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Which eight cities should the Alliance of American Football put teams in?

Discussion in 'American Football' started by SDRay, Mar 25, 2018.

  1. SDRay

    SDRay RIP SD Chargers..F the LA Chargers, Go Irish Staff Member Administrator Podcaster

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    http://thecomeback.com/nfl/alliance-american-football-eight-cities-teams.html


    The original XFL was a football experiment back by the WWE’s Vince McMahon and NBC’s Dick Ebersol. Turns out, the reboot is going to be those two names battling it out for the NFL’s table scraps.

    WWE owner and CEO Vince McMahon announced the revival of the XFL in January as a bizarro version of the original vision. Gone is the focus on skull-crushing hits and scantily clad cheerleaders while respecting the flag and excluding players with criminal records were the name of the game now. The vision McMahon laid out was a big picture one, with no concrete plans for which cities teams would play in, what networks the games would be broadcast on, and how the league would compensate for all the issues that plagued the original XFL. McMahon was clear, however, that play would begin in 2020.

    That might end up being the XFL’s undoing before it even gets going once again. Charlie Ebersol, son of Dick Ebersol, announced Tuesday that his family is starting a new league of their own called the Alliance of American Football. Not only does the league come with lots of big-name backers (Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, The Chernin Group) and executives (Bill Polian, Troy Polamalu, Hines Ward), but it also already has a TV network deal worked out with CBS and CBS Sports Network. Perhaps most damning of all to the XFL, plans call for the AAF to begin play in 2019.

    As The Comeback’s Phillip Bupp pointed out, the AAF’s apparent goodwill with the NFL may be why it has a leg-up to succeed.





    Where the XFL has more of a “Screw you” mentality toward the NFL, the Alliance of American Football seems to be more subtle in their philosophical differences with the NFL and is more of a supplement to the league. The XFL has a mindset that “because the NFL is doing this, we’re doing that,” the Alliance of American Football made changes because they felt it made the sport of football better and not necessarily because of what it is the NFL did.

    Of course, both leagues still need to produce quality football games and they need to have teams in cities that make sense in terms of TV markets and home attendance. The XFL may or may not use the same pool of cities it had teams for the first time around but the AAF is starting from scratch and is unbeholden to any other demands or concerns. So while the eight team locations haven’t been named (or possibly decided) yet, we can make some solid guesses about which cities make sense for the upstart league.

    New York City
    The ultimate no-brainer. You don’t start a professional sports league in America without at least one team in the New York City area. You don’t have to put them in the city, and your stadium options for doing so are limited anyway, but so long as you keep them close enough to use the name and/or the imagery, you’re good. Ideally, you can work out a deal to put a team in MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. If you’re concerned about empty seats, you can always try to figure out if Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ can handle a pro football game.

    Of course, if you really want to stick it to Vince McMahon and the XFL, put the team in Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Connecticut. The 40K-capacity stadium is football-ready and located about an hour from WWE’s headquarters in Stamford.

    Pittsburgh
    What makes Pittsburgh something of an obvious choice is the collection of people involved with the AAF. Former Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu is going to oversee players for the league and Steelers great Hines Ward is an advisor for the league. Being able to trot out these familiar faces should do wonders to help secure some interest locally in what’s already recognized as a football-crazed city. It might be a little strange to play in Heinz Field with its mustard-color seats but it’s going to be strange seeing new pro football teams out there anyway.

    [​IMG]
    Dec 18, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; General overall view as San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) hands off to running back Kenneth Farrow (27) in the second quarter against the Oakland Raiders at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
    San Diego
    Perhaps the smartest thing the AAF can do is profit off of the NFL’s losses. If the two leagues do indeed have an understanding that makes it easier to co-exist, it’s ultimately in the NFL’s best interest for the AAF to step in and fill the voids left in the wake of relocation. There’s no better market for that than San Diego, which is only just beginning to get over the loss of the Chargers to Los Angeles (well, Carson). Multiple parties are currently trying to figure out what to do with SDCCU Stadium (formerly Qualcomm Stadium) and plans call for a complete overhaul to the creation of an urban village surrounding it. The arrival of a rent-paying pro football team could go a long way towards helping to generate interest in those revitalization plans. Plus, it gives locals a good incentive to show up and root for their new team as a way to stick it to the Chargers.

    Oakland
    For the same reason it makes sense to come to San Diego, it also makes sense to put a team in Oakland. The Bay Area city is going to lose the Raiders right around the same time (not to mention the Golden State Warriors are jumping ship to San Francisco). What better time to welcome a new pro sports team with open arms? The Oakland A’s may or may not be excited about the possibility, given that they want to build a brand-new baseball stadium, but so long as the Oakland Coliseum is standing, there’s going to be room for an AAF team.

    Chicago
    You can’t not have a team in Chicago, right? Sure the Bears run things here but there are a surprising number of possibilities when it comes to stadium options. Obviously, they can try Soldier Field, but if that’s off limits, the AAF could consider partnering with the upcoming Lincoln Yards development that may include a soccer stadium. There’s also Ryan Field in Evanston as an obvious solution if playing in the city doesn’t work. Putting down roots in the Second City seems like a no-brainer however they choose to do it.

    [​IMG]
    Jan 28, 2018; Orlando, FL, USA; General overall view of Camping World Stadium scoreboard with the Pro Bowl logo during the 2018 Pro Bowl between the AFC and the NFC. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
    Dallas-Fort Worth
    The four pillars of American media markets would be New York City, Chicago, California, and Texas. So as long as you’ve got a team in each of those cities you can use them as anchors to build around. So the AAF could consider putting a team in any number of Texas towns, including Houston, Austin, and San Antonio. But we think it still makes the most sense to shoot for the moon and land in the Dallas-Forth Worth area. Yes, that puts you in Jerry’s backyard, but it’s a pretty big (and populated) backyard. You almost certainly can’t play in AT&T Stadium but you have your pick from Dallas’ Cotton Bowl to Fort Worth’s Amon G. Carter Stadium to University Park’s Gerald J. Ford Stadium.

    Orlando
    Same as Texas, we could see a team landing in multiple locations in Florida. You’ve got a lot of college stadiums just sitting empty during the spring that would love to host an AAF team. But we’re thinking Orlando makes the most sense. Number one, you’re the only game in town. Number two, there’s a stadium ready to go (Camping World Stadium). Number three, you can sell it as part of a bigger destination trip. Come to see the AAF’s Orlando Ebersols (we’re guessing) and stay for the weekend to visit Disneyworld or Hollywood Studios. It’s also entirely probable that the XFL is eyeing Orlando, one of their original host cities, so it would be another poke in their eye.

    Nashville
    With all of the other cities, you’ve built a foundation full of solid media markets and football hotbeds. For the eighth and final spot, we’re thinking it might be good to take a chance. You could consider Boston, St. Louis, Washington, D.C., Charlotte or Houston, but we’re gonna make the call for Nashville. It’s one of America’s fastest-growing metropolises and has the kind of momentum behind it that cities like Charlotte and Jacksonville took into getting their NFL franchises in the 1990s. The AAF would be the only pro football team in town (Writer Note: Oops, forgot about the Titans) and they could happily make use of Vanderbilt Stadium (assuming that Nissan Stadium, home of the NFL’s Titans, is off-limits).

    Assuming these were the eight cities selected for the AAF, you could split the league into an East Division (NYC, Pittsburgh, Nashville, Orlando) and West Division (Dallas, Chicago, Oakland, San Diego). How does that sound?
     
  2. Harryo the K

    Harryo the K Well-Known Member

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    Good choices all. Oakland-San Diego build in rivalry, plus same for Oakland-Pittsburgh. Strong Pittsburgh-Chicago
    base, too.
     
  3. SDRay

    SDRay RIP SD Chargers..F the LA Chargers, Go Irish Staff Member Administrator Podcaster

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    I’d rather support minor league football in my home town than be a San Diegan that still follows the Spanos Chargers in a different City. Always pisses me off when I see supposed San Dieagans on twitter calling non Spanos followers haters and trolls.
     
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  4. Gill Man

    Gill Man Inaugural San Diego Charger Fan Since 1962 FUDEAN Staff Member Moderator

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    Perfect choices! San Diego-Oakland rivalry. Shades of the old AFL. GREAT STUFF. Oh and FUDEAN. The article adeptly notices that those cities left behind by the NFL can stick it to the previous owners. I think they left out St. Louis. I think they can replace one of the cities they mention with St. Louis should they so decide to further encroach on prior NFL territory. It makes sense to do that.
     
  5. Gill Man

    Gill Man Inaugural San Diego Charger Fan Since 1962 FUDEAN Staff Member Moderator

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    Post of the Year!!!!
     
  6. Gill Man

    Gill Man Inaugural San Diego Charger Fan Since 1962 FUDEAN Staff Member Moderator

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    I heard a brief outtake of an interview with Charlie Ebersol yesterday on 1090. He was mentioning all the timeouts and how the commercials completely eff the flow of the game. They are gonna correct that problem and they are putting the fan above all else in designing the rules and everything else. Smart marketing. Many fans have had it with the BS of the NFL. They have an opportunity to step in and capture the disenchanted fans who the NFL left behind for greed. EFF the PSL's and the NFL owners who walked out on perfectly good fanbases. I will watch San Diego's team WAAAAY more than any NFL game or team if we are fortunate enough to be selected as one of the inaugural cities for that league.
     
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  7. SDRay

    SDRay RIP SD Chargers..F the LA Chargers, Go Irish Staff Member Administrator Podcaster

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  8. SDRay

    SDRay RIP SD Chargers..F the LA Chargers, Go Irish Staff Member Administrator Podcaster

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    Steve Spurrier, Mike Singletary among potential coaches for upstart Alliance of American Football

    http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/new...football-new-league/av4dnszmervg135p3wzqc2g6a

    The biggest names in the upstart Alliance of American Football probably won’t be on the field.

    They'll be on the sidelines.

    In conversations with multiple industry sources, Sporting News has learned several prominent former NFL head coaches are potential targets to join the eight-team upstart spring league that is scheduled to begin play in February after Super Bowl 53 is completed.

    There might even be additions from the college ranks, although Alliance co-founder Bill Polian has recommended the league pursue only those with previous NFL experience as either a head coach or assistant.

    MORE: Alliance of American Football details

    For some older coaches, the Alliance will appeal as a chance to remain connected with the game sans the year-round commitment required to succeed at the NFL and college ranks. Others might view it as a chance to catch the attention of an NFL or college team in hopes of coaching at those levels in the future.

    There is monetary appeal, as well. One source told Sporting News there is talk of a $500,000 salary for what amounts primarily to working a preseason, 10-game schedule and four-team playoff format to determine the first Alliance champion.

    Confirming names has proven difficult since all head coaches will be operating under a non-disclosure agreement that would result in financial penalties for violation. The Alliance also is trying to keep the announcement of head coaches under wraps until the cities in which they will be working are announced in the coming weeks and months.

    But as deals are finalized, here are eight coaches who fit the bill of what the Alliance is seeking.

    — Mike Singletary: The Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker enjoyed a quick NFL ascent, becoming San Francisco’s head coach less than five years after first becoming an assistant in 2003. His descent was almost as rapid. Singletary has spent three of the past four seasons out of the NFL entirely after his 18-22 tenure with the 49ers ended after the 2010 campaign.

    — Rick Neuheisel: Although he is best known for his 12 seasons as a college head coach, Neuheisel spent three years on Baltimore’s staff as quarterbacks coach (2005-06) and offensive coordinator (2007). He remains close to the sport as a television and SiriusXM analyst.

    — Steve Spurrier: Yes, the “Ol’ ball coach" is getting old with Spurrier set to turn 73 in April, and his two-year NFL head coaching run with Washington was disastrous. Spurrier, though, did later regain his mojo as South Carolina’s head coach for 11 years. Spurrier also is the kind of presence that will draw fans and media attention if connected with an Alliance team stationed in the Sunshine State — Orlando, I’m looking at you — based on his legacy at the University of Florida.

    Spurrier last October publicly said he was open to coaching again under the right circumstances.

    "I don’t want to be a head coach,” Spurrier said during a news conference at Duke University. "There’s too much involved with being the head coach. But a high school somewhere to coach quarterbacks and pitch the ball around, that might be something that someday I might want to do again. But it’d have to be the right situation.

    "Major college football — these guys work 11 months a year now. It’s so different than back in the '90s or even the 2000s as far as the total number of hours these guys work. I don’t look forward to that."

    Spurrier wouldn't have to worry about that with the Alliance. Plus, he'd be able to do what he misses most — working with quarterbacks — while still having plenty of time for his golf game.

    [​IMG]
    Steve Spurrier (Getty Images)

    — Jeff Fisher: Multiple NFL sources have told Sporting News that Fisher believed he had a strong chance to become an NFL head coach again in 2018. The rapid rise of the downtrodden Rams in the first year after his firing didn't help Fisher’s cause. The Alliance would give him a chance to reinvent himself; a chance that might not be coming in the NFL again unless it comes as an assistant.

    — Mike Martz: The 66-year-old already has spent the past four Januaries as one of the head coaches in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. It wouldn't be a stretch for the “Greatest Show on Turf" architect to join the Alliance and prove his offensive concepts are still viable in today's game.

    — Rob Ryan: When Ryan was fired as Cowboys defensive coordinator after the 2012 season, he famously proclaimed he would be out of work for "five minutes” because he was "too damn good." Ryan is now going on two years out of the NFL entirely following subsequent failed stints with the Saints and Bills. The swagger Ryan would bring should have appeal to a league that could use some colorful characters to pitch the product.

    — Pepper Johnson: A two-time Super Bowl-winning player as one of the NFL’s top linebackers, Johnson later spent 14 years (2000-13) on the coaching staff of New England’s Bill Belichick. Johnson’s career has sputtered since then after three seasons handling the defensive line for Rex Ryan-coached teams.

    — Jim Fassel: The 68-year-old has pined for a return to coaching since the alternative football league he was involved with (the UFL) went under in 2012. Fassel led the Giants to a Super Bowl and two other playoff appearances during his season seasons with the franchise (1997-03).
     
  9. Concudan

    Concudan Still Chargin Staff Member Administrator

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    If the new football league made a habit of moving in when the NFL moved out, they would be a success....
     
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  10. Gill Man

    Gill Man Inaugural San Diego Charger Fan Since 1962 FUDEAN Staff Member Moderator

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    I was gonna say, coaching will be key. They gotta score some fairly well known coaches for the league. That will be not only key for fan interest but to attract players as well. Some pretty good names on that list!
     
  11. Concudan

    Concudan Still Chargin Staff Member Administrator

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    Look at the defunct ENFL (European) to get some coaches as well.
     
  12. Gill Man

    Gill Man Inaugural San Diego Charger Fan Since 1962 FUDEAN Staff Member Moderator

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  13. Gill Man

    Gill Man Inaugural San Diego Charger Fan Since 1962 FUDEAN Staff Member Moderator

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    Here's a guy who coached the Scottish Claymore's and in the NCAA. He's probably too old now and don't know his health condition but he has an incredible background and is/was an incredible coach. I had the fortune of meeting the guy in of all places West Yellowstone MT. We used to head there once a year in the spring to camp/flyfish, he owned a flyfishing shop at that time so I just happened to mention I was a SD Charger fan and he knew Don Coryell very well personally and told me about his coaching career! Amazing guy. A really down to earth and humble person. He LOVED Don Coryell. Jim Criner:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Criner

    If he's not up to it now, by all means find similar coaches with that kind of passion for the game and ability to teach players.
     
  14. Gill Man

    Gill Man Inaugural San Diego Charger Fan Since 1962 FUDEAN Staff Member Moderator

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  15. TTK

    TTK EX-Charger Fan

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  16. Nomad

    Nomad Very Senior Member

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    I know Jim, he lives in my little town. I am not sure he would want to go back to coaching, but his health should not be an issue.
     
  17. Gill Man

    Gill Man Inaugural San Diego Charger Fan Since 1962 FUDEAN Staff Member Moderator

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    Really? Wow. Cool. Where are you living? He was spending time in West Yellowstone at his flyshop during the summers and then would coach over in Europe last I saw him. But that was way back in '97 ish as I recall.
     
  18. Gill Man

    Gill Man Inaugural San Diego Charger Fan Since 1962 FUDEAN Staff Member Moderator

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    yeah I don't either however a lot of the same things were said when players like Joe Namath got snatched up by the AFL back in the day. I'm not sure how they pulled a lot of stuff off in that league!

    I think the key is they gotta sign some key big names as players and coaches......start with just a few. Obviously there is no way to start out that they can match all the big #'s across the board for coaches and players as the NFL currently has. But the old AFL started with some select players and it sort of served as a snowball effect......gradually more and more players and coaches bought in and decided to break ranks with the NFL.
     
  19. Nomad

    Nomad Very Senior Member

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    West Yellowtone
     
  20. Gill Man

    Gill Man Inaugural San Diego Charger Fan Since 1962 FUDEAN Staff Member Moderator

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    Lucky you. Last I was there was '97. Haven't been since.....my old employment laid me off at that time and they had nice benefits of 6 weeks off a year for vacation so I used 3 for the Rockies/Yellowstone every year......the other was usually Sedona AZ. Then I became an independent contractor self/employed and paid vacations and benefits were a thing of the past. We may try to revisit those trips as I retired 2 years ago.....but I imagine it's totally different now. With all the baby boomers retired it must be crowded as hell even in May/early June which is when we always went to avoid the throngs of people. I hate crowds. I bet West Yellowstone has grown too in the last 20 years. Fun times. Great country, rough winters though.
     
  21. SDRay

    SDRay RIP SD Chargers..F the LA Chargers, Go Irish Staff Member Administrator Podcaster

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    They don't need to pay NFL level salaries to be successful. The average salary for an NFL practice squad player is $7200/Week. The AAF just needs to do a bit better than that. In the American Hockey League, a middle of the pack player makes around $150K per season. So if you go with that number, you have a salary cap of around $7.5 Mill for a 50 man roster. Given the choice, an undrafted player may opt to play in this league rather than stay on the NFL practice squad.
     
  22. Gill Man

    Gill Man Inaugural San Diego Charger Fan Since 1962 FUDEAN Staff Member Moderator

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    yeah practice squads will be a prime target. Then just add in a few key marquee names here and there as the AFL did with guys like Namath and you got something goin'. Steal some key QB's away. Other players like WR's and RB's will follow. I think the old AFL owners had some pretty deep pockets though in order to be able steal away the Namath types in the draft.
     
  23. Nomad

    Nomad Very Senior Member

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    It is more crowded with foreign visitors, there are a lot of Chinese about. I've been here since 92, and yes it has changed a lot.
     
  24. SDRay

    SDRay RIP SD Chargers..F the LA Chargers, Go Irish Staff Member Administrator Podcaster

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  25. Harryo the K

    Harryo the K Well-Known Member

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    Many veteran players will sign on, esp. for one to two year contracts rather than wait for a lucky in season phone call.

    When does the NFL try to strong arm their players to not sign on with Alliance....
    .
    The Alliance should welcome any player that the NFL tries to down play...from Eric Reid..
    .to Colin Ksepernick...to Tabita Hali....

    Maybe be too late , but good example....the SD team signs Antonio Gates...should do it now...if he can't play...he gets a Coaching guaranteed position.
     
  26. Gill Man

    Gill Man Inaugural San Diego Charger Fan Since 1962 FUDEAN Staff Member Moderator

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    Good call AG would be perfect for a season or 2 in SD.
     
  27. Gill Man

    Gill Man Inaugural San Diego Charger Fan Since 1962 FUDEAN Staff Member Moderator

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    Some seriously heavy duty football folks are putting this thing together......great marketing vid. The thing is if it becomes successful enough in Feb-Aug, then they can ultimately go head to head with the NFL. That'll take a while so first things first.....gotta get established....that's the tough part. I love some of the rules they are instituting....no kickoffs, no onsides (option to start at the 35 4th and 10 instead), 30sec clock, speed up the game. This could be fun to watch. We'll see. Glad SD looks initially like a lock for a team. So if SDCC Stadium gets torn down in whatever deal goes down where do they play in the interim? Or does the new stadium go up before the existing stadium goes down? Definitely need to make whatever Aztec stadium goes in is expandable to an NFL compatible venue at some point me thinks. Alternatively when a guy like Tsai is ready he can build downtown. He's got the funds to do his stadium wherever. He'll get along with the politicos and business communitiy unlike the recluse and whiny Spanos.
     
  28. captaind

    captaind Resist the Dark Side — Join the Alliance

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  29. Harryo the K

    Harryo the K Well-Known Member

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    There should be some major funded/owners involved....very few NFL team get sold and now they want $2.5 billion dollars for one. If you are a young billionaire, (called partners) and you can get an Alliance team.....and ten years from now the NFL wants go take on three of those teams (to also cash the competition).....why would you not join up? The scent of the old AFL days.
     
  30. FiftyFive

    FiftyFive Dean Spanos is a traitor!

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    Here's hoping the XFL and the Alliance are both smart enough to put a team in San Diego. The more, the merrier. :)
     

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