Thursday, 26 April, 2018

Alliance of American Football announced as latest new football league

American Football American Football
Nicole Thomas | 20 March, 2018, 22:14

Charlie Ebersol, the director of a documentary on the XFL that aired on ESPN previous year, announced his own league, the Alliance of American Football, in New York City on Tuesday, according to multiple reports.

The ESPN story said the investors in Ebersol's league have a "7-10-year plan" for success, which is smart. According to ESPN's Darren Rovell, the season will run for 10 weeks, consisting of eight 50-man teams which will be unveiled sometime next month. Other games will be available on the league's app, which Ebersol said promises to integrate live fantasy play into the broadcasts.

Charlie Ebersol, whose father partnered with McMahon in the original XFL, co-founded the league with former NFL executive Bill Polian.

Other advisers include Dick Ebersol and former National Football League players Hines Ward and Justin Tuck.

On the financial side, while Vince McMahon has invested his own money into bringing the XFL back, the Alliance is backed by a pool that includes former Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen, Founders Fund and The Chernin Group.

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"This [spring football] is a massive gap in the market", founder Charlie Ebersol said in a news conference.

Polian and Charlie Ebersol, a veteran producers who is the son of Dick Ebersol, the former head of NBC Sports who was involved in the XFL and is credited with founding "Sunday Night Football".

But that's not all - there will be crucial input from former National Football League executives and players. The league will start a year sooner than the XFL, in 2019, on February 9, just a week after the NFL Superbowl. A developmental league would be good for everyone including the NFL, and it sounds like Ebersol plans to give players who couldn't make the NFL a shot ("We're looking for those Kurt Warners working in grocery stores and we think we will find them", he told ESPN). "We have to be able to take advantage of the people who just stop playing fantasy when the National Football League season ends".

"There are 28,000 Division I football players". For example, there will be no kickoffs - the offense will start drives at the 25-yard line. The league will have shorter play clocks and fewer commercial breaks in an effort to have games last no longer than two-and-a-half hours.

While the prospect of an additional football season which immediately follows the Super Bowl is a welcome idea for fans, what really stands out are some rule variations that could end up making the biggest impact on the sport. After scoring a touchdown, a team must attempt a two-point conversion, with the ball being snapped at the 2-yard line. But it won't be the only new professional football league - or even the first to begin play.

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