Six days after a boring Super Bowl, the Alliance of American Football made its debut. Considering the league was only just founded last March, I expected to watch a sub-par product. I though I'd tune in on Saturday and Sunday for a just few minutes but I found myself unable to turn the games off. Both of the games I watched were (surprise) actually watchable.
Make no mistake, this is not the NFL. And that's actually good news. The AAF differs from the NFL in the following ways:
- There's no kickoff. Trust me, you wont miss it. The AAF puts the ball on the 25-yard line. Less injuries and less time setting up for a kick-off.
- The games are faster. The games had fewer commercial breaks and the play clock is shorter.
- They've eliminated onside kicks. Again, you won't miss them.
- There's no PAT kick. You have to go for two. As a Bears fan still dealing with PCPS (Post-Cody Parkey Syndrome) I'm all for eliminating any chance for a kicker to cost a team points.
- They use a SKYJUDGE. This was my favorite innovation. The AAF lets you listen in to the refs as they make decisions in real time. When a booth review was called for the Sky Judge explained why a call was made. This sort of transparency needs to find it's way into the NFL. Yesterday.
This league feels like a AAA version of the NFL. I won't be surprised if a few of the AAF's standout players make their way into the NFL. If you're someone who falls into a funk after the NFL season ends, and are able to figure out where the CBS Sports Network is, the AAF might be just what you need. I enjoyed it more than I expected to. Although I expect I'll spend less time watching the AAF now that we're days away from pitchers and catchers reporting.