New Alliance Threatens Vince McMahon's XFL

Charlie Ebersol shown here in 2014 is starting a new football league

Charlie Ebersol shown here in 2014 is starting a new football league. More

To add yet another layer of intrigue, the league is being put together by Charlie Ebersol, who is the son of longtime TV executive Dick Ebersol, who was also one of McMahon's partners when he originally put together the XFL almost 20 years ago. The league will have shorter play clocks and fewer commercial breaks in an effort to have games last no longer than two-and-a-half hours.

The news is fairly significant. This move was evidently better received than expected, as Ebersol's dropped vague hints about a new league in February. He produced a "30 For 30" on the XFL that aired past year, and his father was directly involved with that ill-fated XFL launch two decades ago.

Ebersol said the vision is what would football look like if they could start from scratch, so it will differ from the NFL in many ways. "Only 1,700 have National Football League jobs", Ebersol said. "We're looking for those Kurt Warners working in grocery stores, and we think we will find them".

The AAF, which has secured a broadcast deal with CBS, will launch following Super Bowl LIII in February 2019 and will kick off one year prior to Vince McMahon's XFL reboot in 2020.

Namely, there will be no kickoffs.

I'm assuming that when the losing team starts on their own 35-yard-line, that means if they choose to go for it late in a game, and not something that happens all the time.

It's an interesting approach to the issue of the elimination of kickoffs.

Some AAF rules will be different than the NFL's. However, it's hard to forecast how penalties might impact the strategy of such plays for both sides. There will be no extra-point kicks - only 2-point conversions.

There appears to be a large number of football minds involved in the endeavor.

"In the last quarter-century, nobody has put real football, by real football people, on the field in the offseason", co-founder and CEO Charlie Ebersol said Tuesday at the Park Hyatt in Manhattan, as a group that included Hall of Famer Bill Polian and former players Justin Tuck, Jared Allen and Troy Polamalu unveiled the project that's been more than a year in the making.

CBS will televise the inaugural game and the championship game in 2019, with one game available weekly on CBS Sports Network. The season will run 10 weeks and will have 50-man teams. But whether or not the on-field product catches on, the rule changes are nearly likely to be watched very closely by the behemoth NFL.

"I don't think you single it out as only a development league", said Tuck, who will be the head of the board of advisers. Either way, there hasn't been any buzz about the XFL since Vince's online press conference, and the rival league is beating him to the punch with a television deal and by starting a year earlier than the XFL's 2020 relaunch.

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