During his prime in the NFL a decade ago with the Atlanta Falcons, Michael Vick had some nasty moves. Vick is now taking those moves to the inaugural American Flag Football League.
Those moves…to flag football?
According to ESPN’s Darren Rovell, Vick will join the league that will run a test game next month. The AFFL hopes to start up its eight league-owned team league in 2018. The test game next month on June 27th will feature Vick and former NFL running back Justin Forsett at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, California.
Financier Jeff Lewis is behind the league and came up with idea while watching his son play flag football according to Rovell.
“I just thought to myself, ‘what would this look like if great athletes played this?'” Lewis said. “There’s certainly a huge pool to take guys from. Every single year, NFL teams cut 800 guys. We need less than 100 players to field eight teams.”
It’ll look very different than normal football as the games will be 7-on-7. They will however be played on full 100-yard fields with the games lasting 60 minutes.
The specialty flags will be tested next month during the exhibition. The flags are attached by magnets to the belt instead of by velcro like kids and pickup leagues use. When a flag is taken off, a sensor detects it and an official can then see exactly where it happened. The flags are patent pending and, if they work out well, could actually be a pretty cool innovation.
Lewis hopes the new league won’t only attract former NFL players, but also college stars who didn’t play professionally and average joes.
“We’ll try to find a 60-year-old guy with a beer gut who can stand in and be a quarterback of one of our teams,” Lewis said.
“We think what will make this successful is urgency, affinity and quality,” Lewis said. “This is why shows like ‘American Idol’ and ‘American Ninja Warriors’ have been popular. We think the game and how we’ve set it up will give us this.”
Despite his ankle surgery last month, Vick is still committed to joining the league. He serves the league as adviser as well, with former NFL stars Isaiah Kacyvenski, Rob Konrad, and Donovin Darius joining him in that role.
Fans can purchase tickets for the game or watch the game on a delayed live stream.