Last weekend I attended the inaugural game of the Orlando Apollos in the Alliance of American Football. After years of declining joy in the NFL experience that included unclear rule changes, missed officiating calls and interminable delays as even instant replay could not determine if the officials were right or wrong, I was elated to see a game that just does it better than the NFL while reducing chance for injury and keeping the game exciting.
Don’t get me wrong, these players all hope to get into or return to the NFL where contracts are bigger, the season longer and the stakes greater. But a bigger forum does not mean a better game.
The AAF in its first year has come up with a game that is more fun to watch than the product the NFL currently puts on the field. Fans watching on TV are included in some “inside the game” aspects you won’t see in the NFL outside of NFL Films productions. You’ll hear coaches and quarterbacks conferring on plays, on field audio from both sides of the ball and even the referee and replay officials discussing the play in question as they determine whether or not to overturn a call. The AAF keeps you engaged instead of grabbing a drink through the never ending replay reviews.
The play is good, the game is better and the AAF stands as a great example from which the NFL should be learning. Applying those lessons to the NFL product would go a long way to enhancing their product which has been in decline for a number of years.
Yes, I am an unabashed AAF fan and with my season tickets only costing $15/game I am in for the long haul.
Do yourself a favor. Catch the Apollos on TV this weekend (CBS or the CBS SPORTS NETWORK) and then the following weekend take the trip to UCF and Spectrum Stadium for one of the best football games you’ll find.
If you like football you’ll be elated that you went!
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