I felt depressed. I mean a defensive battle in a Super Bowl is the thrilling conclusion to one of the greatest offensive seasons this league has ever experienced was good, but left me missing something… Then emptiness. The sudden realization that football is, in fact, actually gone hits you like a deer in the road (sorry PETA). Yeah pure depression. Like Michael Scott when Holly is dating AJ. It sucks.
No not Amped As F***, well I am, but in this case it legally stands for The Alliance of American Football. Man what a time to be alive. Imagine being a prehistoric being from like 10 years ago who had nothing to look forward to after the Super Bowl for like 6 weeks until the NFL Combine. I mean those cavemen suffered the worst of fates being footballless; without football; sans football. Sad.
BUT NOT ANYMORE. Look, Charlie Ebersol and Bill Polian really hit the farthest of homeruns with The Alliance. I am talking Ted Williams red seat at Fenway far. An idea of a Spring league for practice squad and bottom of the depth chart guys in the NFL right now, college players who didn’t get the draft opportunities others did and Former NFL players looking to reinvent themselves and possibly get another chance at greatness is a HUGE MOVE. You get a group of guys who are on the edge of NFL talent having to prove themselves and show that they belong and deserve a shot at redemption.
Now let’s go ahead and address the haters/assholes. Is this league better than the NFL? No. No one said it was. Will it have better talent than the NFL? NO, no one claimed it would. Now get over yourself if you’re going to throw a fit about a new football league.
Ok, we got that out of the way. Now why is The Alliance good? Well everything we have already said. It is a new football league during what was known as the dead period of the football year. And yes the overall collective talent might not be NFL talent, but there will be some guys to get excited about and some who actually get NFL tryouts. On top of that, new jerseys. Yes Starter has made its way back into sports and are coming in strong. The gear is absolutely electric, and I for one, am here for it. We also get new cities and fanbases brought into the football world. Eight new teams in cities that were all primed and ready for professional football are getting rewarded now and you get to buy in to whichever team you would like starting now.
So before you get an overview of the teams, here is how they work. Every team is assigned a group of colleges to sign players from, then 4 NFL teams to sign former players that were most recently associated with the team and then a CFL team to do the same. Players sign a 3-year 250K contract which includes opportunities to gain bonuses and add yearly money, and also provides an escape clause in case of a NFL signing. Anyways… Here we go (in alphabetical order, no favoritism).
The Hotshots are named after Arizona’s legendary firefighters, the hotshots. They are probably the closest to a Madden created team there is with the Green and Orange jerseys and the Hotshots name. They play in Sundevil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona and are coached by a guy who has been around football for longer than I’ve been alive in Rick Neuheisel. They pull their players from the Arizona schools, Texas Tech, Oregon State, Washington State and UCLA. They receive their former NFL players from the Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, San Francisco 49ers and the Chicago Bears, and they get their CFL talent from the Edmonton Eskimos. The Hotshots are quietly one of the more athletic teams in the Alliance with burners like Justin Stockton, Rashad Ross and Josh Huff, then show off with a very familiar name at Middle Linebacker in the one and only Scooby Wright. #GoShots
Ok, I would’ve hopped all over this bandwagon if the Legends could’ve kept Mike Vick as an OC. Honestly, I would have made him Quarterback, OC, Head Coach, Owner, Mayor of Atlanta, etc. And it would’ve been awesome. But he’s gone, oh well, Atlanta is rocking the Purple and Gold with a big ass crown and looks like the definition of royalty. They play in the Georgia State stadium and sport a roster made up from the Georgia schools, Clemson, North Carolina and Virginia Tech. They get their former NFL players from the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars and Washington Redskins. They also get the Toronto Argonauts former players. The Legends are lead by Denard Robinson and Bug Howard. They also have one of the better backup quarterbacks in the league with Aaron Murray sitting on the bench. #AllHailATL
The Iron of Birmingham or the Starter Brand Raiders or the Alabama 5th years. All of these names follow and are acceptable. These guys really kind of got the best of the best out of all of the teams. They are deep in the football heart of the south in Alabama and are also sporting Black and Silver and already have a huge fanbase just from their Twitter game. The team is headlined by Trent Richardson and has players from Auburn, Alabama, Mississippi State, NC State, Missouri and South Carolina. It has former NFL players from New England, Pittsburgh, Cleveland and the Buffalo Bills. They also own the rights to players from the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes and the Ottawa RedBlacks. #ForgeON
Mike Singletary, Yes that Mike Singletary, is the head coach of the Memphis Express. The Red and Blue Express play their football in the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. They are the lone Tennessee team here and get to reap the benefits as they get players from all of the Tennessee schools then Arkansas, Kentucky and LSU. They get their former NFL players from the Tennessee Titans, New Orleans Saints, Indianapolis Colts and the Cincinnati Bengals. They also get players from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. The Express has players like Christian Hackenburg, Zac Stacy and Zach Mettenberger. #AllAboard
Steve Spurrier is only wearing Orlando Apollos shirts now, and getting him in a shirt is wild, so you know they have to be good looking gear. And oh buddy, it is good looking. The Blue and Orange Appolos have maybe the coolest helmet ever with the stretched out archer in the on the sides with the number on the back. They also have the most dangerous offense in the league with Garrett Gilbert looking like everything he was supposed to look like coming out of high school and doing exactly what this league was made for… Giving guys another opportunity. A second chance, and Gilbert is doing more than taking it. The Apollos pull their team from all of the Florida teams (FSU, UF, Miami, FAU, UCF, USF), the Miami Dolphins, New York Giants, New York Jets and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They also gain talent from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. The Apollos are lead by their stars Garrett Gilbert, Akeem Hunt and Linebacker Terence Garvin. #TakeAim
Salt Lake STALLIONS
The other coolest helmets and maybe the coolest color way in the league are in Salt Lake City with Utah’s first professional football team ever. The Powder Blue and Silver Stallions are playing in Rice-Eccles Stadium of the Utah Utes. The Stallions draw in players from all of the Utah schools and then Cal, Boise State, Nebraska, Oregon and our very own @Big12FanWill ‘s Oklahoma State. They get former NFL players from the Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks and the Minnesota Vikings. They also get their former CFL players from the Calgary Stampeders. The Stallions big-name players are Austin Allen, Branden Oliver and Matt Asiata. #FullSteedAhead
San Antonio COMMANDERS
The lone Texas team plays in the Alamo Dome in good ole San Antonio and wears the 50 shades of Red with the Red and Maroon color scheme. The San Antonio Commanders are already big on social media changing their name to Sack Antonio with their strong defensive line. The Commanders have a big opportunity to blow up because of Texas’s love of football and with the talent they have, they can gain a huge following from the rest of Texas. The Red and Maroon get their players from all of the Texas schools except Texas Tech, and Oklahoma. They get NFL talent from the Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles. They also draw their CFL talent from the Saskatchewan RoughRiders. The Commanders have a lot of players to show off with Logan Woodside, Aaron Green, Greg Ward Jr., Joey Mbu and Joel Lanning. #TakeCommand
San Diego FLEET
The only pro football team in San Diego is the San Diego Fleet. They are coached by Mike Martz and play in the Q. The Yellow and Gray is a good look for the lone Cali squad who is made up from all of the California schools, Hawaii, Washington and Arkansas. They get their NFL talent from the two L.A. Teams, the Detroit Lions and the Oakland Raiders. They also get their Canadian talent from the BC Lions. The Fleet is lead by Mike Bercovici, Bishop Sankey and Gavin Escobar. #AllHandsOnDeck
These are your teams ladies and gents, now it is time to choose your bandwagon and hop on board. The Alliance is here and I am beyond ready to watch some football. Oh and remember… Teams get the Ball on the 25.