Tag: Memphis Express

AAF Week 7: First Overtime & First Playoff Spot Clinched

wolford
John Wolford Leads Arizona To A Big Win

Week 7 of the first season of the Alliance of American Football (AAF) had a little bit of everything.  Just when you thought you had seen all the first of the new league, this week gave us a few more.

ORLANDO APOLLOS 36, ATLANTA LEGENDS 6

Led by running back De’Veon Smith’s three rushing touchdowns, Orlando beat the Atlanta Legends to clinch the first spot in the Eastern Conference championship game.  Any hope of a close game disappeared in the second half, when Atlanta turned the ball over twice to end promising drives. The first came in the third quarter, when Apollos cornerback Deji Olatoye intercepted a pass from Legends quarterback Aaron Murray and returned it 65 yards for a touchdown to give Orlando a commanding 28-6 lead.  Murray threw another interception on the Legends’ next possession, to cornerback Cody Riggs at the Apollos’ goal line.  Garrett Gilbert added a touchdown pass to wide receiver Charles Johnson in the fourth quarter.

Next:

  • Orlando at Memphis
  • Atlanta at Birmingham

MEMPHIS EXPRESS 31, BIRMINGHAM 25 (ot)

With all the hype surrounding the signing of Johnny Manziel, it was Memphis Quarterback Brandon Silvers who led the Express to their second win of the season Sunday night against the Birmingham Iron in the first overtime game in AAF history.  Silvers went 24-for-35 passing for 266 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner to wide receiver Dan Williams on a 10-yard slant in overtime.  The Memphis Express scored the final 17 points of the game after trailing 25-14 with 9:01 left in regulation. The performance of Silvers, the Express defense getting pressure on Iron quarterback Luis Perez and big plays on special teams carried Memphis to its second win of the season.  The momentum of the game started to change late in the third quarter when DeMarquis Gates blocked an Iron punt and defensive back Terrell Bonds ran it back 50 yards for the touchdown. It was the first blocked punt and blocked punt touchdown in the history of The Alliance.

Next:

  • Memphis will host Orlando
  • Birmingham will host Atlanta

SAN ANOTNIO COMMANDERS 19, SALT LAKE STALLIONS 15

Trey Williams’ 36-yard touchdown reception and Greg Ward Jr.’s two-point conversion catch with less than six minutes left gave San Antonio the win over Salt Lake in front of an Alliance-record 30,345 fans at the Alamodome. Williams took a short pass from reserve quarterback Marquise Williams – who entered the game in the fourth quarter for injured starter Logan Woodside – sprinted down the right sideline and leaped into the end zone for the go-ahead score. Marquise Williams then found Ward Jr. for a successful two-point conversion to put San Antonio up 17-9 with 5:29 left to play. On the ensuing possession, the Stallions drove 75 yards to make it a two-point contest after Terrell Newby’s 21-yard TD reception from Josh Woodrum on the first play following the two-minute warning. Salt Lake had a chance to tie the score on the two-point try but De’Vante Bausby stepped in front of Woodrum’s pass in the left flat and returned it untouched to make it 19-15.

Next:

  • San Antonio hosts Arizona
  • Salt Lake hosts San Diego

ARIZONA HOTSHOTS 32, SAN DIEGO FLEET 15

Behind Hotshots quarterback John Wolford, Arizona emerged from a back-and-forth first half with a slight lead and pulled away with a fourth-quarter surge to defeat San Diego, 32-15, on Sunday afternoon at Sun Devil Stadium. The victory pushed the Hotshots (4-3) into second place in the Western Conference — a game behind San Antonio (5-2) — and into fourth place in the league with four postseason spots up for grabs. San Diego felWolford completed an efficient 15 of 19 passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns to one pick, while adding 44 yards and a touchdown on five carries. Rashad Ross, a stellar receiver all season for Arizona, had three catches for 53 yards.

Next:

  • Arizona at San Antonio
  • San Diego at Salt Lake

AAF STANDINGS:

Eastern Conference

  • Orlando Apollos (6-1)
  • Birmingham Iron (4-3)
  • Memphis Express (2-5)
  • Atlanta Legends (2-5)

Western Conference

  • San Antonio Commanders (5-2)
  • Arizona Hotshots (4-3)
  • San Diego Fleet (3-4)
  • Salt Lake Stallions (2-5)

AAF NEWS AND NOTES:

  • The AFF is moving its championship game from Las Vegas to Frisco, Texas. The new eight-team spring league said last week that the April 27 title game will switch to The Ford Center at the Star, which is owned by Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys and is the indoor practice arena for the team.
  • Johnny Manziel’s first game in the AAF with the Memphis Express drew solid TV ratings. Over 250,000 tuned in for Manziel’s game against the Birmingham Iron on the NFL Network. Johnny Football slung it for 48 yards and rushed for 20 yards coming in off the bench in the winning effort for Memphis.
  • Tom Dundon, who just injected $250 million into the Alliance in February. Speaking with USA Today Sports, Dundon, the owner of the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes, said the start-up league could be in danger of folding without the cooperation of the NFLPA in acquiring young talent. “If the players union is not going to give us young players, we can’t be a development league,” Dundon said. “We are looking at our options, one of which is discontinuing the league.”

 

Advertisements

Alliance of American Football Release Uniforms and Helmets

When asked about his team wearing different color pants for a football game, an old high school football coach said, “The color of the pants don’t matter.  The pants aren’t going to tackle anybody or score touchdowns, it’s the players wearing the pants who will win or lose the game.”

He was right about that.  They don’t make a difference in playing the game but it’s nice to look good doing it.

The Alliance of American Football (AAF) is the newest professional football and they will kick off their first season the week after the Super Bowl in Atlanta (GA), Birmingham (AL), Memphis (TN), Orlando (FL), Phoenix (AZ), Salt Lake (UT), San Antonio (TX), and San Diego (CA).  Last week the league released the uniform and helmet designs of each team.  Here’s how I would rank them:

#8 – Atlanta Legends

atlanta

Boring.  I think they could have done better.  I still have issues with the name.  Not that it doesn’t fit Atlanta in some way but it wasn’t very creative and neither are the uniforms/helmet.  The helmet will have a crown which could be a reference to Martin Luther King, Jr.  The colors will be purple and gold with the letters “ATL” up each side of the jersey in gold.  Maybe it will work and if they can do better than the Falcons I don’t think it will really matter.

#7 – Birmingham Iron

birmingham

Boring #2.  The Iron’s colors are black, dark grey and light grey.  They were inspired by the three elements needed to make steel – iron ore, coal and flux.   Not sure what flux is.  With no logo on the black helmet it is much like the non-logo side of a Pittsburgh Steeler’s helmet.  And that name – Iron – singular.  I’m not a fan of singular nicknames for sports teams.

#6 – San Antonio Commanders

san_antonioI like the name but there is a lot of red in their team colors.  The colors are a combination of red, silver and maroon.  The sword is a nice touch and identifies with the Alamo.  San Antonio is a city in need a professional football team that will stay.  San Antonians have been dealt with teams in the World Football League (WFL), United States Football League (USFL), Arena Football League (AFL) and even the Canadian Football League (CFL).  Hopefully this one will stick.

#5 – San Diego Fleet

san diegoAgain with the singular nickname but with the strong navy influence, I guess this name works.  It is expected that jilted Charger fans might come aboard.  The colors are grey, dark grey and gold in a military style design.  The helmet includes a battleship which is pretty fitting with the player’s number on the other side of the helmet.

#4 – Arizona Hotshots

arizonaNot a fan of the name but the uniforms identify them with designs based upon the United States Forest Service firefighters.  Their jersey is gold with an orange collar and green sleeves.  The helmet is gold with a green face mask.  The primary logo features two crossed fire axes on a shield.  I don’t think it will be hard to distinguish this team as an Arizona-based team.

#3 – Memphis Express

MemphisI was unsure where to place this one on my list.  I really like the uniform and design but it’s hard for me to identify this with Memphis.  I suppose the name is derived from Federal Express which is based there.  The helmet is a gradient from blue to read with a jet ascending from back to front.  The jersey is blue with red sleeves and collar.

#2 – Salt Lake Stallions

salt lakeThis is one of the team’s that I think got it right with the name, logo and colors.  The only thing that puzzles me is the helmet logo.  The logo looks more like wings rather than a horses’ mane which I assume is what they were thinking.  The jersey is silver with a light blue collar and sleeves, darker royal blue for the player numbers.  Not bad.

#1 – Orlando Apollos

orlandoThis is my favorite of the eight teams.  I think they got it right with the name and designs.  Orlando is another city which has been through several failed leagues and franchises.  Maybe this one will make it.  The team colors are orange, blue and white.  The helmet features a logo of Apollo ready to shoot his arrow inside of a faint hint of the letter “O”.

So now we need to wait to see which players will wear these uniforms and helmets.

 

Names/Logos Set For Alliance of American Football Teams

AAF TeamsOkay, 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.