The dust has settled, the smoke has cleared, and Trent Richardson has properly run power. The AAF since its first televised week has been drastically losing viewers from a combination of poor play, lack of player name recognition, and payroll issues. I have a trio of solutions to solve these problems that will most definitely produce a more compelling game on and off the field.
1. Sign Le’Veon Bell
Le’Veon Bell’s contract negotiations with the Pittsburgh Steelers have been a story since the summer and have yet to be resolved. In order to boost player name recognition, the AAF must bring in a player who fans will want to watch play. Bell has been one of the most dynamic playmakers in the NFL since he first stepped onto the field, and would bring his highlight reel play to a league desperately needing attention. He wants guaranteed money and the AAF should be the league to offer the first fully-guaranteed football contract. Give him a 1 year deal for $25 million and let him run loose on the Atlanta Legends. Now, a league who had trouble paying for Week 1 salaries probably should not be trusted to pay up such a sum for good reason. But new emperor of the league and noted billionaire Tom Dundon should work out a side deal for Bell. Give him the money on a separate basis than the other players and let a fully healthy 2015 Fantasy Football PoTY run for 11.3 ypa. It will be as compelling to watch as Derrick Henry high school highlights and nationally broadcasted to remind everyone how good Bell is at football.
2. Let the fans play
Fan involvement is one aspect of any league that promotes viewership growth. The NBA has fan interaction during halftime shows, so why shouldn’t the AAF? Every halftime show in the AAF should give all of the washed-up high school football players tailgating in the parking lot a pair of shoulder pads and a dream. The ball starts in the red zone and the teams trade possessions until halftime is over and a winner emerges between the crew cut 40-somethings that still think they could have made it if it wasn’t for that knee injury. The winner will be both the viewer and participants as a series of extremely sloppy attempts at running a bench concept give the right amount of spectacle and cringe factor to make compelling television.
3. Vote Players Off Of The Island
Let the rosters be dictated by the viewer much like American Idol winners are chosen. Throughout the course of every game, fans can vote on removing one person from the roster. Whether that be a cornerback for blowing coverage, a quarterback for butt-fumbling, or a coach for losing track of the game clock, they can all go. Letting fans pick the outcome of weekly cuts will promote the thing that Twitter hopes to create, mobs of angry users getting mad at people they don’t know. The mob-mentality about poor play will satisfy everyone’s need to have their opinion heard and make for a reality show atmosphere.
These 3 suggestions will make the AAF a spectacle unlike any other and will make the NBA an afterthought for the rest of the AAF’s season.