If you’re like me, and countless other Americans with a passion for the game of football, you knew that the Patriots winning the Super Bowl wasn’t the end of football season. While yes, it was the end of the NFL season, we were only a week away from the grand opening of the Alliance of American Football’s debut. This past Saturday, the official debut of the league, saw the Alliance bring in a total viewership of 3.25 million viewers. This beat out the Pga Tour(2.93) and the NBA on ABC(2.67). The AAF also narrowly lost in viewership to what’s been the hottest ticket in College Basketball, the Duke Blue Devils. Duke played Virginia in a matchup of top five teams within the ACC and pulled in 3.32 million viewers.
The AAF offers a faster-paced version of American Football to its fanbase, and a few rule changes as well. There can only be 5 men at most, blitzing the quarterback in this league. One interesting wrinkle in my opinion to this league is its transparency in the official review process. When a review is sent upstairs to the booth to be looked at, the league had the replay official mic’d up, and with a camera on them, so that fans could be well aware what was going into the process of making the right call. This would be a welcome sight for NFL fans, especially those stationed in Louisiana.
In my opinion, the league has enough star power and is situated in the perfect time of the year, to be able to stick around for a while. There are big-name coaches such as Steve Spurrier and Mike Singletary, and big-name players who didn’t quite pan out in the NFL such as Trent Richardson. In a perfect world, the AAF pushes boundaries and horizons and forces the NFL to adapt some of is own rules and modernize into a better officiated and run league. I can also see the AAF being an unofficial minor league to the pros. Where guys can get reps and show off what they can do against some decent talent, and get a shot to make an NFL roster during training camp and preseason down the line. All in all, it was a terrific debut for the league, and one that I think is sustainable.
P.S. Go Apollos Go