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The 2019 AAF season was the first and only season in the history of the Alliance of American Football (AAF),[1] which began on February 9, 2019. A ten-week regular season was scheduled for each of the league's eight teams.

2019 Alliance of American Football season
The Alliance Championship 2019.png
LeagueAlliance of American Football
SportAmerican football
DurationFebruary 9 – April 14 (planned)
February 9 – March 31 (actual)
Number of games40 scheduled (10 per team)
32 played (8 per team)
Number of teams8
TV partner(s)CBS Sports, Turner Sports, NFL Network
Best regular season recordOrlando Apollos

On April 2, multiple sources indicated that Thomas Dundon, controlling owner of the AAF, had followed through on threats made in the previous week and suspended the AAF's operations, against the will of its founders.[2][3] By the end of the week, the AAF front office had confirmed the suspension of operations and allowed players to opt-out of their contracts to sign with other leagues.[4] The league filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on April 17, 2019.[1]

At the time the season ended, each team had played eight games, and the Orlando Apollos, with a league best 7–1 record two games ahead of its nearest competitors, had clinched no less than a share of the regular season's best record, regardless of how the rest of the schedule would have played out. A four-team playoff was scheduled to start on April 21, with a championship game on April 27. Initially scheduled for Sam Boyd Stadium on the outskirts of Las Vegas, Nevada, the title game was moved to the Ford Center at the Star in Frisco, Texas,[5] before the league ceased operations.

Contents

Teams

Final standings

The Orlando Apollos clinched a playoff berth on March 24,[6] and top seed in the Eastern Conference on March 30.[7] The Birmingham Iron clinched a playoff berth on March 31.[8]

2019 Alliance of American Football standings
Eastern Conference
Club W–L PCT CONF PF PA DIFF SOS SOV STK
(x)Orlando Apollos 7–1 .875 5–0 236 136 100 .406 .375 W2
(x)Birmingham Iron 5–3 .625 3–2 165 133 32 .406 .300 W1
(e)Memphis Express 2–6 .250 1–4 152 194 -42 .578 .500 L1
(e)Atlanta Legends 2–6 .250 1–4 88 213 -125 .609 .438 L3
Western Conference
Club W–L PCT CONF PF PA DIFF SOS SOV STK
San Antonio Commanders 5–3 .625 3–2 158 154 4 .516 .450 L1
Arizona Hotshots 5–3 .625 3–2 186 144 42 .469 .500 W3
San Diego Fleet 3–5 .375 2–3 158 161 -3 .469 .417 L3
Salt Lake Stallions 3–5 .375 2–3 135 143 -8 .547 .417 W1
(x)–clinched playoff berth; (e)–eliminated from playoff contention

[9]

Schedule

Each team had a ten-game regular season schedule, consisting of six in-conference games (home-and-away against each of the other three teams) and four out-of-conference games (one game against each of four teams; two home and two away). Weeks 2, 4, 6, and 9 were scheduled with out-of-conference games.[10] Each team played one preseason exhibition game against an out-of-conference opponent. All of the preseason scrimmage games were held January 27–28 at the Alamodome, in conjunction with the league's training camp.

2019 Alliance of American Football schedule
Home Away Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Week 10
Win Loss Not played
Eastern Conference
Atlanta Legends
(2–6)
ORL SD BIRM ARIZ MEM SA ORL BIRM SL MEM
6–40 12–24 12–28 14–11 23–20 6–37 6–36 9–17    
Birmingham Iron
(5–3)
MEM SL ATL SA ORL SD MEM ATL ARIZ ORL
26–0 12–9 28–12 11–12 14–31 32–29 25–31 17–9    
Memphis Express
(2–6)
BIRM ARIZ ORL SD ATL SL BIRM ORL SA ATL
0–26 18–20 17–21 26–23 20–23 9–22 31–25 31–34    
Orlando Apollos
(7–1)
ATL SA MEM SL BIRM ARIZ ATL MEM SD BIRM
40–6 37–29 21–17 20–11 31–14 17–22 36–6 34–31    
Western Conference
Arizona Hotshots
(5–3)
SL MEM SL ATL SA ORL SD SA BIRM SD
38–22 20–18 15–23 11–14 25–29 22–17 32–15 23–6    
Salt Lake Stallions
(3–5)
ARIZ BIRM ARIZ ORL SD MEM SA SD ATL SA
22–38 9–12 23–15 11–20 25–27 22–9 15–19 8–3    
San Antonio Commanders
(5–3)
SD ORL SD BIRM ARIZ ATL SL ARIZ MEM SL
15–6 29–37 11–31 12–11 29–25 37–6 19–15 6–23    
San Diego Fleet
(3–5)
SA ATL SA MEM SL BIRM ARIZ SL ORL ARIZ
6–15 24–12 31–11 23–26 27–25 29–32 15–32 3–8    

Playoffs

Following the 10-week regular season, the top two teams in each conference were due to face each other in conference championship games, hosted by the higher seeded team. These semifinals were scheduled for April 21.[11] The winners would then meet in the league championship game on April 27 at a neutral site. Originally, the title game had been set for Sam Boyd Stadium near Las Vegas, Nevada, but was changed to Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas,[5] before the season was ended.

Semifinals 2019 AAF Championship Game
Sunday, April 21
Spectrum StadiumOrlando, Florida
 E1  Orlando Apollos  
 E2  Birmingham Iron   Saturday, April 27
Ford Center at The StarFrisco, Texas
 
       
Sunday, April 21
To be hosted by W1
     
 
 W1  
 W2    

Attendance

Announced attendance figures for each home game. In the weekly columns, dashes (—) indicate away games, while bold font indicates the highest attendance of each team. Games marked "N/A" were not played.

Team / Week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Total Average
San Antonio Commanders 27,857 29,176 30,345 23,504 N/A 110,882 27,721
Orlando Apollos 20,191 20,394 18,358 N/A N/A 58,943 19,648
San Diego Fleet 20,019 14,789 20,823 20,986 N/A 76,617 19,154
Birmingham Iron 17,039 17,319 6,539 13,310 17,328 71,535 14,307
Memphis Express 11,980 13,621 13,758 12,417 N/A 51,776 12,944
Atlanta Legends 10,717 10,829 10,619 11,416 N/A 43,581 10,895
Arizona Hotshots 11,751 8,865 9,351 9,760 N/A 39,727 9,932
Salt Lake Stallions 10,412 9,302 8,150 8,405 N/A 36,269 9,067
Total 76,838 78,494 56,312 38,327 54,313 58,113 65,279 61,654     489,330  
Average 19,210 19,624 14,078 9,582 13,578 14,528 16,320 15,414       15,292

Updated through games of March 31, 2019.
Source: [12]

Awards

Players of the week

Statistical leaders

Records reflect statistics through the eight regular season games played by all teams.[20]

Officials

The league used the eight-official system, also seen in NCAA college football. There were six officiating crews, staffed with officials from FBS conferences.[21]

Referees[21]
No. Name FBS Conference
2 Reggie Smith Big 12
9 Tra Blake ACC
10 John O’Neill Big Ten
19 James Carter SEC
81 Brandon Cruse Big 12
84 Jeff Heaser ACC

The officiating crews included one former NFL official—Jimmy DeBell, a back judge on the Smith crew—and three former NFL players: Nate Jones (side judge, Cruse crew), Terry Killens (umpire, Blake crew), and Mike Morton (umpire, Cruse crew).[21]

Broadcasting

CBS Sports, Turner Sports and NFL Network served as the Alliance's broadcast partners for the 2019 season. The CBS Sports deal was announced at the time the league launched, while the Turner Sports and NFL Network contracts were announced less than two weeks before the season began.[22]

  • CBS Sports carried the two inaugural games (February 9) regionally via the CBS broadcast network, and was due to carry the championship game broadcast nationwide on the same network. CBS later added one conference championship game and one Week 9 regular season game to their schedule,[23] neither of which was played. CBS Sports Network carried a game of the week on Sunday afternoons.[11]
  • The Turner Sports contract included one regular season game (February 16) and a conference championship game on TNT, and a Saturday afternoon game of the week on Bleacher Report's live streaming service, B/R Live. The network had the option to change which service it broadcast its games on, with TNT adding three midseason Saturday afternoon games from B/R Live. Had the league survived the full season, B/R Live would have carried a Sunday afternoon game for Week 9, swapping a game with CBS.[11] In Week 10, B/R Live was due to carry the league's one game of the season scheduled for a Friday.[24]
  • NFL Network carried the remainder of the league's games, a Saturday night game and a Sunday night game each week.

Each AAF team had a local radio partner, and Sirius XM Radio carried a game of the week package.[25]

Local radio coverage
Team Station Affiliation Ref.
Arizona Hotshots KDUS (AM) NBC Sports Radio [26]
Atlanta Legends WCNN (AM) Dickey Broadcasting [27]
Birmingham Iron WERC (AM) iHeartMedia [28]
Memphis Express KWNW (FM) iHeartMedia [29]
Orlando Apollos WTKS-FM iHeartMedia [30]
Salt Lake Stallions KALL (AM) ESPN Radio [31]
San Antonio Commanders KZDC (AM & FM) ESPN Radio [32]
San Diego Fleet KLSD (AM) / KOGO (AM) Fox Sports Radio [33]

Signees to other professional leagues

NFL

On April 4, the AAF announced players could leave their contracts to sign with NFL teams following the reported suspension of league football operations. The following players signed with NFL teams:

Player Position AAF team Date NFL team Ref.
Garrett Gilbert QB Orlando Apollos April 5 Cleveland Browns [34]
Keith Reaser CB Orlando Apollos April 5 Kansas City Chiefs [35]
Derron Smith FS San Antonio Commanders April 5 Minnesota Vikings [36]
Duke Thomas CB San Antonio Commanders April 5 Minnesota Vikings [36]
Parker Collins OT Atlanta Legends April 5 Carolina Panthers [37]
Kitt O'Brien OG Birmingham Iron April 5 Carolina Panthers [37]
Alex Barrett DE San Diego Fleet April 5 Oakland Raiders [38]
J. C. Hassenauer C Birmingham Iron April 5 Pittsburgh Steelers [39]
Jack Tocho FS Birmingham Iron April 5 Pittsburgh Steelers [39]
Damontre Moore DE San Diego Fleet April 5 San Francisco 49ers [40]
Rashad Ross WR Arizona Hotshots April 8 Carolina Panthers [41]
Brandon Greene OT Birmingham Iron April 8 Carolina Panthers [41]
Thomas Duarte TE Arizona Hotshots April 8 Carolina Panthers [41]
T. J. Barnes DT Atlanta Legends April 8 Carolina Panthers [41]
Andrew Lauderdale OT Arizona Hotshots April 8 Arizona Cardinals [42]
Jeremiah Poutasi G Salt Lake Stallions April 8 Arizona Cardinals [42]
Logan Woodside QB San Antonio Commanders April 8 Tennessee Titans [43]
Keith Towbridge TE Atlanta Legends April 8 Tennessee Titans [43]
De'Vante Bausby CB San Antonio Commanders April 8 Denver Broncos [44]
Winston Craig DT San Antonio Commanders April 8 Pittsburgh Steelers [45]
J. T. Jones DE Atlanta Legends April 8 Pittsburgh Steelers [45]
Kameron Kelly CB San Diego Fleet April 8 Pittsburgh Steelers [45]
Andrew Ankrah LB Orlando Apollos April 8 Washington Redskins [46]
Salesi Uhatafe G Salt Lake Stallions April 8 Washington Redskins [46]
De'Mornay Pierson-El WR Salt Lake Stallions April 8 Oakland Raiders [47]
Shakir Soto DT San Diego Fleet April 8 Dallas Cowboys [48]
Luis Perez QB Birmingham Iron April 9 Philadelphia Eagles [49]
Greg Ward Jr. WR San Antonio Commanders April 9 Philadelphia Eagles [49]
Charles Johnson WR Orlando Apollos April 9 Philadelphia Eagles [49]
Michael Dunn G Birmingham Iron April 9 Miami Dolphins [50]
Jayrone Elliott LB San Antonio Commanders April 9 Miami Dolphins [50]
Kenneth Farrow RB San Antonio Commanders April 9 Miami Dolphins [50]
Jaryd Jones-Smith OT San Antonio Commanders April 9 Miami Dolphins [50]
Tyrone Holmes LB San Antonio Commanders April 9 Miami Dolphins [50]
Reece Horn WR Memphis Express April 9 Miami Dolphins [50]
Joey Mbu DT San Antonio Commanders April 9 Miami Dolphins [50]
Karter Schult DE Salt Lake Stallions April 9 Minnesota Vikings [51]
Cole Mazza LS Birmingham Iron April 9 Los Angeles Chargers [52]
Casey Sayles DE Birmingham Iron April 9 Pittsburgh Steelers [53]
Brandon Silvers QB Memphis Express April 10 New York Jets [54]
Cody Brown SS Salt Lake Stallions April 10 Jacksonville Jaguars [55]
Orion Stewart FS San Antonio Commanders April 10 Tampa Bay Buccaneers [56]
Greer Martini LB Salt Lake Stallions April 10 Minnesota Vikings [57]
Jordan Martin FS San Diego Fleet April 10 Minnesota Vikings [57]
John Wolford QB Arizona Hotshots April 10 Los Angeles Rams [58]
Henre' Toliver CB Salt Lake Stallions April 11 New York Giants [59]
DeMarquis Gates LB Memphis Express April 11 Washington Redskins [60]
Daniel Brunskill OT San Diego Fleet April 12 San Francisco 49ers [61]
Elliott Fry K Orlando Apollos April 12 Chicago Bears [62]
Chris Odom DE Salt Lake Stallions April 16 Atlanta Falcons [63]
Brant Weiss OT Arizona Hotshots April 16 Arizona Cardinals [64]
Josh Woodrum QB Salt Lake Stallions April 18 Washington Redskins [65]
Trey Johnson CB Birmingham Iron April 18 Denver Broncos [66]

CFL

The following three players signed with Canadian Football League (CFL) teams:

Player Position AAF team Date CFL team Ref.
Terrance Plummer LB Orlando Apollos April 4 Hamilton Tiger-Cats [67]
Kennan Gilchrist LB Salt Lake Stallions April 17 Toronto Argonauts [67]
Daniel Braverman WR San Antonio Commanders April 17 Calgary Stampeders [67]

The AAF reportedly blocked AAF players from signing with CFL teams, claiming their AAF contracts were "assets in potential bankruptcy proceedings."[68] Plummer, Gilchrist, and Braverman had signed contracts with AAF teams, but had not yet been activated to the roster from their respective teams' rights lists at the time that the AAF suspended football operations.

AFL

The following nine players signed with Arena Football League (AFL) teams:

Player Position AAF team Date AFL team Ref.
Dwayne Hollis CB Atlanta Legends April 6 Philadelphia Soul [69][70]
Joe Powell S Birmingham Iron April 7 Baltimore Brigade [69]
Anthony Amos WR Arizona Hotshots April 8 Columbus Destroyers [69]
Daronte Bouldin G Memphis Express April 8 Columbus Destroyers [69]
Ervin Philips WR Atlanta Legends April 10 Baltimore Brigade [69]
Malachi Jones WR Atlanta Legends April 10 Albany Empire [69]
Darius Prince WR San Antonio Commanders April 13 Philadelphia Soul [69]
Giorgio Newberry DE Orlando Apollos April 15 Washington Valor [69]
Jordan Thomas CB San Antonio Commanders April 17 Columbus Destroyers [69]

NAL

The following two players signed with National Arena League (NAL) teams:

Player Position AAF team Date NAL team Ref.
Corey Crawford DE Memphis Express April 3 Carolina Cobras [71][72]
Fabian Guerra WR Memphis Express April 9 Carolina Cobras [71]

References

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  2. ^ "AAF to immediately suspend operations". ESPN. ESPN. April 2, 2019. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  3. ^ Rovell, Darren (April 2, 2019). "Rovell: AAF Suspending Football Operations Immediately". The Action Network. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  4. ^ Schwartz, Nick (April 4, 2019). "AAF star Keith Reaser becomes first player to sign NFL deal after league shutdown". USA Today. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  5. ^ a b "AAF shifts title game from Vegas to Frisco, Texas". ESPN. AP. March 20, 2019. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
  6. ^ Florio, Mike (March 24, 2019). "Orlando Apollos clinch AAF playoff berth". ProFootballTalk. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  7. ^ "Apollos Beat Express in Wild Game, will Host Conference Title Game". AAF.com. March 30, 2019. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  8. ^ Kercheval, Ben (March 31, 2019). "AAF Week 8 scores, highlights, updates: Birmingham Iron earn playoff berth behind defense, special teams". CBS Sports. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  9. ^ https://aaf.com/standings
  10. ^ "2019 Inaugural Season Regular Season Schedule". aaf.com.
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  15. ^ Balzer, Howard (February 26, 2019). "Pair of Fleet stars headline Week 3 Players of the Week honors". aaf.com. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
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  29. ^ Greer, Jarvis (December 14, 2018). "Local radio station tabbed as Memphis Express home". WMC-TV. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
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  33. ^ Goldberg, Jeff (February 6, 2019). "XTRA 1360 to be Fleet's flagship station in 2019". aaf.com. Retrieved February 8, 2019.
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  39. ^ a b "Steelers sign Hassenauer, Tocho". Steelers.com. April 5, 2019. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
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  58. ^ Dennis, Clarence (April 10, 2019). "Rams sign former AAF QB John Wolford". TheRams.com. Retrieved April 10, 2019.
  59. ^ Dunleavy, Ryan (April 11, 2019). "AAF fallout: Giants sign 1st player from defunct league". NJ.com. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
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  67. ^ a b c "CFL Transactions". CFL.ca. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  68. ^ Hookstead, David (April 13, 2019). "AAF Won't Let Players Sign with CFL Teams After the League Folded". The Daily Caller.
  69. ^ a b c d e f g h i "AFL Transactions". arenafan.com. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  70. ^ Hollis was under contract with the Philadelphia Soul before signing with the Atlanta Legends; after the AAF suspended football operations, he was activated from league suspension.
  71. ^ a b "NAL Transactions". nationalarenaleague.com. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  72. ^ Crawford was under contract with the Cobras before signing with the Express; after the AAF suspended football operations, Crawford was activated from league suspension by the Cobras.

Further reading

External links