As AAF hires coaches and announces teams, XFL is far behind

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Two new football leagues have formed this year, with the Alliance of American Football announcing that it will start play in 2019 and the XFL announcing that it will start in 2020. But as the AAF makes concrete plans that show it has a real backing, it raises questions about whether the XFL will be too far behind to catch up.

The AAF has already announced that several credible, well-known coaches have agreed to coach teams in its league, which will begin play in February: Steve Spurrier will coach the Orlando team, Rick Neuheisel will coach the Phoenix team, Dennis Erickson will coach the Salt Lake City team, Mike Singletary will coach the Memphis team and Brad Childress will coach the Atlanta team (with Michael Vick as his offensive coordinator).

Meanwhile, the XFL is tweeting about taking suggestions from fans about where their franchises should be located. No XFL franchises, coaches or league executives, other than Vince McMahon, have been announced.

The AAF has also already begun the process of explaining what will differentiate its league from the NFL. That includes rules like eliminating kickoffs, and an open-door policy to Colin Kaepernick, who is currently suing the NFL and saying its owners have colluded to keep him out of the league. The XFL has said it will provide an exciting brand of football but offered no specifics.

Most importantly, the AAF will air its first game and its championship game on CBS, and many other AAF games will air on CBS Sports Network. The XFL has no TV deal.

The AAF’s one-year head start is a massive advantage over the XFL. If the AAF succeeds in its first season in 2019, then fans who want to watch spring football will already have a league they actively follow heading into 2020. If the AAF fails in 2019, then spring football itself will look like a failure, and the XFL will struggle to convince fans that it will be any different.

Although the XFL still has much greater name recognition than the AAF, thanks to the XFL’s one and only season in 2001, name recognition can get the XFL only so far. When it’s time for actual XFL football to be played, the AAF will already be way ahead.

39 responses to “As AAF hires coaches and announces teams, XFL is far behind

  1. That includes rules like eliminating kickoffs, and an open-door policy to Colin Kaepernick,

    Then I won’t watch them.

  2. Kind of like how conservative talk radio took hold first and NPR/Air America never came close to ever catching up.
    The AAF was smart to hire recognizable NFL names.

  3. I’m all in on this AAF league. I hope they keep the rules the same as the NFL so that the NFL will be better able to evaluate QB’s, etc. I’ll be looking for the next Kurt Warner. The TV deal is the main thing, but those teams should also sign some big name local kids to generate stadium attendance. I’m not sure about the XFL. I don’t know if they’re planning on attracting football fans or wrestling fans. I’m a football fan, and the NFL style of football is what I’m interested in watching.

  4. I love the idea of minor league football. Our universities shouldn’t be burdened by also needing to be experts in sports marketing, and having to pay the X and O guys millions … in addition to the huge charade that these guys are STUDENT athletes.

    MLB does this right.

    However, they gotta be careful with over-saturation of the product as a whole. College ball, and then two more leagues in addition to the NFL? I may need to watch a Pixar movie twice a week in order to stay in the mood.

  5. Well well, the AAF will have an open door policy for disrespectful Kaepernick and his fellow kneelers?
    That is enough for me. I will not have anything to do with this league.
    If Vince McMahon has a different policy, then I will watch the XFL games.
    Until then, i am sticking with Bob McNair/Texans and Clark Hunt/Chiefs, who are trying to make the game great again. Send the Marcus Peters, Eric Reids, Kaepernicks and michael Bennetts to the AAF !!!!!!

  6. The name XFL is associated with failure and Vince McMahon. Neither of those attributes really work for serious football fans. The AAF is in a better position starting off with a clean slate, having a tv deal, and starting earlier. If it’s a spring league, they should do their best to avoid direct competition with the NBA.

  7. Softest launch ever.
    Then again McMahon is pretty old, it’s probably to be expected.

  8. I get the impression that the AAF is trying to be the minor leagues of the NFL and the XFL is trying to be everything today’s football is not. More of an old school version. At least that’s what I hope because I have no interest in minor league ball and am turned off by what today’s football has become. I do watch the NFL but Its not the same any,ore. I would watch the XFL if my thoughts are correct. I’m not watching the AAF if they’re just going to play with the same rules adding in rules the NFL is trying ro implement to see if they work.

  9. Meh. The league will be gone in less than 5 years. Waste of time and money.

  10. McMahon is a huckster. The XFL has failure written all over it.

    If the AAF can get talented players like Kaepernick (though I doubt he’d play), it could produce some good football. Having a TV contract is big. The product on the field will determine if it succeeds. I’ll definitely give it a look.

  11. For the XFL to succeed you have to start out in football markets that do not have much going on outside of football like:

    Birmingham Alabama – no pro teams; will rally around their XFL team
    Knoxville Tennessee – to get the North Georgia/Tennessee market.
    Amarillo Texas – Texas and Oklahoma markets
    Albuquerque New Mexico – untapped market

    And a couple of big market teams to give the league credibility.

    Also each team needs its own individual owner.

  12. I’ll be rooting for Memphis. Because of the music and food. It’s all I need for loyalty.

  13. This new XFL was just Vince McMahon throwing a tantrum. He was friends with Charlie Ebersol and was clearly involved in some capacity in the early planning for the AAF. But then they had a falling out, leading him to try and steal the idea by announcing his new XFL with absolutely nothing in place other than the name. Consequently, it’s going nowhere and will soon fade away never to be heard of again.

  14. If either of these leagues aren’t fixed like the NFL I’ll definitely be switching brands

  15. dryzzt23 says:
    May 19, 2018 at 7:30 am
    Kind of like how conservative talk radio took hold first and NPR/Air America never came close to ever catching up.

    I listen to neither (I enjoyed some conservative radio back in the ’90s or so when it seemed more focused on substantive issues) but NPR was around 45 years ago, when a large chunk of today’s “conservatives” were still Democrats, and has a huge listener base. Air America is another story.

  16. kamthechancellor says:
    May 19, 2018 at 8:28 am
    Have a kickoff and injury waivers XFL and you’ll have the ultimate advantage.

    So the best players go to the NFL
    The next group goest to the AAF
    The third group goes to the Canada

    Which means the XFL will be full of players who were lucky if they started on their high school teams. But you’ll still watch it because it has kickoffs?

  17. People on here saying how the XFL will be have a better chance of succeeding because it will be more violent, and have kickoffs, and ban protesting, blah blah blah are forgetting one thing- who exactly will be playing in this league?

    If the NFL is going to get in bed with either of these leagues eventually, it will be the league who’s rules most closely match their own, which is the AAF. If a player wants to get the NFL someday, he will play in the league where he is least likely to get killed, which is the AAF. If a player wants his rights respected, he will go to the AAF.

    So have fun watching the WWE with helmets featuring players who literally have zero shot of ever making it to the NFL. At least you’ll have your principles (principles meaning you love watching people get hurt and don’t respect others freedoms) intact.

  18. I like the idea of minor league football using it as a farm system for the NFL. There are so many undrafted players from college who have to go back on the street and eventually will be out of game shape. Having a minor league will keep them in game shape while being employed and improving their game and the opportunity to upgrade to the NFL. Let’s make it a plus 21 age rule so the kids would stay in college until eligibility. If a borderline college player can’t make it to the NFL and goes to AAF and hones his skill and then gets signed by the NFL, that would be a great thing. As a football fan, I get to watch games in the spring!

  19. Im calling BS on you and the ones who thumbed you up. You and them had no interest in watching but it had nothing to do with kickoffs or kap you just want to pretend now like its because of those things.

    Michael E says:

    May 19, 2018 at 7:25 am

    That includes rules like eliminating kickoffs, and an open-door policy to Colin Kaepernick,

    Then I won’t watch them.

  20. USFL was great. A ton of solid players, great uniforms and names. If the AAF is ranked higher we are in for some great football.

  21. What do you mean they don’t have TV. The XFL can always air on the WWE Network. BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

  22. The whole XFL thing sounded like a big joke anyways. I’m not sure what Vince was thinking. Besides one press conference you’ve barely heard anything about it. I’ll definitely give the AAFL a chance sounds like they have a clue what they’re doing and have a solid plan. There will be some fresh concepts and hopefully they can help fill the down months of sports.

    I really don’t care if Kaepernick protests or not doesn’t bother me. All you Trumpsters can go watch a crap XFL if you’re really that triggered. I will say though if it’s beneath him to take an opportunity to play football should this league give it to him, then I don’t have sympathy for him.

  23. Trump pumped millions into the USFL in the 80s. It failed, miserably. I love football but have no interest in waching or following these farm leagues.Good luck.

  24. @idiedpretty

    The USFL failed because Trump decided to compete directly with the NFL. It would probably have last much longer if it stayed a spring league.

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