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Muscle Sport Magazine

Spring Football is Back – A11FL Conjures Up USFL Memories

Gridiron fans still get nostalgic for the original USFL team names and logos. The early-to-mid-1980s professional football league gave fans a great way to keep watching America’s Game after the Super Bowl commenced and some of that magic is hoping to be honed with the brand new A11FL, which will officially kick off in 2015 but has already inked a deal with ESPN2 to broadcast two ‘showcase’ games in May and June of 2014 – one at Raymond James Stadium, the home of the NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the other at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.

The league plans on fielding eight teams in their inaugural campaign, with a number of them being the same as the old USFL ones. The Los Angeles Express (LA Memorial Coliseum), New Jersey Generals (MetLife Stadium), Tampa Bay Bandits (Raymond James Stadium) and Michigan Panthers (TBD) are all going to bring smiles to the faces of those of us who watched the old games on ESPN. They will be joined by the Bay Area Sea Lions (TBD), Chicago Staggs (TBD), Dallas Wranglers (Cotton Bowl) and one other franchise that will be announced at a later date. The finalists are groups from Denver, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Seattle.

So what exactly does A11 mean, you may ask? Kurt Bryan and Steve Humphries are co-founders of the league and former Piedmont high school football coaches in San Francisco that created the A11 offense, which was a formation that had all 11 players lined up wearing eligible numbers and making them potential receivers. In this new league, the game will go back to that and its roots – no eligible uniform numbering system.

They league has even made Tim Tebow and offer and feel that his athleticism would be a perfect fit for this spread type of offense.

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Many have tried before them to succeed at a spring football league and failed. But the fact remains that fans want to watch and if the product is good, they will tune in and/or attend. As members of the media – and of course football fans, as well – we are hoping for the A11FL to go a long way.

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