Tired Of Steelers Drama? Learn A Little About The AAF

That OTHER league that is on its way

Matt Koll
September 20, 2018 - 11:38 am



PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan)- Take a deep breath...

Now exhale slowly. 

We know you've been through a lot as a Steelers fan these past couple weeks. It's been a whirlwind, really. 

Just as a very brief switch up Thursday, The Fan Morning Show talked to founder and CEO of the Alliance of American Football Charlie Ebersol about some of the things going on outside of the Steelers and the NFL.

So, what is it?

According to them, it is a dynamic professional football league fueled by an unprecedented Alliance between players, fans and the game. Founded by TV and film producer Charlie Ebersol and Hall of Famer Bill Polian, The Alliance will feature eight teams with 52-player rosters playing a 10-week regular season schedule in the spring beginning February 9, 2019 on CBS, followed by two playoff rounds and culminating with the championship game the weekend of April 26-28, 2019.

Basically, it is aimed toward providing more football to fans across the nation who are starved of it after the NFL season ends. There are Pittsburgh connections (like always) as Hines Ward serves as a Player Relations Executive and Troy Polamalu serves as the Head of Player Relations. 

"We have Steelers at the top of the organization that's why it's going to work [in Pittsburgh], Hines Ward and Troy Polamalu are running my player relations and football development," said Ebersol. "If Steeler power at the top alone can't do it then we're probably in more trouble than I can imagine." 

Ebersol says the AAF even plans to field a team in Pittsburgh in the coming years. So what's different about it? 

"It's good football, let's start there. One of the things that gets overlooked in the history of spring football is the one time somebody actually put good football on the field which for a couple of years was the USFL, which is the only league that made it past the first year," said Ebersol. "They focused on actually putting quality football on the field. We spent a great deal of time and money bringing together people like my co-founder Bill Polian. We really focused on putting people together that could focus on football, football, football."

"The second thing is we've spent more than a year with a tech team building what we think is one of the most groundbreaking digital apps in the history of professional sports. What it allow for is the first fully interactive gaming while you're watching the game. So, not only will you be able to watch the game on CBS, but then you can download the Alliance app and using it you'll be able to play what we call 'real-time gaming.' Play to play gaming that has never been able to be presented to fans before. Our fans and players interact directly, our players are bonused for fan interaction. So, when you pick them to a fantasy team or when you pick them in a bet, the players are actually rewarded. So, a player like JuJu who builds hundreds of thousands of followers on YouTube, he actually is bonused for that kind of behavior and it's encouraged which I think is one of the things that's gotten lost in professional sports is how important that alliance between fans and players truly is." 

This gaming platform will also allow fans to bet as the games are going on. 

You can hear more about the AAF from founder and CEO Charlie Ebersol on the Fan Morning Show below. 

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