After the final horn sounded in Super Bowl 53, NFL fans were left wondering- now what? Football fans were left in the dark with what to look forward to until the combine and draft rolled around. Introducing the AAF, the Alliance of American Football! Now, fans have much more football to watch with the athletes most fans have never heard of. This crazy league, with multiple rule changes and differences, is the best thing to happen to the NFL in a long time and there are many reasons why.
First off, it keeps the football hype going. Football is the most popular sport in America, and it garnishes so much attention. The AAF keeps football relevant and makes fans reminisce about the action they miss from the NFL. I treat the AAF almost like the NFL preseason; it’s a watered-down version of the real game we all love and reminds us of all the action and thrill that awaits us in the NFL regular season. Another major factor of the AAF’s excellence is the multiple rule changes.
NFL fans have been arguing if the NFL should make rule changes and adjustments and the AAF allows some experimentation into that. Some of the major changes include no kickoffs, no field goals in overtime, a shorter play clock, and mandatory two-point conversions. The league is aimed to shorten the length of games and make the game safer for the athletes. The NFL can examine how these rules play out in isolated environment and can then choose if they wish to enforce them. After all the drama and controversy this season, one of biggest impacts may be the officiating.
The NFL community was up in arms over the missed call in the Saints vs. Rams NFC Championship and the outrage still hasn’t subsided. The AAF allows the audience to hear the referees decide and deliberate on calls. The “Sky Judge” will also be utilized as a 9th member of the referee crew who can make calls on pass interference and make changes to help preserve player safety. The NFL will have the opportunity to examine the changes and possibly implement them going forward. These changes could impact opinions on the lack of action the NFL has taken towards officiating. Could the AAF turn into the breeding ground for NFL stars?
While the AAF may not feature guys like Tom Brady or Antonio Brown, there are still notable ex-NFL players including Christian Hackenberg and Trent Richardson. Fans can relive the college legacies of the old stars or may latch onto a new athlete who most of the football community has never heard of before. I think the most intriguing factor of the AAF is the possibility it could evolve into a one-and-done type system as a method for football players to avoid the college rout. The NFL could utilize the AAF as a farm system to develop talent and athletes to prepare them for the draft. The AAF features many intriguing possibilities for the NFL going forward.
The AAF will never overshadow the NFL. The NFL features much better athletes and is much more established and stable than the AAF. The AAF very well could fizzle out and fade as soon as it starts, but I believe it fits a hole that football needs. The AAF provides rule changes, different athletes, and changes in officiating that not only keeps fan interest but could very well be the changes we see in the NFL tomorrow. I believe the AAF is here to stay and will impact the NFL in multiple ways.