After a weekend debut of the new football league in the Alliance of American Football league, people have already been talking positively to the prospect of even more football. The TV ratings were better than even expected, beating out a marquee match-up in the NBA but a premier of new league can be expected to pull big numbers on it’s weekend debut. Big positives that people took from the AAF is the idea of a missing link between the NFL and college where there is a lack of developmental leagues for talented players who fall just short of being drafted and signed into the NFL. While the quality of football won’t be anywhere close to the NFL, Americans seem to not get enough of Football and with a possible connection to the NFL as a legitimate developmental the AAF seems to be doing all the right things to establish itself for longevity.
With the AAF off to a hot start, another league lurks in the dark awaiting their “reboot” in 2020. The XFL, with Vince McMahon back at the helm, is set to start or re-start their inaugural season a year after the AAF’s inaugural season and the topic now on everyone’s mind is how theses two sub-NFL caliber leagues (AAF and XFL) are going to be able to coexist. These two leagues basically have the same concept’s as far as trying to “re-imagine football” (a literal quote from the XFL). As far as us fans are aware, it appears that the AAF was already re-imagining football with specific rule changes and using ways to speed up the pace of the game with less breaks. At this point it looks like both leagues are doing something much easier than the NFL can do, and that is experiment with different variations of rules and time management.
I fully expect that both leagues will generate great interest but as we know from history, specifically regarding the XFL, sustainable longevity is going to be the challenge for both leagues. With that as a huge hurdle, expect that both leagues will almost be used a football petri dish where experimenting with ways flags are used in circumstances, what is considered a clean hit, how punts and kickoffs are viewed, how extra points are set up, and much more idiosyncrasies of the game can be tweaked into a better experience for the fans. Seems good for the fans, but the only way either of these leagues will keep getting butts in the seats and eyes on the TV, is with quality football play as the end product, and I just don’t see both of these leagues coexisting for long side by side.