San Antonio, TX – The National Football League has dominated American football since its creation in 1920, and its 32 current teams have earned a massive $14.2 billion for the league in 2017 alone. However, with the conclusion of the regular NFL season, another league has taken center stage: The Alliance of American Football. Even as a very young league, with development starting in 2017 and its announcement coming in March of 2018, it seems to be taking the football world by storm by re-inventing the game. Looking at the games played within the league’s unique rules, one might not even recognize what’s being played due to the deviation from the iconic american football image. Instead, the Alliance of American Football is promoting high scoring games that keep people captivated through tweaking certain aspects of the game.
For example, one goal of the league is to speed up games, which is achieved by having no kickoffs whatsoever (meaning the elimination of special teams) and also having a shorter play clock: 35 seconds as opposed to the NFL’s 45 seconds. Although for decades the start of football games have been defined by kickoffs, some are beginning to recognize how much safer the game can be in the absence of special teams. High impact collisions between players running full speed down the field is almost completely eliminated.
Speaking of safety, the league has introduced a new official called a “sky judge.” The sky judge will have the special responsibility of making player safety calls as well as a few other responsibilities throughout the game.
Now this may all sound nice and dandy, but Americans are people of habit who generally do not favor changes. Football in particular is something that Americans are generally attached to, whether it be going out to a Friday Night Lights game in high school in the south or going to Gillette Stadium and nearly freezing to death while watching the premier pro football team.
Maybe the Alliance of American Football won’t catch on immediately, but with more issues arising in the NFL, especially concerning player safety, the next generation of football fans may begin looking away from the NFL and start looking for new leagues that have evolved. Either way, it is certainly an interesting evolution that has recently arose, and we will most certainly be hearing more about the Alliance of American Football for the next few months.