect of football fandom.

Kickoffs--deemed both too dull and too dangerous by AAF league operatives--will be eliminated from AAF games. 2 point conversions from scrimmage will be used instead of the extra point kick.

The Alliance will start their inaugural season with eight football franchises, said to be located in cities that are "underserved" in regard to professional sports in general and/or professional football in particular. They will play a ten game regular season followed by playoffs and championship game to conclude the season in April-June.

Franchise cities and head coaches will be named in the next three months or so.

The CEO of the Alliance is Charlie Ebersol, longtime TV and film producer and son of legendary NBC sports producer Dick Ebersol, who will serve on the new league's board of directors.

Head of Football for the Alliance is longtime football executive Bill Polian, who is well positioned for his role, having worked in the Canadian League (CFL), the United States Football League (USFL-1983-1985), and the NFL, where he oversaw the replacement player team the Buffalo Bills put together in 1987.

The league has investors with deep pockets.


How successful the AAF will be is going be determined, of course, by the bottom line: ratio of revenue to expenditures.

But there will be other clues to how legitimate and well run this league will be.

(1) Record keeping. Will this league have a highly detailed statistical database? The CFL does not, the USFL did not, and the NFL failed to keep the kind of records that major league baseball has with databases such as Baseball-Reference and Retrosheet. The NFL still does not have play by play accounts at Pro Football Reference database of it's regular season games prior to the 1994 season and key stats are missing for games prior to the 2008 season.

The NFL made a wise decision by declaring that all stats accrued during its replacement games of 1987 would be recorded exactly like those of all other NFL games. Every player who participated in those three replacement games of 1987 are in the pro football record books and databases. Those replacement player games are therefore legitimized for optional game company simulation. (Strat-O-Matic unfortunately did not wish to honor or recognize the NFL replacement games of 1987).

Will the league employ a stat service? Or multiple stat compilers such as Pro Football Focus, etc.? Will there be an official league statistition? Will the AAF put thought into how they choose to keep their stats? Such as separating quarterback kneels from regular quarterback runs. Or separating designed quarterback runs from quarterback scramble runs. These are concerns of football simulators such as myself.

(2) Las Vegas betting lines. Will there be gambling information posted for all AAF games? Points favored by as well as game totals (over/under). For preseason too?

(3) Stadia/turf. The stadiums will be quasi big league venues with seating capacities in the thirty to forty thousand range in most cases. I don't yet know what turf will be used but hopefully they will use AstroTurf, which is cheap, durable, and easy to maintain. AstroTurf will integrate marvelously--as it always did--with the weather elements that can be expected to prevail in the cities housing the eight franchises. Contrary to mythology, AstroTurf is safe and does not cause injury (no proven causal relationship). But there is likely some universal partnership established with the company that manufactures Field Turf, so I don't expect to ever see AstroTurf used again in professional sports.

(4) What will the uniforms look like? The logos? Will there be people hired to handle such aesthetics?

(5) How many game simulators will incorporate AAF into their products? Will S-O-M sell products that include AAF simulations like they did for the USFL seasons? At this point, not much chance of that, but I could easily simulate AAF by using my huge inventory of S-O-M football cards as subs for the ten AAF teams. But only if there are enough AAF season stats posted somewhere.

(6) Website:


Bill Polian will be able to draw on his varied football experiences in order to avoid the mistakes made in the past by defunct professional football leagues and the NFL. He also has learned from the positive creative aspects of such leagues.

Polian has likely learned a lot from his own mistakes as well. His 1987 Buffalo Bills were 1-2 in replacement player games. Of many past football experiences, it may be that 1987 strike season that may teach AAF personnel people how best to roster the 50 players allotted for each AAF team.

One thing that AAF already has in common with the 1987 NFL replacement teams is that many or most players who play for each team will be from that team's regional area. For those NFL teams, that was a practical happenstance. For AAF, it's mandated. That has been stated by AAF operatives.

Polian's long association with former NFL head coach Marv Levy (HOF) may have begun when both worked for the Kansas City Chiefs in the late 70s. They also both worked in the CFL and USFL before Polian hired Levy to coach the Bills in 1986.

Don't be shocked if the 92 year old Levy is hired as one of the head coaches of the new league. Levy still speaks in stentorian tones and prides himself on his physical health and mental alacrity. But..well...maybe 92 is finally too much for Marv. I'd have to see it happen to believe it could.


Editing note 4-7-18

Steve Spurrier was revealed as the head coach of the franchise based in Orlando, Florida and he appeared on CBS This Morning with Charlie Ebersol and Hines Ward to promote the league.

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