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But Ebersol couldn't help trumpeting that the AAF topics were 11 of the 20 most trending on Twitter following the game and that the league's app was No. 1 on Google Play and No. 2 in the Apple Store. J. K. McKay, the head of football operations for the Alliance, told Pro Football Talk that the league will put an emphasis on keeping the players within the area they played college football. What's more, the AAF uses a recruitment model created to attract players to their teams who are already popular in home markets.

Co-founder Bill Polian was very excited to announce the beginning of this new league, but was very direct in his intentions behind the league. Otherwise, they are connected by the league office to players who last suited up for the closest NFL or CFL team.

There were some refreshing twists to the AAF brand of football, which does aim to complement, not compete with, the NFL. This means that players who either went to college or played with an National Football League team close to one of their eight franchises are pigeonholed to one of those teams.

Its rule differences meant there were no boiler-plate kickoffs, no near-automatic extra point kicks and no lengthy television timeouts.

Mavericks trade Harrison Barnes to Kings for Justin Jackson, Zach Randolph
He will join a Sacramento team (28-26) on the cusp of a playoff spot in the Western Conference. Barnes was on the bench for Dallas at the time as they beat the Charlotte Hornets 99-93.

It was a long night for Atlanta, which took the field barely a month after the sudden departure of coach Brad Childress and just days after the team decided ex-NFL quarterback Michael Vick would no longer hold the title of Legends offensive coordinator. With 17 players having played collegiate football at Utah, BYU or Utah State, the local connection is certainly strong.

The Salt Lake Stallions join the AAF with seven other teams, including the Fleet, Arizona Hotshots, San Antonio Commanders, Atlanta Legends, Birmingham Iron, Orlando Apollos and Memphis Express. The league is partnering with MGM Resorts, and the AAF believes its lightning-fast data will eventually allow fans to place in-game bets on the outcomes of each play. "We were going for it", he said.

"Our games have been reimagined to be faster, with fewer commercials and more action", said Waddell.