First night of Alliance of American Football action was promising

Former Arkansas wideout Mekale McKay was a standout for the San Antonio Commanders (Tom Reel, Staff/San Antonio Express)

The AAF had existed for one play, one snap, and I already had an opinion on it.

I guess you could call it a ‘snap judgment.’ (Ok, I’ll stop).

San Antonio Commanders quarterback Logan Woodside dropped back, stepped up, fired– and hit a streaking Mekale McKay in stride. The former Arkansas wideout snatched the ball out of mid-air like he had suction-cup arms, pulled it down and kept running until he was taken down on a nice tackle.

At that moment, I knew this league had a chance.

San Antonio went on to beat San Diego, 15-6, in, admittedly, not the greatest football game I’ve ever seen. But the first half, which finished 6-6, was entertaining enough. It was back-and-forth, fast-paced (thanks to short commercial breaks and split-screens showing players during them) and easy to watch.

It was real football–higher quality than college, not quite as ‘roided out and Hunger Games-like as the NFL.

It’s a secondary football league without the nonsensical bravado and phoniness of the XFL.¬†Call me crazy, but after one game–I think it’s got a shot.

America is football-crazed, and has been for a long time, but if ever there was a moment that you might think the game’s grip on the country’s sporting landscape has loosened, this might be it.

Fans, and would-be players are preoccupied with concussions, the CTE crisis has become a nightmare for the sport, and it’s deteriorated because of the safety regulations that, necessarily, were put in place.

It’s not the same gladiator-like sport that it was in the 70’s or 80’s or 90’s–hell, it’s not the same sport that Tom Brady started playing when he came into the league.

All this considered, you might think that the time for another football league has passed.

And yet–watching the AAF on Saturday night didn’t feel like a pointless chore.

It didn’t come with the moral angst that the NFL elicits, alongside its national anthem controversy, countless domestic violence incidents and steroid issues that no one EVER talks about.

It was fun. It was entertaining. It just felt right.

And I think it just might stick around a little while.


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