According to TVByTheNumbers, almost 3.2 million people watched the pregame and 2.91 million stuck with the broadcast for the actual action between the Orlando Apollos vs. Atlanta Legends and the San Antonio Commanders vs. San Diego Fleet.
First and for most, the production quality of this game was really good.
The idea of the league is to give the sport of football a second season in the spring during the NFL offseason. One of the best plays of the day came on a tip-drill interception of Express quarterback Christian Hackenberg, who has struggled to find any consistency in his career following his breakout freshman season at Penn State.
The AAF will continue on Sunday with a pair of games. They saw The Head Ball Coach, a.k.a Steve Spurrier bring his "fun and gun offense", that excited Florida Gators fans for years to Orlando as his Apollos flew past the Atlanta Legends 40-6.
"I think Atlanta's a pretty good team".
There were plenty of highlights in the league's opening night. Just seconds after the broadcast team returned their focus to the game, an errant Logan Woodside pass fell into Brooks' hands.
On top of those changes, the AAF actually has ruled out kicking FGs in overtime, hoping for a faster and higher-scoring game.
The events occurred in a odd, chronological order, nearly as though fans were watching an inspirational Hollywood movie instead of the inaugural game of an upstart football league.
Fleet general manager Dave Boller was clear about his intention for Johnson, which creates an interesting dynamic for the new league.
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. At 8 p.m., the Salt Lake Stallions play the Arizona Hotshots (NFL Network). For the quarterbacks, a four-round draft was held that allowed teams to protect one player from their region or pick from the entire pool.
He led Florida to a national championship in 1996, left the Gators five years later to coach the Washington Redskins for two seasons, then ended a long college career when he walked away from a decade-long stay at SC six games into the 2015 season.
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