February 9, 2019 will mark the kickoff of the new Alliance of American Football league and there are two former Ole Miss football players on a local roster.
Two things every Ole Miss football fan wants to see is our former Rebels do well at the next level and more football. Friday the Alliance of American Football gave us both. The Alliance of American Football signed its first 105 players and just after the NFL ends its season, the AAFL will begin a 2019 spring season featuring some very talented players. As of today two of those 105 players are former Ole Miss Rebels who signed with a local team.
Alliance Memphis has signed former Rebels offensive linemen Christian Morris and Daronte Bouldin to play in the inaugural season of the new Alliance of American Football. The new eight team professional league will begin its season in February of this coming year 2019. Ok, I realize there are a lot of Ole Miss football fans asking themselves, “Just what is the Alliance of American Football?” Well Ole Hotty Toddy will explain it as best as we can.
This coming February 9, on a Sunday, we will be treated to extra football thanks to the genius of former NFL executive Bill Polian and Charlie Ebersol, son of former NBC executive Dick Ebersol. Eight teams make up the AAFL which will consist of an eight game season, playoffs and a league championship. Of course, we’ve seen new football leagues like the USFL, XFL and others come and go giving in to the NFL. This new league has some serious clout and could be successful simply because it is designed as a developmental league for the NFL.
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There are other spring pro football leagues which have had some success but the locations of many have caused poor ticket sales and attendance. Yet spring football has become hugely popular for some fans. The eight teams which make up the AAFL seem to be in good locations where the fan bases could be very big based on the success of the teams. They are Memphis, Birmingham, Atlanta, Orlando, San Antonio, Salt Lake City, Pheonix and San Diego.
So far the Alliance of American Football has drawn the attention of some big names besides Ebersol who the CEO and Polian who is Head of Football. Also included in the operations of the AAFL is former NFL greats Troy Polamalu who is Head of Player Relations and Hines Ward who is Player Relations Executive. They are joined two more former NFL greats Jared Allen and Justin Tuck. Allen is Player Relations Executive and Tuck who is a Member of the Board of Advisors for Player Engagements. Rounding out the AAFL executives are John McKay Jr who is Head of Football Operations and Tom Veit who is Head of Business Operations. So far the Board of Directors is made up of Dick Ebersol and tech mogul Keith Rabois.
Other Familiar Names
When you look at some of the names of the coaches and players in the AAFL you have to get a little excited for the end of the NFL season. This is not some throw together backyard league with the minds they have behind the scenes getting big names for the faces of their teams. Just take a look at the coaches and you can see for yourself. This will be a well coached league.
- Alliance Atlanta, Brad Childress
- Alliance Birmingham, Tim Lewis
- Alliance Memphis, Mike Singletary
- Alliance Orlando, Steve Spurrier
- Alliance Pheonix, Rick Neuheisel
- Alliance Salt Lake, Dennis Erickson
- Alliance San Antonio, Mike Riley
- Allianc San Diego, Mike Martz
One interesting addition has already been made to the Atlanta staff with Brad Childress hiring former NFL star Michael Vick as his offensive coordinator. Besides the coaches the league, and especially the southeastern teams, have picked up some notable players besides Bouldin and Morris. Other familiar names from around the SEC include Trevor Knight of Texas A&M, Earl Okine, Mark Herndon, and Frankie Hammond of Florida.
Other SEC players include Kenny Hilliard, Zack Mettenberger, Donnie Alexander and Deondre Clark all of LSU. They are joined by Alabama’s Bradley Sylve, Blake Sims and Dominick Jackson and Deontae Skinner. Also on active rosters with the AAFL are Deontae Skinner of Mississippi State and Tyler Howel of Missouri. One can suspect the number of SEC players on the roster will grow as NFL teams make preseason cuts and February 9, 2019 draws near.
Ole Hotty Toddy will continue to follow the news coming out of the Alliance of American Football and will be sure to pass along the updates to our readers. Of course, we wish former Rebels Daronte Bouldn and Christian Morris the very best of luck as they head into the AAFL. As always Hotty Toddy!