New AAF football league gives fans a refreshing experience the NFL can’t provide

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New AAF football league gives fans a refreshing experience the NFL can’t provide

The AAF just completed its second week of regular season play and has gained generally positive traction.

The AAF just completed its second week of regular season play and has gained generally positive traction.

Courtesy of Creative Commons

The AAF just completed its second week of regular season play and has gained generally positive traction.

Courtesy of Creative Commons

Courtesy of Creative Commons

The AAF just completed its second week of regular season play and has gained generally positive traction.

Justin Gongora, Sports Writer

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With the viral emergence of the Allegiance of American Football league, football fans now have an option to watch professional football after the NFL’s season.

The league is currently in its inaugural season and hosts a total of just eight teams primarily found in southern, western and eastern regions of the United States.

The Atlanta Legends, Birmingham Iron, Memphis Express and Orlando Apollos make up the AAF Eastern Conference, while the Arizona Hotshots, Salt Lake Stallions, San Antonio Commanders and San Diego Fleet make up the AAF Western Conference.

The AAF isn’t meant to be a competitor to the NFL. It looks to be like a highway or a bridge for  players that aim  to regain a spot in the NFL. The new league will host a variety of upcoming stars mixed with the occasional big name, such as Irons running back Trent Richardson.

The first two weeks of play were interesting to watch, as the league has no exclusive deal with a television network. This allowed them to display their games and events on free platforms.

The league also has their own take on officiating rules. Most notably are the rules: no kickoffs or extra point attempts, teams must attempt two-point conversions and that possessions start at the 25-yard line. There also are no onside kicks; instead, a team can attempt a play from scrimmage from their own 28-yard line and need to gain at least 12 yards.

Additionally, there are no television timeouts, there is a 35-second play clock and coaches get two challenges. Overtime will be one possession for each team from their opponent’s 10-yard line. No field goal attempts can be made.

The league also has what many are considering relaxed refereeing–a huge difference

from the NFL. The play that caught attention of those watching, happened right here in the State of Texas. During the Fleet versus Commanders game, a San Antonio linebacker, Shaan Washington delivered a sack that sent the Fleet quarterback to the ground, sending his helmet soaring through the air. The best part of the play, you may ask? NO FLAG.

Where the NFL punishes defensive players for “hard hits” to the offense, the AAF has taken their position as a league who welcomes the violent nature that football was originally built on. In addition to their rule changes, they also supervise the game transparently  by providing a live look into the officiating room during any challenged play.

With the league merely being two weeks into play, it’s an exciting time to be a football fan, but more specifically an AAF football fan. Look forward to seeing some highlights come from the league and with time, the transition of some stars over to and from the NFL.