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Pro football – actual games – won’t disappear from TV screens Sony Michel Jersey , mobile devices and the American consciousness once the Super Bowl ends next February.

The Alliance of American Football will kick off the following Sunday. On network television (CBS) as well as through a multitude of free digital platforms.

Yes, spring football. We know, from the USFL to the World League to the XFL, the idea has not worked. Here’s why the Alliance has a strong chance of succeeding: the folks involved.

The Alliance is the creation of Pro Football Hall of Famer Bill Polian, one of the most respected and accomplished executives in NFL history, and Charlie Ebersol, a longtime TV and film producer. Ebersol’s father, Dick, defined NBC Sports’ programming for more than two decades and created ”Sunday Night Football.” Dick Ebersol, who also pioneered NBC’s Olympic broadcasts, will serve on the board of directors.

Former players such as Justin Tuck, Hines Ward and Jared Allen will have significant roles in a league the younger Ebersol calls a ”true partnership.”

”That’s the best way a league can perform and will be ultimately the key to success, having an interwoven product,” he says.

”Whenever you have an endeavor that involves the kind of teamwork football involves,” Polian adds Kendall Fuller Jersey , ”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. That is the guiding philosophy.”

Co-founder Polian, who built the Bills, Colts and Panthers into Super Bowl teams, will oversee the football side, helped by former player and front office executive J.K. McKay, who has been involved in other startups.

The league will have eight teams – cities and stadia to be announced, though look for complementary sites, not NFL venues, and warmer climates given the February-late April schedule. Rosters will be culled from NFL cuts to the 53-man maximum after preseason, which Polian calls ”the core of our constituency”; collegians who have gone undrafted, including underclassmen who have lost any remaining eligibility; players looking to return to the sport; and free agents from the CFL or elsewhere.

As a single entity, the Alliance will own all contracts and players will be dispersed in a variety of manners. If someone played in the NFL or in college for a Florida team or school Brian Poole Jersey , he’d likely wind up on a Florida-based franchise, for example. There also will be a mechanism after those allocations for a team interested in a certain player to get his rights. And then coaches of specific teams will have access to a group of players outside the allocations.

A draft of players in late fall after the college season concludes – ”Players who probably are coming off injury or some other situation where they want to perhaps play in our league in order to enhance their draft status,” Polian explains – also is planned.

With an eye on player safety, the Alliance also will eliminate kickoffs. There is a unique plan for onside kicks, with the team wanting to try one instead taking possession at its 35 yard-line on a fourth-and-10 to try one play to keep the ball.

”This eliminates two plays that if you were reinventing the game are plays you would probably leave out,” Polian says.

The three-point stance for linemen, judged by many a dangerous technique, also could be banned.

The preponderance of video reviews by officials won’t be an issue in the Alliance, Polian says. Each coach will be allowed two challenges and that’s it for replay.

And here’s one everybody but a placekicker will love: all extra points are 2-point conversion plays from the 2-yard line.

Ebersol has spent three years putting together the Alliance. He and Polian, backed by the numbers showing America’s passion for the sport, see a huge void the league can fill.

”Football is so dominant for six months of the year,” Ebersol says. ”It even hides a number we focused on: millions of fans who stop watching the top five sports in America when football is off the air. Millions of football fans who don’t want to watch other sports.

”And there are 59 million who play fantasy sports, 29 million of them stopped when football ended.

”So what to do to really empower our fans? Fans are investors. They invest time and emotion and money … and what they get in return is the thrill of victory and agony of defeat. We wanted to empower the fans so they will be rewarded for being fans of their team, so fans have a real stake in the league.”

How will they do so?

Ebersol mysteriously says to ”stay tuned.”




A look at where things stand in the NBA playoff picture, with seven days remaining in the regular season:



EAST UPDATE

The field of eight is set. And now Jimmy Smith Jersey , it’s all about the seeding.

Toronto is on the brink of being No. 1, and Milwaukee cannot fall past No. 8.

The Raptors – who were starting to look a little shaky – beat Boston in a matchup of the Eastern Conference’s two top teams this season. The win lowered Toronto’s magic number for clinching the No. 1 seed in the East to one; another Raptors win or Celtics loss will give Toronto home-court advantage for the entirety of the East playoffs.

Detroit’s loss to Philadelphia was the playoff-clincher for Milwaukee, which is making back-to-back playoff trips for the first time since the 2003 and 2004 postseasons. The victory also pulled the 76ers – now winners of 12 straight – even with Cleveland for the third-best record in the East at 48-30, with the Cavaliers holding the tiebreaker there.

Philadelphia hosts Cleveland on Friday, the second night of a back-to-back for the Cavaliers.

Miami, playing while Goran Dragic, James Johnson and Dwyane Wade all were held out, rolled to an easy win at Atlanta – and moved past Washington for outright control of the No. 6 spot (along with the Southeast Division lead, if that still matters).



WEST UPDATE

New Orleans strengthened its hold on a playoff spot with an easy win over Memphis. The Pelicans are only one game ahead of No. 9 Denver – yet also just one game behind No. 4 Utah.

The West is just a mess, at least in the race for the final five spots.

San Antonio could have gone to No. 4, but lost on the road in overtime to the Los Angeles Lakers. The Spurs remained in the No. 5 spot, holding a tiebreaker edge over No. 6 Oklahoma City, and just a half-game up on No. 7 Minnesota and the currently eighth-seeded Pelicans.



THURSDAY’S GAMES

There are six games on the schedule and each one has playoff implications.

– Golden State at Indiana: Big for the Warriors in their quest to finish with the NBA’s second-best record (which would assure home-court advantage if they were to make the NBA Finals). Big for the Pacers if they want to move up to the No. 4 spot before the end of the season; they’ll remain fifth in the East when Thursday night ends regardless of the outcome.

– Washington at Cleveland: The Cavaliers will be a half-game ahead of Philadelphia and remain No. 3 in the East with a win, and fall a half-game behind the 76ers and into the No. 4 spot with a loss. The Wizards need to get back on track; they’ve lost six of eight, but now have John Wall back and still have time to find playoff form.

– Portland at Houston: The Blazers can move closer to locking up No. 3 Vonn Bell Jersey , though they likely won’t have Damian Lillard because of a left ankle injury. The Rockets are just looking to ensure they start the playoffs healthy; their No. 1 overall seed is sealed.

– Brooklyn at Milwaukee: The Bucks are part of that three-team tussle for No. 6, No. 7 and No. 8 in the East with Washington and Miami.

– L.A. Clippers at Utah: Huge game for both teams. It’s about as close to a must-win as can be for the Clippers. A Jazz win keeps coach Quin Snyder’s club in the driver’s seat for home-court advantage in Round 1.

– Minnesota at Denver: The Nuggets will start the day on the outside looking in – but control their destiny. Timberwolves fans, meanwhile, are sweating it out to see if they’ll be getting any playoff games in Minneapolis for the first time since 2004.



CURRENT BRACKET

First-round matchups if the season ended Wednesday …

East: 1-Toronto vs. 8-Milwaukee, 2-Boston vs. 7-Washington, 3-Cleveland vs. 6-Miami, 4-Philadelphia vs. 5-Indiana.

West: 1-Houston vs. 8-New Orleans, 2-Golden State vs. 7-Minnesota, 3-Portland vs. 6-Oklahoma City, 4-Utah vs. 5-San Antonio.



NOTE OF THE DAY

A seven-way tie for fourth in the West is still possible, with everyone at 46-36. If that were to happen, one team with that record would get home-court advantage and two teams with that record would miss the playoffs entirely.



QUOTE OF THE DAY

”They’re going to be a tough out in the playoffs.” – Detroit’s Anthony Tolliver, on surging Philadelphia.



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11.09.2018 09:24
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