I wasn’t yet into football when the United States Football League was blazing the spring professional football trail from 1983-85.
I was but a teenager when the World League of American Football first kicked off in 1991, becoming the first professional football league to operate on two continents simultaneously. It started with me clipping out the draft lists from the back of the USA Today sports section, and it ended with me sitting and watching my home-state team, the Ohio Glory.
And I was a young adult in 2001 when the XFL brought its unabashedly in-your-face brand of football to televisions and stadiums across the country during the time usually reserved for the start of baseball season, March Madness and the end of baseball and hockey seasons. For some, it was about the bombast, the cheerleaders and waiting for someone to get injured in the pregame scramble for the ball. For me, it was another chance to watch football in the spring.
It’s exciting to think of the start of the A11 Football League – those two showcase games in May of 2014 and then the start of the first full season in March of 2015. It will be the culmination of a LOT of work – work which continues now and will continue in full-force at the turn of the calendar next week.
There is so much to look forward to in 2014, but first, there is tomorrow – when the league will announce news about television and markets here at www.a11flmagazine.com. Then, next year, there is hiring of key league and team personnel, and other key components.
And then, at the end of 2014, there is the fun stuff – the beginning of the first A11FL player allocations/drafts: A territorial allocation of players who were eligible for the National Football League Draft from 2009-14, a common draft of non-territorial players who were eligible for the NFL Draft from 2009-14, a territorial allocation of players eligible for the NFL Draft in 2015 and a common draft of non-territorial players eligible for the NFL Draft in 2015.
Before we get to 2014, however, there’s still time left in 2013 to thank you – those who have read stories like this on www.a11flmagazine.com since its launch in May. In the seven months since, there have been more than 90 stories and more than 14,000 page views.
That means there are thousands and thousands of people to which the A11FL might be their childhood league. Or their young adult league. Or a league which rekindles those memories of a spring football pioneer some three decades ago.
Those involved in the launch of the A11FL understand the fans’ want for concrete information. It doesn’t, however, exceed our want to give the fans the concrete information they seek. Putting together a spring football league worthy of the fans who want to enjoy it takes time. Sometimes, it takes more time than executives and fans alike want it to take.
Starting tomorrow, however, the information comes. For the fans. About a league for the fans.
And to those fans – thank you!