The Willistonian, Est. 1881

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AAF Keeps Football Hopes Alive

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AAF Keeps Football Hopes Alive

Credit: Alliance of American Football

Credit: Alliance of American Football

Credit: Alliance of American Football

Credit: Alliance of American Football

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One of Americas most watched sports did not end after the Super Bowl this year. The AAF began its ten-week season February 9, 2019, giving fans the chance to watch the sport in the offseason.

T”AAF” stands for the Alliance of American Football and is a professional football organization consisting of eight teams. Founded by Charlie Ebersol and Bill Polian, the AAF acts as a development league for the NFL.

The Alliance is not meant to take over the NFL, but rather to help support it. The AAF is often compared the NBA’s development league, the G League. The overall goal of the AAF is to create NFL superstars by giving players who were cut from the NFL the opportunity to get more playing time.

According to ESPN, Bill Polian said “Our objective is to take some of those people who can’t quite make it and make them into quality NFL players.”

Having a development will be a crucial factor for the NFL. AAF rosters will mainly consist of players who were cut from NFL rosters in late September and August. When NFL teams trims their rosters from 90-53, the rest of the guys will be able to play in the AAF. (It is standard practice for NFL teams to begin the season with 53 players.)

The AAF is offering players $250,000 for three years, which also includes an out clause if they get another shot at the NFL. Of course, there is also marketing and bonuses for public appearances.

It is very hard to tell if the AAF will be successful, but their aspirations seem very promising; the league has some familiar football faces in their corner.

Steve Spurrier, former NFL player and College football hall of famer recently took head coaching Job for the Orlando Apollo. Spurrier has the most wins at Florida and South Carolina as head coach and is known for his high-scoring offenses.

Spurrier told ESPN,”You’re going to see some ball plays you’ve never seen before, I can promise you that, we’re not going to be afraid to try new plays.”

The leadership board of the AAF consists of former NFL players Jared Allen, Hines Ward and Troy Polamalu.

As stated by CBS Sports, the leadership board mission is to provide “high-quality professional football fueled by a dynamic Alliance between players, fans and the game.”

Dominik Behrens ’20 plays varsity football at Williston and has high hopes of going pro. He believes the AAF gives visibility to not only college hopefuls, but also international players who don’t have the same opportunities.

“This is what we needed all along,” he explained. “It just gives the guys another shot at making it pro. A lot of guys back home [in Germany] like the idea a lot.”

Most of the rules follow the NFL rulebook, but the founders have added a couple of twists to make the game different. No kick-offs, no extra points, and the same overtime rules as College Football.

Gabe Liu ’20 has a positive outlook on the AAF.

“I think it is great way to make money by using the sport, but it also is a great way to showcase the skills of underrated players,” Gabe said.

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AAF Keeps Football Hopes Alive