AAF gives football fans offseason action

Lane Penley, Sports Editor

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The Alliance of American Football (AAF) is a newly founded football league that began its first season last week. The league was founded by Charlie Ebersol and Bill Polian on March 20, 2018.

The league features eight teams that are split into two divisions, East and West. All of the teams are located in cities that lack an NFL team, except the Arizona Hotshots and Atlanta Legends. Other teams include Birmingham Iron, Memphis Express, Orlando Apollos, Salt Lake Stallions, San Antonio Commanders, and San Diego Fleet. The regular season lasts 10 weeks from February to April and will be completed with a four-team playoff and championship game.

“We really felt it was important to be in a symbiotic relationship with them and complementary to the NFL,” Ebersol said.

The rules of AAF are much like the NFL for the most part, except for the fact that teams must go for two after a touchdown rather than attempting a PAT. There are no kickoffs either. Possession at the start of each half, and after scores, begins on a team’s own 25-yard line, in line with the NFL touchbacks. Much like an onside kick, a team can keep possession of the ball after scoring by attempting a scrimmage play from their own 28-yard line and gaining at least 12 yards. This can only be attempted if the team is down by 17 or more points and there are less than five minutes left in the game.

The league also features players from the NFL and college football players that went undrafted. The system serves to give players a second chance at playing professional football.

Another positive thing about AAF games is there are no TV-timeouts and 60 percent fewer commercials during the game.

Apollos coach Steve Spurrier had good things to say about the league after winning his first game 40-6 over the Atlanta Legends.

“I think the fans had a good time,” Spurrier said.

Week 2 games will be played on Saturday and Sunday and will be aired on CBS Sports and the NFL network.

If you are looking for some football action during the college and NFL offseasons, pick out your favorite AAF team to follow throughout the season.

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