Alliance Mini Camps Show Teams Ready For Their Close-Ups
By Mychael Urban
It was “Lights, camera, ACTION!” on a crisp December weekend as each of the new Alliance of American Football’s eight charter franchises held minicamps.
Several squads punctuated the occasion with videos on their respective Instagram accounts, and while The Alliance is, indeed, new, one of the more familiar faces for the league was prepared for the glare of the spotlight.
“Everybody ready?” asked the Head Ball Coach himself, Steve Spurrier, eschewing his trademark golf visor in favor of a ball cap while taking the field with his Orlando Apollos, who went through their paces first under an intermittently spitting sky and later under the lights.
Ah, football under the lights. Prime Time. The Alliance, co-founded by CEO Charlie Ebersol and longtime NFL executive Bill Polian, will begin its inaugural season February 9, 2019. Teams will reconvene after the holidays for training camp, but they’re already in midseason form on social media.
The San Diego Fleet’s post feels like the trailer for a Hollywood blockbuster, opening with running back Bishop Sankey alone with his thoughts (and some dramatic lighting) in a locker room, appearing to be lost in the magic of possibilities. Orchestral accompaniment follows him during a stadium stairs run and various on-field drills, reaching a rather cinematic crescendo back in the darkened locker room. Closeup … fade to black … goosebumps.
Blockbusters need more than a great trailer to be a hit, of course. It needs action. Lots of it. And that’s what the Arizona Hotshots came with, courtesy clips of quarterback John Wolford whipping his way around the field while starring at Wake Forest, and Wolford himself provides an introduction. Leading man, perhaps? The Hotshots sure think so.
It’ll take just a moment of watching the Birmingham Iron to feel the game. An infectious Southern synth-rap soundtrack sets the tone, as the Iron are dressed for the occasion, bundled up in long sleeves, long leggings and hoodies against a backdrop of barren trees. The overall effect screams “FOOTBALL!!!”
The Atlanta Legends made their own splash, conveying excitement and energy but with a certain businesslike swagger. They stick to business, and business is good.
What else does a blockbuster do? It makes you want more, right? Well, leave it to The Head Ball Coach and his Apollos to take care of that. One of the last things you see before their post goes black is a teeny, tiny troll, suggesting a rivalry just might be afoot: #BeatATL.
To be continued . . .