Okay, the wait is over (if you were really waiting for this). The newest professional football league has now released their team names and logos. The Alliance of American Football (AAF) is scheduled to kickoff on February 9, 2019.
So here they are. These are your 10 teams:
- Orlando Apollos
- Stadium: Spectrum Stadium
- Coach: Steve Spurrier
- Atlanta Legends
- Stadium: Georgia State Stadium
- Coach: Brad Childress
- Memphis Express
- Stadium: Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
- Coach: Mike Singletary
- Birmingham Iron
- Stadium: Legion Field Stadium
- Coach: Tim Lewis
- Salt Lake Stallions
- Stadium: Rice-Eccles Stadium
- Coach: Dennis Erickson
- Arizona Hotshots
- Stadium: Sun Devil Stadium
- Coach: Rick Neuheisel
- San Diego Fleet
- Stadium: San Diego County Credit Union Stadium
- Coach: Mike Martz
- San Antonio Commanders
- Stadium: Alamodome
- Coach: Mike Riley
I don’t love or hate any of these names/logos for these proposed teams. They didn’t pick any of the names I had expected such as Memphis Hound Dogs, Orlando Wizards, Birmingham Bulls, San Diego Breakers and San Antonio Outlaws. Hopefully they will not end up in the graveyard of failed leagues. Orlando, Memphis, Birmingham and San Antonio have had teams in many of the failed leagues in the past so it will be interesting to see if the fans of these cities will embrace the newest teams or will wait to see their teams fold again. Arizona and Atlanta are the only teams with active National Football League (NFL) teams in the same city but with the spring schedule, they will not compete head-to-head. I was a little surprised that the AAF failed to place a franchise in St. Louis. Maybe that is in their future plans as well as expansion into the Northeast U.S.
So how will the AAF be different than the NFL?
- AAF will get rid of kicking the extra point. Instead, teams will go for two.
- Play clock will be reduced to 30 seconds
- No kickoffs. Teams will start with the ball at the 25 to begin play.
- Instead of an onside kick, a team can keep possession of the ball by attempting a scrimmage play from their own 35-yard line and gaining at least 10 yards.
So will the AAF survive where the USFL, WFL, CFL and other leagues failed? It seems they are off to a good start and have some legitimate people running the league. The last sustained attempt at an alternative spring league was the United States Football League which lasted from 1983-1986. The league folded when the plans were made to move to the fall and compete head-to-head with the NFL. Maybe the AAF will not repeat the mistakes of the past. If it works, we may have access to football year-round. That’s enough to make football haters cringe.