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Apollos Light It Up on the AAF's Opening Night - ESPN 98.1 FM

11 February 2019

The Alliance of American Football, a league most people probably couldn't name one team from before this week, debuted on Saturday night. The league has great talent on all the teams, which are the Arizona Hotshots, Atlanta Legends, Birmingham Iron, Memphis Express, Orlando Apollos, Salt Lake Stallions, San Antonio Commanders, and the San Diego Fleet. The AAF's mission is "to provide high-quality professional football fueled by a dynamic Alliance between players, fans, and the game".

It's never going to be the same quality as the NFL, but the early returns show fun and exciting football to help pass the time in the offseason.

With a 52-man roster featuring 29 players from nine Florida colleges, there's a local feel to the Apollos for fans of the hometown team.

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There were some refreshing twists to the AAF brand of football, which does aim to complement, not compete with, the NFL. Hackenberg was waived by Oakland in June, signed with the Philadelphia Eagles, completed 7 of 16 passes for 69 yards and two INTs in a preseason game against the Jets and was released the following day.

When the Legends take the Spectrum Stadium field against Steve Spurrier's Orlando Apollos, however, they'll do so with a head coach who's held that position for only a month, and they also won't have the offensive coordinator they expected after Michael Vick stepped down this week. With week one in the books, things are actually looking pretty good.

On top of those changes, the AAF actually has ruled out kicking FGs in overtime, hoping for a faster and higher-scoring game.

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A former Texas Longhorn and SMU Mustang, fans might remember Gilbert taking over for an injured Colt McCoy in the 2010 National Championship against Alabama.

That's a heck of a victory for the new football league, which generally played to positive reviews in its opening week. 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. TNT and Bleacher Report Live will also broadcast on AAF regular season game and one playoff game. This game is up against some stiff competition on the TV schedule it's all hands on deck for football fans. The game will be televised on CBS Sports Network.

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Best of the strong British contingent was Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell and Scotland's Martin Laird each shooting four-under par scores.

Apollos Light It Up on the AAF's Opening Night - ESPN 98.1 FM