AAF’s fourth-and-12 onside kick replacement almost debuted on opening night


Saturday night had already been slated for a viewing of Bohemian Rhapsody with 10 total people in the house and no realistic chance to sneak much of a peak at AAF action.

But a brief break in the movie gave me a chance to watch some of the San Diego vs. San Antonio game (the officiating uniforms need some work), and I was sufficiently intrigued to want to watch more. So I pulled up the AAF website on my phone and discreetly (or otherwise) checked out both of last night’s games from time to time after the film resumed. Then, when the credits rolled, the AAF game was back on the screen — just in time for the final drive of the Fleet vs. the Commanders.

Down 15-6, San Diego drove the ball, with quarterback Phillip Nelson leading the effort. And as San Diego, three time outs in their pockets and down two scores, got closer to the goal line, I wondered whether Fleet coach Mike Martz would dial up a field goal, attempt to get the ball back by converting a fourth-and-12 play from his own 28, and then move the ball down the field again for what would have been a game-tying touchdown and a potential game-winning two-point conversion (one-point tries aren’t allowed in the AAF).

Martz may wish in hindsight that he’d kicked the field goal, given that a first and goal play from the San Antonio eight with 1:43 to play resulted in an interception in the end zone that ended the game. (The throw wasn’t a good one.) I wish Martz had done it, simply because I’m anxious to see how the AAF’s replacement for the onside kick will work.

It can only be done by a team that trails by 17 or more points, or if a team is trailing by any amount with less than five minutes to play. And I’ll be keeping an eye on all AAF action until the fourth-and-12 play happens. Whether I keep one or two eyes on any AAF action after that is to be determined.