Former Minnesota Vikings great investing in a new pro football league
Former Minnesota Vikings great investing in a new pro football league
Charlie Ebersol son of former NBC Sports boss Dick Ebersol announces plans for new pro football league
21 March, 2018, 08:14
At a media event in New York this morning, Charlie Ebersol announced his plans to launch a competing, single-entity spring football league called the Alliance of American Football in February.
CBS has partnered with the new league and will air two games in the network's primetime slot, along with other games on the CBS Sports Network.
Joining Ebersol in operating the Alliance of American Football is Bill Polian, a former NFL general manager, as well as former Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu and veteran of the sport J.K. McKay, who in 2001 served as the general manager of the Los Angeles Xtreme XFL team. The ESPN story said the investors in Ebersol's league have a "7-10-year plan" for success, which is smart. The losing team will start on its own 35-yard line with fourth-and-10. "How many Kurt Warners are in grocery stores somewhere waiting to be discovered?" "We have to be able to take advantage of the people who just stop playing fantasy when the National Football League season ends". The cities in which the teams will be based will be announced over the next three months. Former NFL legends Hines Ward and Justin Tuck will be involved too. "American football is the only sport where, despite the fact that you've got more college players coming out who've played football than nearly every other sport, you only have 1,700 jobs for all of those guys", he said. Kickoffs will be eliminated, allowing the offense to start on the 25 yard line.
"Football is so dominant for six months of the year", Ebersol said.
"As the Alliance of American Football launches next February we are excited to become the official television partner", said CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus in a statement.
He also confirmed that current plans call for no timeouts and 60 percent fewer commercials during games. The XFL, however, has not yet announced where they will air games, though one could suspect that whichever network picks up the rights to WWE television will be in the running. M Ventures, entrepreneur Keith Rabois and former NFLer Jared Allen also are investing in the league.
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.
"Whenever you have an endeavor that involves the kind of teamwork football involves", Polian added, "it implies a partnership, the need to get their buy-in and do things, particularly in a startup, that represent their best interest.to make sure players know we have their best interests at heart".
The Alliance will introduce several rule changes created to enhance excitement, increase the safety and accelerate the pace and tempo of games, while maintaining the integrity of the sport that millions of people around the world love.
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