AAF Week 1: San Diego Fleet fall to the San Antonio Commanders
Lee Ann Herring-Olvedo
SAN ANTONIO–Muskets,cannons and cheers sounded Saturday evening in the Alamo City for a different kind of battle. Not even the cold,rain and fog could stop eager fans from lining the parking lots and filling the stands of the Alamodome. 27,857 filed the Dome from end zone to end zone to bear witness to the future of football, the Alliance of American Football’s inaugural snap.
Mike Martz and the San Diego Fleet came to the Lone Star state hoping to christen their fleet with a win. Unfortunately, Mike Riley and his San Antonio Commanders controlled and commanded the gridiron to the end. A touchdown drive by Commanders QB , Logan Woodside to Alonzo Moore to open the fourth quarter and a clutch field goal late in the game solidified the 15-6 Commander victory over the San Diego Fleet.
Another clutch component in the Commander’s victory was the balance. You will always be stronger on one side of the ball but the key to winning more than the battles is having balance. The Commanders wrecking crew made their presences known especially to the Fleets signal caller Mike Bercovici. While he was able to complete 15 of his 25 passes for 176 yards he was sacked 6 times and threw 2 interceptions in Saturday’s match-up. Those are just things that any team can not afford to have happen and expect to be able to come back from over and over again. Just ask Coach Mike Martz who replaced Bercovici with Phillip Nelson in the fourth. Even the offense change by the fleet. It wasn’t enough to keep their fleet from sinking when it was all said and done in San Antone.
At the end of the day balance and following thru went along way for the victorious Commanders who now have an opportunity to have a physical gauge to go by to better prepare for their season.
Do not be deceived by the low scoring finish as a gauge for the intensity and heart that was seen on the field for the debut evening of the AAF. Let’s be honest this was a tune up game for the league and for its teams. This is literally a start from scratch scenario. Think about it for just a sec each of these 8 teams have had to base their play and preparation with no point of reference from stats, film and more. Basically, simulating game scenarios from thin air.
Though they were given the opportunity during training to camp to play in scrimmages against another team of the league there is nothing that can prepare you like a game can. I don’t care how good of 1st-3rd string you may have on your team a hit from your brother isn’t going to feel the same like the hit that comes from an opponent.
All and all it appears that the AAF is heading on the right path towards being more than just a gimmick or fad in the professional football world. Because in a game won by numbers it is also important not to forget quality. Taking the game back to the basics but the incorporation of new elements is one key ingredient to the success of the Alliance will have more than just a season.
The Commanders stay at home in Week 2 to face the Old Ball Coach, Steve Spurrier and the Orlando Apollo. The first snap will be Sunday, Feb.16th, at 3:30 PM on the CBS Sports Network.
You catch other Alliance action all weekend long as follows.
|Salt Lake at Birmingham||Sat, Feb 16||1:00 PM CT|
|Arizona at Memphis||Sat, Feb 16||7:00 PM CT|
|Orlando at San Antonio||Sun, Feb 17||3:00 PM CT|
|Atlanta at San Diego||Sun, Feb 17||7:00 PM CT|
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Lee Ann Herring-Olvedo is a Senior Editor and writer for Main Event Sports. She is a veteran SEC sports journalist, NFL Network content writer, and Brown University graduate. She loves good cigars, good games and a smooth glass of bourbon — not necessarily in that order. She can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @ Misskyus2011