We’re about to enter our first weekend without NFL football of some kind in a long time, but there will still be football being played.
The Alliance of American Football kicks off its inaugural season this weekend and with it comes the potential for a legitimate spring league to complement the NFL. The AAF isn’t trying to compete with the NFL, it’s trying to serve as a stepping stone for players that need it in between college football and trying to get on, or back, with an NFL team. That’s smart.
There are eight teams in the Alliance of American Football:
- Arizona Hotshots
- Atlanta Legends
- Birmingham Iron
- Memphis Express
- Orlando Apollos
- Salt Lake Stallions
- San Antonio Commanders
- San Diego Fleet
There are plenty of NFL names throughout leadership and coaching positions in the AAF as well as players on the teams. There’s a good chance that you know somebody on each of the teams which makes for an exciting prospect of a league.
There are some pretty strong Cowboys connections to the San Antonio Commanders
I’ll level with you and own up that I’m pretty biased when it comes to AAF teams. I’m one half of the pre- and post-game shows for the San Antonio Commanders on ESPN San Antonio, so if you’re going to root for a team that’s my suggestion; however, there are a lot of reasons to like the Alamo City.
For starters, Daryl Johnston is the General Manager of the Commanders. How cool is that? Moose has put together one of the teams that’s expected to compete for the AAF title (the championship game will be in Las Vegas) that includes some names that have spent time with the Cowboys.
San Antonio has a quarterback in Dustin Vaughan who Cowboys fans should remember. The Commanders also feature Trey Williams, Mekale McKay, Duke Thomas and Joel Lanning as well as former college stars from the area like Greg Ward, Jr. and Orion Stewart.
The Commanders also have some players with fresh NFL experience. De’Vante Busby spent time with the Philadelphia Eagles just this season and kicker Nick Rose was called up to the Los Angeles Chargers for their divisional round playoff game against the New England Patriots. What’s more is the Commanders will be taking on the San Diego Fleet in their first game which is the team Jon Kitna was previously working for and the one that Gavin Escobar is the starting tight end for. Good times, right?
The NFL has become a year-round league with the Combine, Free Agency, and the Draft all taking up big chunks of the calendar. If the Alliance of American Football can help aid in the time that we’re missing our favorite sport, who doesn’t want that?
Perhaps the biggest potential benefit to the AAF is the platform that it’s giving coaches and players. We’ve already seen it elevate Jon Kitna to the Cowboys staff (Josh Johnson also left the Fleet to go play for the Washington Redskins), who’s to say this can’t continue to happen? Players drop off in performance at the NFL level, if they can find a spot to get back on track that’s better for the game overall.
Will you be watching the AAF? If so, who will you be rooting for?