This article is a confession: I love to watch AAF football every weekend. Let me count the ways.
- A Second Chance to Live Your Dream
Life is about resilience — the measure of a person is how they get back up after life inevitably beats them down. In the AAF, we get to see the amazing athletes who either washed out of the NFL or never got a fair shake to begin with.
Former New England Patriots defensive back Sterling Moore, beloved by Pats fans for his game-saving, last second pass breakup in the 2011 AFC Championship game, is still grinding away, playing for the AAF’s Arizona Hotshots when no NFL teams have a spot for him. Guys like this love the game, and years after their NFL glory, they still deserve a place to put their skills to work to feed their families.
Likewise, we see second chances for coaches to apply their talents. Steve Spurrier, Dennis Erickson and Mike Martz are all talented and colorful coaches that make the AAF feel familiar and fun. (Mike Singletary is also a coach in the AAF.)
2. Working for the Weekend
Working stiffs like me have to spend five out of every seven days grinding out work product as a corporate drone. Just because the calendar turns to February and the NFL season ends, doesn’t mean we get any respite from our responsibilities. We need something to look forward to in life, especially during these post-NFL months.
Enter the AAF. Four games to watch every weekend in the spring gives us the opportunity to have a beer, kick back and get hyped for opening ball placement, with the promise of exciting football-related entertainment to occupy the next few hours and take us away from our troubles for just a little while.
3. It’s Football, Faster
With the AAF, we get to enjoy ‘alternate reality’ football where you have to go for two after each touchdown, there are no kickoffs, and an ‘onside conversion attempt’ replaces the onside kick. These changes improve the pace of play, and it’s pretty great to see the offense go straight to the 25 yard line immediately after surrendering a touchdown. It feels like things are really moving, as compared to the interminable NFL broadcasts where each touchdown is followed by a long replay review, then a boring PAT kick attempt, then a commercial, then a kick through the back of the end zone, then another commercial. After an NFL score, you can go make a sandwich and not be worried about missing anything. Not so with the faster-paced AAF.
Also, in the event that there is a replay review, it’s great to see the replay official mic’ed up so you can hear him as he looks for both feet down with control of the ball. It gives you almost a documentary feeling, to see how official rulings were decided. The “Sky Judge” concept is great and hopefully ensures that there are no completely horrible botched calls (or no-calls) that ruin a team’s season, such as the PI non-call at the end of Rams-Saints this last year.
4. No Roger Goodell
Roger Goodell is the worst person to be a commissioner of a major sports league. He is wholly undeserving of his position and his monstrous salary. It brings shame to the NFL every day that he remains the commissioner. While owners may have profited under his tenure, his biased, hypocritical actions and egregious incompetence detract from the enjoyment of NFL football for millions of fans. Roger is not part of the AAF and we’re all better for it.
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