Why Alliance of American Football thinks it will be different

by Leon Thompson March 21, 2018, 3:31
Why Alliance of American Football thinks it will be different

Those All-Pro players he mentioned include Justin Tuck, who will serve on the player engagement advisory board, and Hines Ward, Troy Polamalu and Jared Allen, who have been tapped as senior-level player relations execs.

In January, Vince McMahon announced the Xtreme Football League (XFL) would return in 2020.

Set for a 10-week regular season and four-team playoff, the Alliance - not the AAL, if you please - was formed by veteran TV sports producer Dick Ebersol, former chairman of NBC Sports who also developed Saturday Night Live, and Pro Football Hall of Famer Bill Polian, an ESPN analyst and former NFL GM.

Where the XFL has more of a "Screw you" mentality toward the NFL, the Alliance of American Football seems to be more subtle in their philosophical differences with the NFL and is more of a supplement to the league. After all, though the XFL was largely considered a complete dud, the NFL "borrowed" significant elements of the lesser league's broadcast, the most significant of which was the Skycam. It will also have to compete with a new development league being started by Don Yee, the football agent who represents Tom Brady, which will focus on players who want to skip college.

"There are 28,000 Division I football players". Ebersol said he plans to draw from the pool of players who don't make it in the NFL. Now, in the span of a couple months, we are potentially up to three football leagues by 2020.

Yet investors keep lining up to help start new football leagues.

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"We will give players an opportunity to flourish on the field while establishing plans to support their personal and professional growth, health, safety and financial well-being", Polian said in a statement.

That's because the Alliance of American Football is set to launch in February 2019 - the week after Super Bowl LIII.

According to Darren Rovell, the league's first game and championship game, as well as one matchup per week, will air on CBS Sports Network. It will also have its own app where games can be streamed free of charge and where fans can participate in play-by-play fantasy-football-style gaming. "With Charlie Ebersol and Bill Polian at the helm, we are confident that the product they will deliver will be entertaining, exciting, engaging and something that fans will really enjoy". The teams - whose locations and nicknames have yet to be announced - will be owned by the league. Rosters will have 50 players each and will be built primarily through a regionally-based draft.

The goal is to complete a game in less than 2 1/2 hours, and games will have 60 percent fewer commercials, Ebersol said.

There also will be no kickoffs (the ball will be placed automatically at the 25-yard line) and no onside kicks. The play clock will be 30 seconds, not 45, as it is in the NFL.


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