Move Over, No Fun League! Meet the AAF.

Fabricio Maldonado, Contributor

The Alliance of American Football (AAF) created a spark on social media during its season opener when quarterback, Mike Bercovici, was lit up by linebacker Shaan Washington. A hit so big it caused Bercovici’s helmet to fly off. This hit without a doubt would’ve been a flag in the NFL. Luckily, this was the AAF and not the No Fun League. Drake High School’s running back Terrance Coleman tweeted a video of the hit shortly after and wrote, “Real footballs back.”

With one hit, the AAF is already better than the NFL.

The AAF was founded in 2018, and began its inaugural season a couple of days after one of the NFL’s most boring Super Bowls, Super Bowl LIII. According to the AAF, the league is “complementary to the NFL,” and it gives people “a chance to watch more football.” The new league currently has 8 teams: the Arizona Hotshots, Atlanta Legends, Birmingham Iron, Memphis Express, Orlando Apollos, Salt Lake Stallions, San Antonio Commanders, and  San Diego Fleet. The league is already looking to expand to other cities next season.

Most of the rules in the AAF are similar to the NFL. However, the differences are pretty significant. There are no kickoffs. Instead, teams will start with the ball on their own 25-yard line, no extra points, and have to attempt two-point conversions. Also, the play clock is now 35 seconds, which is five seconds shorter than the NFL’s play clock. This is to help make the games shorter. If a game would go into overtime, both teams will get one chance to have the ball 1st and Goal on the 10 yard line. A game can end in a tie after overtime.

Since there are no kickoffs, the onside kick is also removed. The AAF uses onside conversions, which can only be attempted if a team is down by 17 points or during the last five minutes of the game. What happens during an onside conversion is that the team attempting will have to convert a fourth and 12 on their own 28. If they convert, they may continue the drive.

Removing the kickoff is something the NFL should consider doing, because according to Ivy League research, the kickoffs “account for 23.4 % of concussions during games despite representing only 5.8% of overall plays.”

A senior and varsity football player at SRHS, Michael Pulido said, “The new league is cool, but the NFL still has better competition and players.” He’s totally right. Most rosters in the AAF are made up of players that were either cut by NFL teams, or weren’t good enough to make it into the league. For some of these players, it’s their final shot to make their dreams a reality. AAF players sign 3-year, $250,000 contracts. Under contract they are not tied down to the league, and are allowed to leave if a NFL contract is given to them.

The AAF is a new and exciting football league that is getting great reviews on social media. As of now the NFL is the preferred league but who knows what the future holds.