Each year over 3,500 hopeful NFL football players enter their names in the draft pools. Out of those 3,500, only 7 percent end up making an NFL roster. The other 93 percent of players end up missing out on their dreams of making it into the NFL.
One man, Charlie Ebersol, realized this and decided to make a whole new football league called the Alliance of American Football league specifically for those players who didn’t make the NFL so they could keep doing what they love.
The AAF is an eight-team league that exists to both complement the NFL during the offseason and showcase local, developing talent. These players will be earning a salary of $75,000 per year to play in the AAF.
The games are televised on CBS. The teams are spread out throughout the country, as most of these players are former NFL players who have been cut from the teams’ rosters. Notable players such as Troy Polamalu and Hines Ward are league executives. Students are excited for the league. Junior Ben Bloch said, “I think it’s great for these players to get a second chance to continue to play football.”
The AAF is having a national impact. Famous athletes are praising the AAF through their social media outlets. These athletes are realizing how great this league really is and are making sure people take notice. As a result, the AAF’s TV ratings have skyrocketed and people are now paying attention. Junior Matthew Kopsidas said, “I found out about the AAF because the former Alabama star running back Trent Richardson posted on his instagram that he is playing for the Birmingham Iron.”
This league was made for opportunities. These players have fallen in love with football but are just not talented enough to play under the bright lights The AAF was created to provide them with a second chance to prove their skill. Many NFL teams have also been paying close attention to some AAF athletes. For example, Birmingham Iron quarterback Luis Perez has already gotten calls from nine NFL teams.
In addition to these players receiving opportunities, there are coaching opportunities too. The AAF hired three female coaches. There has never been a female coach in the history of professional football but the AAF changed that.
The AAF starts in February and ends in June. This allows for fans to practically watch year round football because the NFL preseason starts in September and the season ends in January.
Also, these AAF teams are located in cities where there aren’t any sports teams so now these local fans have a team to proudly root for. Sophomore Thomas Jezek said, “ I love being able to watch a football game in the middle of March, it always sucked when the NFL season ended but now I can just watch the AAF.”