The First Night of AAF Football

Orlando Apollos rout Atlanta in AAF debut, 40-6

Poll: Which AAF team are Colts fans supporting?

The Alliance of American Football debuted on Saturday night, with a pair of games broadcast on CBS. Other startup football leagues like the USFL and XFL did fantastic ratings right away, and then those fizzled quickly.

That's a heck of a victory for the new football league, which generally played to positive reviews in its opening week. Retired defensive ends Jared Allen and Justin Tuck will advise on Player Relations, as officiating consultants Mike Pereira and Dean Blandino offer up the experience they both acquired as the NFL's Vice President of Officiating.

It's more proof that football, no matter what name it is under, rules the American sports landscape. So, who are the notable players on the rosters, who are the teams and what does the schedule look like? Additionally, there will be a sky judge referee who can communicate with the officials on the field in real-time so the refs won't have to go under the hood. If a team is trailing by 17 points, or there is five minutes or less left in the fourth quarter, they can opt to get the ball on their own 28-yard line and try to convert a 4th-and-12. "I think that's a lot of fun, and I think the game speaks for itself". "We were going for it", he said. Sunday will now feature two more games worth of action in the new pro football league, and the nightcap of the festivities will feature the Salt Lake Stallions traveling to face the Arizona Hotshots in Western Conference action. "I think we had a pretty good crowd, 20,000 wasn't bad". Better than I expected.

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There are plenty of caveats to a one-night win like that. Running back Akeem Hunt had 10 carries for 73 yards to lead the team in rushing. Legends quarterback Matt Simms was under duress the entire night, often not having any time at all after receiving the snap to make his reads.

Ebersol acknowledged that opening night, broadcast on CBS, is no indicator of interest come Week 2, not to mention April, when the league will play its championship game in Las Vegas. Even though it was a blowout victory for Orlando, the level of play by both teams on the field felt like an National Football League game.

The Legends will head back to Atlanta to regroup before heading out next week to play the San Diego Fleet on the road.

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