Who Says Football Is Over? Major League Football Kicks Off This Spring
By: Stefan Muro
Awards have been given and champions have been crowned. Super Bowl Sunday has always marked the end of the football year and the beginning of a long and dreaded wait for the next season. A new league, called Major League Football, makes its debut in attempt to make football a year round sport.
MLFB is designed to be a developmental league for young players that missed the cuts, in NFL team training camps; and a last chance for veterans to impress the big league scouts. Notable college players, in recent years, will get a second chance such as: former South Carolina QB Stephen Garcia, Oregon QB Darron Thomas, Baylor RB Lache Seastruck, Arkansas WR Joe Adams, and LSU CB Harry Coleman. Open tryouts were held all over the country last year and over 2,000 players are under contract for the selection processes. The former Carolina Panther return specialist, Joe Adams, was selected #1 overall of the MLFB inaugural draft held in late January. Surprisingly, these draft picks still don’t know where they are playing this April.
Former Saints wide receiver, Wes Chandler, founded the publicly-traded organization that is dedicated on increasing the popularity of the sport and support, rather than compete with, the NFL or NCAA. It plans to focus on emerging markets in smaller US cities. The eight MLFB selects in March will be based on economic growth and favored weather conditions for the athletes. Unofficial sources claim the teams will be based in the Midwest and Southeast regions of the country. But ESPN reports, “MLFB is primarily interested in: Little Rock, Arkansas, Eugene, Oregon, Akron, Ohio, and Orlando, Florida. The league also intends on expanding franchises to Canada and Mexico in 2017.” Like the NFL, NCAA, CFL, and Arena Leagues 1 & 2, MLFB will have specific rule changes to mark its brand on the game itself.
MLFB rules are mostly similar to the NFL for the league’s main purpose of being a developmental and yet competitive way to get a second chance at the next level. The field dimensions are reported to be identical of the NFL’s guidelines but the rules of the game are quite different. For instance, NFL games have a 40-second game clock while MLFB will have a 30-second game clock. Ten seconds may not seem like a big difference to some people but it will drastically increase the amount of total plays in the game. Unlike the NFL, MLFB rules state that the ground can actually force a fumble. Field goals are worth the same 3 points but in MLFB, if the field goal is 50 yards or over, it is worth 4 points.