Spurrier returns to sideline, wins AAF opener

Danny Woods
February 10, 2019

The Alliance of American Football is set to begin its first season in league history this on Saturday, bringing football back to the Orlando area for the first time since the Predators, an arena football team, left in 2016.

None of those teams seemed relevant to what went on Saturday night, when a mostly full lower bowl in the Alamodome (no tickets were sold for the upper decks) went mad for all the pregame trappings of pro football: ugly green fake turf, a massive American flag for the anthem, a William Barret Travis-type guy on a galloping horse and pyrotechnics.

"Well, it is a little unusual when you go out there to get ready for the opening kickoff and there is no opening kickoff", said a smiling Coyle. I think the fans had a good time tonight. Other startup football leagues like the USFL and XFL did fantastic ratings right away, and then those fizzled quickly.

So Spurrier is now 6-0 in first games coaching a new team.

There are plenty of caveats to a one-night win like that.

Polian and Ebersol said every National Football League team had scouts in San Antonio when all the teams recently held training camp and then each played an exhibition game.

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Here are some of the first's we saw last night at Spectrum Stadium - Marshall's 26-yard touchdown pass from Gilbert early in the second quarter was the league's first-ever TD. The score was initially ruled incomplete but with the sky judge reviewing the play, the call on the field was reversed. Wide receiver Charles Johnson led all receivers with four catches for 60 yards.

Defensively, Orlando dominated Atlanta.

Ebersol acknowledged that opening night, broadcast on CBS, is no indicator of interest come Week 2, not to mention April, when the league will play its championship game in Las Vegas.

The AAF is a brand new eight-team league which will not only showcase local and developing talent, but it will complement the NFL during the offseason. Here's how you can watch Sunday's game.

The Legends will head back to Atlanta to regroup before heading out next week to play the San Diego Fleet on the road. That game will be played on February 17 at 4PM EST.

Games will be carried on CBS, NFL Network and Turner.

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