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Alliance of American Football

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Carabimero, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. Message #1 of 14 Feb 10, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
    Carabimero

    Carabimero Producer
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    Is anybody watching games in this new league?

    I was pleasantly surprised by who some of the players and coaches (and GMs are) for this professional league. My team is the San Diego Fleet coached by Mike Martz, with several players I've known from the NFL. My estimate is that the speed and precision of the game I watched was about 85% of NFL level, which in my opinion is very good.

    There are eight teams, mostly in big markets who lack a NFL team: San Diego, Arizona, Salt Lake, San Antonio, Atlanta, Birmingham, Memphis, and Orlando. Along with Martz, Mike Singletary and Steve Spurrier are also head coaches.

    There are a few quarterbacks whose names should be somewhat familiar: Trevor Knight (Arizona), Aaron Murray (Atlanta), Zach Mettenberger (Memphis), Christian Hackenberg (Memphis), Garrett Gilbert (Orlando) and Mike Bercovici (San Diego).

    Among the non-quarterbacks you might know, from college stardom or flaming out as high NFL draft picks: receiver Josh Huff (Arizona), linebacker Scooby Wright (Arizona), safety Rahim Moore (Arizona), kicker Nick Folk (Arizona), running back Denard Robinson (Atlanta), kicker Younghoe Koo (Atlanta), kicker Nick Novak (Birmingham), running back Zac Stacy (Memphis), running back Matt Asiata (Salt Lake), receiver Greg Ward (San Antonio), tight end Gavin Escobar (San Diego), defensive end Damontre Moore (San Diego).

    Some of the rules are different: no kickoffs or extra points (you always go for two). No onside kicks but rather a difficult offensive play determines if you get the ball back (as you would on the onside), and the eye in the sky overturns egregious calls. Coaches have two challenges per game.

    The game I saw between San Diego and San Antonio (with Mike Riley as the head coach and Daryl Johnston as the GM) was extremely well-played and competitive.

    Starting yesterday, two games are played every Saturday and Sunday until April, at which point they have a 2-game playoff. The commentators for my game last night, which included Kurt Warner, were MUCH better IMO than the guys calling MMF.

    I'm looking forward to a game today and more games every weekend for a while. These guys are playing hard. The main difference I see in the play from the NFL level is a more consistent lack of players in one-on-one match ups to get leverage on their guy. But overall the level of play is engaging and high. 53-man rosters. 43 dress.

    What I don't like: Since defenses come together much quicker than offenses, you can only rush up to five on defense and they have to line up within a certain distance from the line of scrimmage. It's a 15 yard penalty on the defense for "illegal formation" otherwise.

    What I do like: The pace of play is much better than the NFL. The game clock in only 35 seconds but it is not started when the ball is ready for play but immediately after the whistle blows ending the last play. Also, I don't miss kickoffs at all. That, more than anything, has added to my enjoyment. The pace of play is superior to the NFL. The coaches play to win; the players are taking it seriously.

    There's no question in my mind that there are a lot of NFL-caliber players who slip through the cracks. They've found a place here. So it's pretty good football. I'm in.

    Most, if not all, the games appear to be on the CBS Sports Network and the NFL Network.
     
  2. Message #2 of 14 Feb 10, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
    Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    I watched the first quarter of the SD-SA game last night, but when it was zero-zero at that point, I turned it off and watched a movie instead.

    Apparently I won't be able to see most of these games anyway (I don't have CBS Sports or NFL Net), so there's probably not much point in getting too involved in the games. Seems odd to restrict the broadcast of most games to premium sports networks if they're trying to build an audience.

    Ratings were nowhere close to NFL, but it did allow CBS to win Saturday night and beat the weekly Saturday night NBA game on ABC. Perhaps that will convince them to move more of the games to CBS proper, rather than the sports network.
     
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  3. Message #3 of 14 Feb 10, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
    Carabimero

    Carabimero Producer
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    I hope you're right. I know they have a fixed schedule of CBS Sports Network and NFL Network for this season, but if people fill the seats and tune in, maybe that will change. Attendance has been good, but of course the real test will be attendance as weeks go by.

    I love that they are willing to experiment. There is a chip in the ball, and a chip in every player's shoulder pad. The amount of information for coaches, doctors, announcers, fantasy leaugers and fans to mine from those chips seems endless.

    One thing worth noting: they have a ton of open mics, especially on the master replay official. He blew a big call in Mike Singletary's game today, and when he told the ref on the field his decision, the ref replied, "We're all seeing the play completely differently down here. Every one of us think you should go the other way." The replay official replied, "Maybe I missed an angle." But he reviewed all angles again and didn't. He just missed the call.

    My wife, a university professor, heard the booth-to-field exchange and was fascinated. She said this discrepancy sometimes happens from the stress of being stereotyped. The refs on the field are under no pressure to make that booth call, so they all saw the replay clearly, as did the fans in the stadium and at home. But the guy under the microscope, who knew everybody was watching and listening to his every word, blew it. "I have to let the call on the field stand," he said. "There's not enough evidence to overturn." And yet everyone but him saw that clearly there was.

    I have seen three league games so far, and the level of play has been uniformly high. Steve Spurrier's team put up 50 points, which didn't surprise me. Other than that, a lot of field goals.

    I've already seen some creative solutions to the 5-man-rush limit. The fifth rusher acts like he's dropping into coverage but then becomes like a safety blitzer. That has been effective.

    The hitting is consistently hard. I'm excited to see where the innovations go, and am anxious to see someone try the equivalent of an on-sides kick, and to see how overtime goes, as well.
     
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  4. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Christian Hackenburg should not be getting paid to play football anywhere. He is awful.

    Sorry, but I have absolutely zero interest in this league, just like my feelings for the Canadian Football League and the league the NFL had in Europe. I am content to wait until autumn for the NFL and NCAA to resume play.
     
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  5. Message #5 of 14 Feb 11, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
    Carabimero

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    Eighty-one percent of the players in this league have signed NFL contracts. This league is greatly superior to either the Canadian Football League or NFL Europe. In several ways it's more enjoyable to me than the NFL. For one thing, there isn't a penalty on nearly every special teams play. And that's just for starters. The pace of the game is marvelous, and much more exciting in rhythm than NFL games.
     
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  6. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    That’s great that you are enjoying the new league, Alan. It’s just not for me, as I don’t have a football void that needs to be filled during the off-season. In fact, I usually need a break from the sport once the Super Bowl is over.
     
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  7. JQuintana

    JQuintana Screenwriter

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    NFL only for me.
     
  8. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I have zero interest in watching players not good enough for the NFL playing football. Hell, I'm losing interest in the NFL why would I watch a bunch of NFL rejects play professional football. I'm gearing up for MLB while enjoying the NBA.
     
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  9. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Producer

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    Isn't the XFL still happening in 2020? I predict another flop for Vince McMahon.
     
  10. Richard V

    Richard V Cinematographer

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    I'm in San Antonio, and have zero interest in following the team here, or the league.
     
  11. Message #11 of 14 Feb 11, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
    Carabimero

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    I have been surprised in the first week of games to see that many of these players are good enough for the NFL. They've just fallen through the cracks. Now they get real reps in real games that are on tape for scouts to see. That's huge. Each player signs a 3-year $250,000 contract and every contract has an NFL option; that is, the NFL can offer them a job at any time.

    I was surprised how many NFL draft picks (some in high rounds) are in this league. They have the talent but at the time they were drafted didn't have the maturity. Now they have a league to mature in and hopefully get another chance to play in the NFL.

    I can understand why people might not want to watch it, but IMO anyone who says the league isn't worth watching because of the talent level either hasn't watched it or doesn't recognize talent. Because this league is full of talented players, many of whom could play in the NFL right now.

    The whole focus of the league seems to be developing QBs and offensive lineman, so IMO it can only bode well for the NFL.
     
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  12. Lord Dalek

    Lord Dalek Producer

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  13. JQuintana

    JQuintana Screenwriter

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    yikes
     
  14. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Not sure why the owner of the NHL's franchise in Raleigh would be bailing out this league -- that just seems weird. Anyway, one of the biggest things that drives interest in the NFL, and the article fails to mention, is gambling. I doubt that many people are laying money on the games, and there can't be much, if any, fantasy football interest.
     

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