This adds even more intrigue to the new league that is ready to hit the ground running, giving football fans a chance to detox a bit by getting in on the AAF. There were several intriguing factors about the AAF such as former National Football League front office members and players like Bill Polian, Hines Ward and Troy Polamalu, who are key members in the creation and operation of the league. 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.
None of those teams seemed relevant to what went on Saturday night, when a mostly full lower bowl in the Alamodome (no tickets were sold for the upper decks) went mad for all the pregame trappings of pro football: ugly green fake turf, a massive American flag for the anthem, a William Barret Travis-type guy on a galloping horse and pyrotechnics. All eight AAF teams are incentivized to load their roster with local talent - players that have notably played for either the local college or professional teams. 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.
In overtime, each team will get the ball only once with a first and goal from the 10.
"We know we're going to have some tricks up our sleeve", Gilbert said about playing in Spurrier's system. "I think there will be some growing pains, but it will all sort its way out". They stuck around for the majority of the game too, with most leaving with a few minutes left to play in the fourth quarter with the game well in hand for the Apollos. "But 20,000 is pretty good". "I got a bunch of texts from friends and one captured it best".
"I think the fans had a good time tonight, didn't they?"
There are plenty of caveats to a one-night win like that.
This isn't the first time Spurrier has been part of a new league.
Here are some of the first's we saw last night at Spectrum Stadium - Marshall's 26-yard touchdown pass from Gilbert early in the second quarter was the league's first-ever TD. Wide receiver Charles Johnson led all receivers with four catches for 60 yards.