FROM VEGAS TO DALLAS TO MANZIEL TO MARSHALL
What was once the “Road to Vegas,” has now become the “Road to Dallas.” Over the past few days, the Alliance announced that their championship game would be played in Dallas, Texas (actually Frisco) at the Ford Center at the Star aka the Dallas Cowboys practice facility. Those that have been covering and following the league found the move…interesting, maybe a little peculiar. It leans more to the theory that the NFL is working more with the Alliance. In addition to the pictures floating around the internet that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones wore an Alliance hat to the NFL Combine. So he’s clearly showing support for the league. That’s a plus. This move, IMO, is the best move considering the attendance figures for the league have been relatively low, yet continue to see some progress, especially in San Antonio, who saw a league record for attendance back in Week 7.
As of now, the Eastern Conference looks pretty set as the Orlando Apollos locked up the first playoff berth after a 36-6 win against the Atlanta Legends. For the Apollos, it was a true bounce-back win after being defeated by the Arizona Hotshots at home in Week 6. The Birmingham Iron currently hold the #2 spot in the East even after a 31-25 loss to the Memphis Express. Both the Legends and Express have identical records at 2-5 which means they are still in it, but a longshot for that #2 spot. Both teams continue to have issues at the QB position, especially the Express.
They find themselves with a QB they cannot trust in Christian Hackenberg, a QB currently injured in Zach Mettenberger, and a QB that’s just trying to get some clock in, which compelled them to acquire the rights to Johnny Manziel, who formerly was released (and banned) from the CFL. For Silvers, he led his team to the emotional win against the Iron, while Manziel got an opportunity to get in some work. Manziel should continue to see limited action for the rest of the season while Silvers remains the starter.
Over in the Western Conference, the San Antonio Commanders lead the pack at 5-2 after narrowly defeating the Salt Lake Stallions, 19-15, after the Stallions piled up 6 sacks. The Hotshots defeated the San Diego Fleet 32-15, and have the #2 spot after having won 2 straight, while prior had dropped 3 straight. The Fleet and Stallions are still in the hunt as well for at least the #2 spot at 3-4 and 2-5 respectively.
For three teams in the East and all four teams in the West, there are still great chances for any one of the teams to make the inaugural playoffs. Great action still happening in the Alliance, and if you’re not watching, you’re truly missing out.
The league has gained some major buzz through the Manziel signing and even rapper Eminem showing his support:
Which prompted this response from Alliance co-founder Charlie Ebersol: