The American Arena League has had many issues in its inaugural season. These issues have caused many to call the league a “dumpster fire” or expressions with words not allowed in print.
What is being witnessed with the AAL now, however, is what the NAL went through last season – streaming issues, really bad teams, teams folding before the season even plays a down. Just look at them now. Many are referring to it as the top league. Who’s to say that the AAL won’t be looked at the same way in their second season?
With all the issues in the league, there are that many more good things. Four expansion franchises – Atlanta Havoc, Carolina Energy, Georgia Doom and Rochester Kings – are thriving and surprising everyone in the league. No one had these type of expectations for them coming in. These are the type of things that make the league exciting.
The two former champions, the Richmond Roughriders and Cape Fear Heroes, are also picking up where they left off. Richmond is one of two teams (Atlanta) that remain undefeated at 5-0. Cape Fear has two losses, but to quality teams in Richmond and Rochester.
The Jersey Flight are another impressive expansion team. They may have a 1-2 record, but they could easily be 3-0 on the season. They lost their first game by one point in overtime to Rochester. They also held a 25-point lead over Richmond last weekend. Their defense is a very impressive one, and they have a veteran quarterback in Stephen Panasuk.
Despite the fact that there could be a couple teams that could fold or leave for other ventures this off-season, the AAL would still be up to nine teams in 2019, with the possibility of expansion. That would be more than the Arena Football League, National Arena League and Indoor Football League, the supposed top three indoor/arena leagues.
Not to mention that two affiliate teams, the Austin Wild and New England Calvary, are looking to join next season. New England is currently adding local guys in order to bring in more out-of-town guys next season, which could work in their favor. Austin now needs to find a new home arena and they will be in business.
Don’t sleep on the AAL. Those that are mocking it now could be praising it this time next season as it becomes the top arena league on the market when it comes to quality of teams and quantity of teams.