Alliance of American Football receives approval from SCSU football
Matt Gad—Sports Writer
The Alliance of American Football kicked off last weekend with two games Saturday night on CBS, another Sunday afternoon on CBS Sports Network and another Sunday night game on NFL Network.
The league, with most of its teams placed in non-NFL
markets, killed on its opening weekend, with Action Network’s Darren Rovell (former ESPN sports business guru) tweeting that Saturday night’s action out-performed the ratings for NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC, a game that featured the Rockets vs. Thunder and two incredible scoring displays from two superstars: Houston’s James Harden and Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook.
“The Alliance of American Football is definitely a good opportunity for a lot of guys,” Owls inside linebackers coach Nathan Tyler said. “It gives another 500 plus players a chance to progress into the NFL or the Canadian Football League.”
Of the eight teams in the league, those rosters feature former NFL talent with players trying for a second chance, as well as recent college graduates who were overlooked during the draft and last season but still had spectacular NCAA careers and are ready to put on a show to get noticed.
The league is a true minorleague for the NFL and the CFL, something that’s tried to be created over the years and has received massive failure, most recently with the United Football League. However, with powerful guys like Bill Polian behind the AAF and Vince McMahon behind next year’s new XFL launch, as well as big television and media rights deals, we will have to give these things its fair shake.
Also, the AAF’s rosters are created with territorial restrictions, which, for example, limit the San Diego Fleet to five area colleges as their recruiting base.
To my knowledge, the league also lacks Division II talent in its system. While it is anyone’s guess if the XFL will, Southern previously placed players in the Spring League, a short-season showcase style set-up which plays six games in April, as well as in the Arena Football League. Former quarterback Ray Catapano also signed a contract last month to play professionally overseas.
Senior Jharron Wallace, a star four–year linebacker for the Owls, who is drawing some attention at the next level, could be invited to a pro day this spring, possibly at Yale. The same could go for regionally recognized senior halfback Eli Parks.