Photo by USA Today

Carpe Diem (Seize The Day), that seems to be the thoughts of a lot of big time business leaders these days as it concerns professional football.

PayPal Co-Founder Peter Thiel  has thrown his hat into the gridiron to form a new professional football league called the AAF (Alliance of American Football).  The league will start with eight 50-man teams that will be playing a ten games that starts one week after next years (2019) Super Bowl.

The AAF won’t be the only alternative to quench your football watching appetite in the near future. WWE Founder and CEO Vince McMahon announced in January that he will be reviving a new and improved XFL in early 2020.

Jesse Dittmar for The New York Times

Funding for the AAF will be led by Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, Former Viking (and Texas born) Jared Allen, and Barstool Investors the Chernin Group.

Why Now?

If your paying attention to the football world you’ve noticed a lot of new leagues popping up ranging from the AAF, XFL to the American Flag Football league. The fact is the the NFL has done some significant damage to their reputation in the last few years and astute business leaders are “seizing the day”.

Even though the NFL has suffered some setbacks in the last few years, people still can’t get enough of this game. The football insider and fan alike also know that the game must evolve in several ways.  Not only has consumption of the game changed with a significant part of the viewing audience cutting the proverbial cord, they are also consuming content on multiple screens at the same time.

There is also an evolution taking place on how the game is played and practiced, as well as how we are protecting the players through technical advances in equipment. As in all parts of life competition is a good thing.  It brings out the best of all of us.  I for one am very curious to see how these new leagues fair “when the rubber hits the road”. I think these new leagues just might be the spark that is needed to bring on the “culture of change” that is needed in football, especially at the college and pro level. At the end of the day this competition between leagues has the ability to significantly advance the game to make it safer for the player, and more enjoyable for the fan and easier to watch….especially for the cord-cutter.  Time will tell…

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