10

Feb 2019


Did the AAF debut give football fans something to cheer about?

Behind the Steel Curtain

The timing of the Allegiance of American Football could help bridge the gap from the Super Bowl to the NFL Draft.

Well, I gave it a try.

With football entering its seven-month dormant season from on-the-field play, I decided to give the newly formed AAF a shot. After reading several articles here at BTSC, I thought it would be interesting to see what the league could offer. Between former Steelers on the rosters and some interesting rules which could be an improvement over situations in the NFL, I thought there just might be enough to help cut the offseason wait down by several weeks. By every indication thus far, it appears as if I’m going to have to find either another sport or a different hobby.

I tuned in to the inaugural game on CBS between the San Antonio Commodores and the San Diego Fleet. With the biggest names being in the coaching ranks (Mike Martz is the head coach of San Diego), the broadcast made sure to keep them mic’d. That is, if the audio was properly working throughout the game. In an attempt to be able to hear more action on the field, the commentators kept cutting out during the broadcast which was fairly annoying. At one point during the game, I even stared a blank screen for 10 seconds waiting for the broadcast to come back in the middle of action. Apparently it’s not just the players that are not quite to the level of the NFL.

There was some promise early on when a San Antonio player got a free rush at the San Diego quarterback, planting his facemask square in his chest and knocking the QB’s helmet off in the process. Unlike the NFL, it was not a penalty. But it also seemed to be the only highlight of the game.

While cutting down the play clock to 35 seconds to keep the game moving sounds good in theory, it doesn’t allow the offense to really run effective motion or get any other quality reads on the defense. Therefore, the offense in this game was been completely lacking.

Perhaps it is the fact that these teams have only been practicing for a month. Maybe the NFL has all the quality offensive lineman locked up in futures contracts. Regardless of the reason, blocking has been at a minimum as there have been many sacks and the running game is either feast or famine. The handful of runs which have gone for decent gains have been the result of the rusher finding a small crease to squeeze through as the o-line was driven back. The few outside running attempts generally finished as a tackle for loss.

Maybe I had lofty expectations of quality football which could excite me to watch every week. If you are a fan of preseason football, you’re probably looking at about the same quality of play. Although I watch every Steelers preseason game, it is only in anticipation of how the squad is going to be formed for the upcoming season. When it comes to watching quality football between any teams, I’ll wait for the real games to start in September. These are just my personal thoughts.

At the time of writing this article, there is less than a minute left in the third quarter with the score tied 6–6. As close as the score might be, I think it’s time to maybe find some Big Bang Theory reruns, or even watch a chick flick with my wife for a Saturday night. Yes, I could watch football. But I would rather wait for the real deal. Why couldn’t this football be a better alternative?

Ironically, in exactly 7 months from tonight, it will be the first game of Monday Night Football for 2019. Are you ready?

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