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John Steigerwald: Alliance of American Football off to great start



Updated 7 hours ago

You could say the Alliance of American Football kicked off on Saturday night, but you'd be lying.

They don’t kickoff.

Former Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward in the San Antonio Commanders-San Diego Wave game in San Antonio by the field with the ball held high above his head, encouraging 27,857 fans to make noise, which they did.

Then he emphatically placed the ball on the 25-yard line. It didn´t have a dramatic effect that a kicker approached the ball might have, but it would have been a touchback anyway.

There was a lot of kickoffs in the game because there wasn't much scoring. The Commanders won 1

5-6. One touchdown and five field goals. Not the kind of game that is going to bring a lot of fans.

Getting rid of the goal.

The AAF is selling itself to the NFL. Co-founder and director of football operations, Bill Polian, said in the pregame show on CBS, "We're not developing enough quarterbacks or offensive linemen."

That's long overdue.

The game was a little rough. The quarterbacks looked good at times, but they also needed some developing. San Antonio Quarterback Logan Woodside, seventh-round pick by the Bengals, made by the game without being benched.

San Diego's Mike Bercovici, signed and released by Phillip Nelson, who was kicked off the Rutgers football team East Carolina Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

You might say he's a journeyman.

They don´t quite qualify as the “what if?” Players they talked about in the pregame show. "What if players who missed the big show of a inch …?"

It looked like a NFL game at times, and why wouldn't it? Most of the players were good enough to spend some time in an NFL training camp. It wouldn't be fair to judge the quality of the football game.

The game took two-and-a-half hours.

There were lots of 30 second timeouts during natural breaks and no timeouts. If you were a long time, you could feel pretty confident about it, it wasn't the middle of a two-and-a-half to three-minute cluster. It might be a good advertisement for the NFL fans.

The two-minute warning lasted less than 90 seconds from snap to snap.

You know what else will save a lot of time? From kickoffs. Football without kickoffs, but it's done for safety reasons. Having 85 percent of kickoffs ending up as touchbacks, and the game i watched was a good advertisement for no kickoffs in the future.

Bet is it.

Speaking of betting, you can download the AAF app. Players who draw lots of bets will receive bonuses. That's another feature of the NFL in the not-too-distant future.

The best and most glaring difference between AAF and NFL was replay reviews. Viewers saw a live split screen with replay official Jimmy Oldham, who was reviewing a receiver. It was obvious he didn. Here was his conversation with the referee: “OK, what's the ruling on the field? The catch, correct? OK, here's what I got.

The entire process took a minute and 40 seconds.

After the review of the AAF, the beat of the NBA is a great start.


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