Association of American football league debuts

Steven Rodriguez, sports reporter, photographer, weather forecaster

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The National football league (NFL) has been the dominant source of professional televised football since 1939 with little to no competition. Multiple leagues have tried to compete with the NFL’s monopoly for mainstream exposure but in the end failed to gain traction.

The Alliance of American Football (AAF) shot onto the professional football scene with the League’s first game being aired by CBS earlier this month. The AAF has a average of about 3 million viewers per televised game, while the NFL has a average of about 16 million viewers per game.

The alliance of American football was founded by Charlie Ebersol and ex-NFL executive Bill Polian in 2018. The league works differently than the NFL in that instead of having privately owned teams run by a league all the teams are owned by the AAF league as a single entity.

The AAF’s season begins after the Super Bowl and during the NFL off-season to reduce competition with the NFL for views. The price for tickets to a AAF game are cheaper than NFL tickets to bring more people in to attend the games.

Some differences in rules between the AAF and NFL are that in the AAF kickoffs are not part of the game to try to reduce injury, the play clock is shorter and after a touchdown teams must go for a two point conversion.

The AAF is just beginning and it cannot be determined yet if the league will succeed and match the NFL’s popularity or fizzle out like all the other leagues that have tried to challenge the NFL. And while most students asked said they have heard of the AAF, very few say they actually watched a game– but would watch one in the future.

Jason Leal, 11, said, “I would not watch an AAF game because it won’t be able to live up to the NFL. I don’t consider it a serious league.”

Others are excited about the prospect of watching more football.

“Heck yeah, I would watch AAF games, since the NFL is on offseason there are no football games on so why not watch it,” said Tristan Rodriguez, 11.