Well, Chicago Bears fans, the first weekend of the Alliance of American Football is in the books. Did you watch any of the games? I watched three.
There were some things I really liked, one thing I didn’t (even though I understand the reasons the rules read like they do).
I saw some familiar faces, Will Sutton did a good thing, and we saw guys I have never heard of.
So why should Bears fans care about a “developmental” league who’s nearest team is... well... not very near? Because it’s professional football we can watch in February. We can pick a team and root for them instead of just sitting around thinking about the draft and free agency.
We can also see which of these players we would like to see Chicago give a shot to. I’ve already seen several guys that have landed on my radar.
Here are a few of my observations, followed by some Den-style links for those who are interested.
- The quality of the play was higher than I expected. Was it NFL level? No. It was 4th game of the preseason level. The difference is, however, the people playing in the fourth week of the preseason are on their way out of the NFL. These guys are fighting to gain experience, reps and tape to get back into the league.
- I LOVED the transparency of the replays, where we get to listen to the replay official.
- The Sky Judge... an official in the booth who can rectify obvious mistakes... is a heck of a good idea.
- I didn’t miss kickoffs, even a little. I didn’t miss extra-point kicks either.
- The pace of the games with the faster play clocks was great.
- I understand why they have the illegal formations on defense, due to the limited amount of times that offensive lines have had to get it together. Still, I hate the rule.
- Every single kicker in the AAF is better than Cody Parkey. All of them. Damn.
- Speaking of kickers, as a Bears fan, I get mad every time I see any kicker anywhere make a field goal. I did smile when Nick Folk doinked one for Arizona though.
- The AAF app is a bit buggy, but it absolutely obsoletes every other pro football app ever made. It’s the BOMB.
- It was good to see Samurai Mike Singletary back on the sidelines, but he’s got some work to do.
- On the one hand, the reffing was better in the AAF than the NFL, and it wasn’t even close. On the other hand, those ref uniforms were the most hideous officiating uniforms I’ve ever seen.
- Starter is the official jersey manufacturer of the AAF. Who knew they were still actually in business?
- I understand you have to start somewhere, but having one team north of the 35th parallel isn’t the best way to gain a fan base. They need one team in the northeast, and one somewhere in the upper midwest (probably a place with a dome). St. Louis comes immediately to mind as does Syracuse, Toronto and Milwaukee (Miller Park)/
- I sincerely doubt many Bears fans would root for St. Louis or Milwaukee though. Just sayin.
Cox: Which Alliance of American Football team should Bears fans root for? - Bears Wire - Five of the eight Alliance of American Football teams have real connections to the Chicago Bears. Which one should you root for?
There’s one thing from the AAF that the NFL needs to adopt immediately - Daily Norseman - And, yes, it involves the officiating
AAF off to a solid start – ProFootballTalk - The Alliance of American Football is underway, and the early verdict is this: It’s pretty good. The football was fun and fast-paced, they’re trying some new innovations like transparency on instant replay that might translate well to the NFL, the TV production was well done, the fans sounded like...
AAF offers fans an inside look at instant replay decisions – ProFootballTalk - The first game of the brand-new Alliance of American Football is underway, and we’ve already seen something we’ve never seen before: An inside look at the instant replay decision-making process.
AAF Week 1 scores, highlights: Spurrier calls ‘Philly Special’ for TD, Orlando and San Antonio win openers - CBSSports.com - The AAF kicked off its season Saturday night with two games; here’s what happened
Report: Alliance of American Football Averaged 2.9M Viewers on CBS Opening Night - Bleacher Report | Latest News, Videos and Highlights - The first night of the Alliance of American Football drew promising ratings for CBS, averaging 2.9 million viewers from 9 to 11 p.m. ET...
AAF highlights: Big plays, big ratings mark opening night on CBS - SI.com - The AAF outrated the Rockets matchup with the Thunder on ABC.
AAF: Memphis Express lose to Birmingham Iron - Memphis Commercial Appeal - The debut of the Memphis Express on Sunday at Legion Field was a mixed bag, but a lack of any semblance of firepower in the passing game cost it dearly.
Birmingham Iron draws 17,000 in pro football’s return to Magic City - al.com - The franchise announced an attendance of 17,039 for today’s debut game against the Memphis Express in the Alliance of American Football’s debut in the Magic City.
Spurrier returns to sideline, wins AAF opener - San Antonio Express-News - The Head Ball Coach is back, lighting up the scoreboard and selling the Alliance of American Football. And fans - at least those in Orlando, Florida, who showed up in the rain for Steve Spurrier’s debut in the new league Saturday night - are eager to buy.
Apollo Liftoff: Mission Accomplished! Will Spurrier’s team boldly go where pro football has never gone in Orlando? - Commentary - Orlando Sentinel - Hopefully, Steve Spurrier and the Apollos will boldly go where no pro football team has ever gone in Orlando.
New AAF beats great NBA matchup in TV ratings - Yahoo Sports - On its first night, the Alliance of American Football posted a huge win, beating a great NBA matchup in overnight television ratings.
Atlanta Legends lose first game to Spurrier, Orlando - Atlanta Journal-Constitution - The Atlanta Legends lost their first game in the Alliance of American Football Saturday night.
AAF review: 5 things I loved about the league’s debut, 3 things I didn’t - Pride Of Detroit - Here’s what we liked and didn’t like from the AAF debut.
Bercovici, Fleet struggle to move ball in opening loss to San Antonio - The San Diego Union-Tribune - Bercovici, Fleet struggle to move ball in opening loss to San Antonio
Wrapping It up
So what do you think, Bears fans? Did you watch any of it? If so, what are your thoughts on the games, the rules and the teams?