Why Alliance of American Football thinks it will be different
- Author: Angelo Rivera Mar 23, 2018,
Mar 23, 2018, 21:24
"This is our commitment to them and will result in an exciting pro football product on the field that fans across the nation and in our markets can rally around". Alliance of American Football will begin its 10-week season on February 9, 2019, the week after Super Bowl LIII.
There's a football void after the Super Bowl. But apparently, Dick is not involved in the XFL reboot because wait for it...he's on the board of directors for the Alliance. If that name sounds familiar, it should. Ebersol's father, Dick, defined NBC Sports' programming for more than two decades and created "Sunday Night Football".
As a contrast, the Alliance of American Football announced its exact start date, and the fact that its initial game will be broadcast on CBS, along with its championship game. Considering the National Football League has been trying to limit certain elements of contact during play, especially on kickoffs, the new approach to eliminating kickoffs altogether might find its way into a discussion in a board room on Park Avenue quite soon.
"Retired NFL all-pros Troy Polamalu and Jared Allen are also among the Alliance's leadership". The league will have shorter play clocks and fewer commercial breaks in an effort to have games last no longer than two-and-a-half hours. While the AAF has not disclosed how much capital it has raised in the early going, among those who are funding the effort include Barstool Sports majority owner The Chernin Group, Peter Thiel's Founders Fund (Facebook, Lyft, Space-X) and the tech fund Slow Ventures, which boasts an investment portfolio that includes the likes of Pinterest, Slack and Blue Bottle Coffee. "Our investors here understand that it's a 7-10-year plan". CBSSports will televise one game per week. One regular-season Alliance game will air exclusively on CBS Sports Network each week as well.
Alliance of American Football will feature 50-man teams.
As for the teams, the eight cities represented by the league will be announced during the next three months, following which, regional drafts will take place.
One of the most intriguing aspects of the AAF is the elimination of kickoffs, which Polian called one of the most "dangerous parts of football".
That lack of direct animosity toward the NFL might have been why it was easier for the Alliance of American Football to get a TV deal with an NFL partner like CBS. Teams will start with possession at their own 25-yard line. Hence, all teams must go for a two-point conversion.
The Alliance already has broadcast plans lined up. That will surely give them an advantage when the league kicks off in the spring of 2019. There will also post-career scholarships and financial wellness programs.
According to John Ourand of Sports Business Daily, the league is tweaking some traditional football rules - including the elimination of kickoffs. I can't see how they can make any real money but, believe it or not, I think the Alliance can still be a success.