The Alliance of American Football got off to a promising start this past weekend, drawing decent TV ratings as curious eyes checked out the new spring league and hardcore football fans sought their fix with the Super Bowl in the rearview mirror. Obviously, the backups and practice squad players don't get the same quality of practice time as the starters, and so it becomes hard for them to truly improve their craft. Defenses were hitting. It was obvious that the defense was ahead of the offense in most of the games.
That wouldn't be a penalty in the NFL, but as explained by FootballZebras.com, the AAF wants to hold onto all its footballs for budgetary reasons. Now I'm back to a place where it's just fun. But moving forward it'll be a combination of both the football and business efforts making strides that will determine the AAF's long-term success. Ross had five receptions for 103 yards in the game. The Pac-12 touted the Stanford-Oregon game as having the highest ratings in almost four years for an ESPN conference game, and it drew just over 4 million. The hashtag #AAF continues to trend on social media, and tweets from the league's official Twitter account (@TheAAF) averaged 2,000 likes and 500 retweets. Now the AAF needs to build on this momentum for Week 2, which will be split across three different networks. Fans will have the opportunity to listen in on their discussions in between plays and there are nine referees in total. It's made up entirely of players who never got a chance in the NFL, have aged out of the NFL after being role players, or failed out of the NFL, sometimes spectacularly. Some of the assistant coaches you will find on the sidelines during an AAF matchup include Troy Polamalu, Hines Ward and Jared Allen. Now, NFL teams should have more elements to scout, and that will lead to better and more competitive professional rosters.
The Hotshots will take the field next against the Memphis Express on Saturday. Each team gets one possession in overtime starting at their opponent's 10-yard line (no field goals are allowed in OT).
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Had Ormsby been able to match Law's eagle on the final hole, he would have forced a playoff, but he could only manage a birdie. France's Celine Boutier won the women's event by two shots from three players including England's Charlotte Thomas.
With those teams comes the players and coaches, some of whom are fairly recognizable to a football fan. And speaking of Earl Thomas, he is one of two Orange County NFL players without a job for 2019 yet, as he was joined recently by Bridge City's 43-year-old kicker Matt Bryant. The Wake Forest product threw for 275 yards and four touchdowns.
Birmingham is coached by Tim Lewis. Not bad for an opening week. Now ahead 12-6, the Commanders went for the two point conversion, but were unsuccessful. The AAF might get lucky, but they can't pull off the kinds of highlights their rivals put out every week.
BUT there are some differences to the way the National Football League plays, so if you watch the game you should not expect to see the same exact game.