by Austin Silvey @SilveyESP
Week One of the Alliance of American Football is in the books and if you went in with realistic expectations, I think you came out of this weekend satisfied and hopeful for what the future holds.
- Having the replay booth mic'd up and on video during challenges/play reviews is FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC. The transparency of it was a breath of fresh air for football fans (unless you're a Saints fan...it probably just pissed you off more).
- Seeing Steve Spurrier back on a football sideline coaching is just what we needed.
"Z-Quincy-Roger-Lee. Tell him to catch it this time."
- While kickoffs are something I do enjoy in football, I didn't realize until about halfway through Sunday's first game (Birmingham vs Memphis) that there were no kickoffs happening. I knew it was a rule but apparently I didn't miss it as much as I thought I might.
- The pace of play was phenomenal -- assisted by the lack of kickoffs and shorter play clock.
- The talent & play on the field was respectable and entertaining (to me at least). It wasn't perfect by any means but I was surprised at how in-shape most of these players looked; Trent Richardson, I see you.
- The refs did a great job officiating in my opinion. The games weren't dictated by or littered with yellow hankies. Guys were allowed to be physical to a point and quarterbacks were getting absolutely drilled on some plays and I'm here for it! I would expect that to change, though, in the future if they hope to become a developmental league for the NFL. No team wants their quarterbacks getting destroyed -- especially in a minor league.
- The professional level of the broadcasts made the games feel important. It didn't feel "gimmicky" or fabricated. The connections with these broadcasting companies and the NFL is going to play a big part in how successful this all is.
- Two-point conversions only is fun!
- Stadium crowds were better than I expected and came through really loud on the broadcasts. Orlando drew over 20,000 people and it was raining!
- The quarterback play was not great. Only three teams presented guys that looked like they had some semblance of a clue as to how to play the position; including Luis Perez (Iron), John Wolford (Hotshots), and Garrett Gilbert (Apollos). In order to draw people to the league and keep viewers interested, they need some marketable names and play at quarterback. #BanHackenberg #BanSimms
- While the replay booth process being accessible to the public eye is great, the quality of the replay videos and angles were not.
- A lot of the wide receivers had trouble catching passes. While the QB play isn't great as a whole, there were still a lot of drops on really easy throws.
Overall, I think the AAF had as good a first impression as they could have hoped for. I don't know what to expect going forward as of yet but I'm excited to see how it all plays out. We all want more football and now we have it. Enjoy it for what it is.
WEEK 1 SCORES
Atlanta Legends - 6
Orlando Apollos - 40
San Diego Fleet - 6
San Antonio Commanders - 15
Memphis Express - 0
Birmingham Iron - 26
Salt Lake Stallions - 22
Arizona Hotshots - 38
WEEK 2 SCHEDULE:
Salt Lake (0-1) at Birmingham (1-0) //
Sat, Feb 16 - 2:00 pm EST
Arizona (1-0) at Memphis (0-1) //
Sat, Feb 16 - 8:00 pm EST
Orlando (1-0) at San Antonio (1-0) //
Sun, Feb 17 - 4:00 pm EST
Atlanta (0-1) at San Diego (0-1) //
Sun, Feb 17 - 8:00 pm EST