Former NFL quarterback Mike Vick has retired from football of the tackle variety. He will nevertheless return to the field, without pads.
Via Darren Rovell of ESPN.com, Vick will participate in a professional flag football game on June 27. Recently-retired running back Justin Forsett also will be playing in the game.
It’s a test run for a potential eight-team league, which would play seven-on-seven football on a 100-yard field for 60 minutes at a time.
“I just thought to myself, ‘what would this look like if great athletes played this?'” American Flag Football League founder Jeff Lewis said, via Rovell. “There’s certainly a huge pool to take guys from. Every single year, NFL teams cut 800 guys. We need less than 100 players to field eight teams.”
Lewis won’t necessarily be looking for the best of the best, however.
“We’ll try to find a 60-year-old guy with a beer gut who can stand in and be a quarterback of one of our teams,” Lewis said. While that sounds intriguing, Lewis will need to decide whether he wants it to be a competitive football league or a reality-style sideshow.
Either way, it’s going to be an uphill climb. When it comes to football, it’s become well established that it’s damn near impossible to lure American fans to something beyond the NFL, college football, and their local high-school programs.