American Alliance of Football faces early problems

Former Penn State and New York State Jets Quarterback Christian Hackenberg signed with the Memphis Express to start his AAF career.


Former Penn State and New York State Jets Quarterback Christian Hackenberg signed with the Memphis Express to start his AAF career.

Ryan Klein, Contributing Writer

The Alliance of American Football (AAF) is gaining much attention in the sports world as of late.  The new league provides an alternate source of entertainment to football fans during the NFL’s off-season. The AAF it is not exactly parallel to the NFL, and there are some tweaks to its rule book that make the league unique.  Many NFL fans have grown angry with the rule changes and feel that these changes have made the league weaker and prevented the players from playing defense properly.

The AAF was made to provide a more original brand of the NFL before all of the rule changes take place. Many of these changes have triggered a number of legal troubles, such as those related to medical breakthroughs that show the potential health risks these adjustments could lead to in the future.

The changes that occur in comparison of the leagues are mainly in the category of technical aspects of the game. The controversy arose when the AAF established rules that didn’t protect the quarterback as much as the NFL did.  In the AAF, linebackers and various other defensive players are allowed to take huge shoulder-dropping hits on the most vulnerable player on the field.

“The AAF’s new rules are a cause for trouble as the QB is susceptible to more injuries that could end their career, with just one tackle,” said sophomore Jake Spiryda.

  Although there are many health problems associated with the AAF, some fans feel that these bigger hits make the game more fun to watch.

“It makes it more exciting to see huge hits on people and fans love to see it,” said sophomore Max Mallah.

Members of the sports community is divided on their opinions on the new league and its more dangerous rules. Many feel that these big hits should not be allowed because it puts players in danger of getting concussions and other injuries. Others feel that these players know the risk that they are taking, and that many fans enjoy watching the dramatic hits.

There are many other changes to the game that make it different from that of the NFL.  The AAF diminishes the use of the kicker as they abandon the field goal along with the kickoff.  After each score, the team must try to complete a two-point conversion instead of having the option to kick a field goal. Some people feel that this eliminates the importance of a kicker. On the other hand, supporters of the AAF claim that it helps quicken the pace of the game, making it more enjoyable to watch.

“This notion of limited kicking does make the game move faster,” said Senior Kushal Upadhyay.

Criticizers of the NFL believe that a three-hour game is too long for viewers to watch, and argue that the NFL should consider taking up these reforms made by the AAF.

Due to the controversy on whether the nation of sports will accept the AAF as its own, there has been some issues on the funding for the league.  With only two weeks of the season left in swing, the previous owner of the league was forced to sell the organization due to its loss in money. With the owner jumping ship this early in the development of the league, there are definitely financial issues to come.  Many sources say that in the first week of the season, there was barely enough money to make a payment to any of the players. A week later, Chairman of the AAF Tom Dundon invested $250 million in the AAF, which got rid of their early financial struggles.

Many fans see the downfall of the AAF coming because of its lack of funds, while others see it due to a lack of interest in the new league.  Although there are many sides to the AAF, it is gaining a lot of momentum now that the Superbowl has concluded and the big football fans are left with nothing to excite them until the next start of the 2019 season. The AAF will continue into the swing of its season, hopefully receiving some positive attention in the eyes of sports fans.