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What Is ALT Football & What Does It Mean?

Not everyone is a fan of the NFL or college football. However, on the other side of things, some fans out there are insane about absolutely everything having to do with football (even football movies), and they simply can’t get enough.

That generally means they watch anything and everything. In the end, having alternate leagues out there is good for both of these aforementioned demographics, and today we’ll be looking at them all, even answering the specific question: Just what is ALT Football?

What is ALT Football?

And without further ado, we’ll get to the point right off the bat, folks. Essentially, ALT Football is anything not National Football League (NFL) or College football in the US. Simple enough, eh?

Now, how about we take a deep dive look at all of the ALT Football leagues out there? There are many for you to sink your teeth into…one starting up in 2023!

XFL

via NBC

Figured we’d start with this league here. It had a run in the early 2000s. Back then it was under different ownership. Vince McMahon, the former chairman of WWE—yeah that wrestling company (he retired this summer at the age of 77)—actually owned the company and oversaw it in its original run.

That league would fail and early on. McMahon tried to revive it years later and it couldn’t get off the ground for many reasons we won’t get into here. Coincidentally, the league was purchased by a former wrestler of McMahon’s, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and the newly re-organized and/or revamped league is set to start in 2023 to a very excited audience and bunch of fans (this writer included).  

Current XFL Teams:

Arlington Renegades

DC Defenders

Houston Roughnecks

Orlando Guardians

San Antonio Brahmas

Seattle Sea Dragons

St Louis Battlehawks

Vegas Vipers

USFL

via USFL

The USFL also has a massive history with football fans. The league had a run in the eighties—specifically in 1982 it was founded and it ceased operations by 1986.

But it did come back, after a few failed attempts; the league made a triumphant return last season and is coming back for a second season and hopefully more.

USFL Teams (Current):

Michigan Panthers

New Jersey Generals

Philadelphia Stars

Pittsburgh Maulers

The Birmingham Stallions

Houston Gamblers

New Orleans Breakers

Tampa Bay Bandits

CFL

via CFL

The Canadian Football League has been around for a spell and remains a standby for football fans both Canadian and American. Believe it or not, there was a time when American teams were included here, even an American Grey Cup Champion believe it or not.

That was known as the American Expansion, but more on that at a later date perhaps…. As far as the CFL is concerned, it was founded in 1958…the governing body of the league, although many of its teams started even earlier.

The CFL is currently at the tail end of their 2022 season…division finals are under way…each leading to the Grey Cup, which is the Super Bowl for the CFL essentially.

CFL Teams:

Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Ottawa Redblacks

Montreal Alouettes

Toronto Argonauts

Calgary Stampeders

BC Lions

Saskatchewan Roughriders

Edmonton Elks

Winnipeg Blue Bombers

ELF

via Seamen Milano

The ELF stands for the European League of football. It was founded on the 4th of November in 2020. It’s still in the baby stages, but has in this short time acquired for itself quite the cult following.

According to Wikipedia, the focus is on homegrown players for the 12 teams, and international players allowed on the various teams will be limited, which of course differentiates the league from the NFL Europe counterpart from a few years back.

NFL Europe ran from 1995 to 2007. In Europe it was very popular, unlike in the States…which made the possibility for a league in Europe an enticing one…all that interest from locals in Europe….

NFL Europe used to draw 45,000 strong for the London Monarchs back then and judging by recent post-pandemic numbers, that’s still pretty huge in terms of interest.

List of ELF Teams:

Berlin Thunder

Hamburg Sea Devils

Leipzig Kings

Wroclaw Panthers

Frankfurt Galaxy

Swarco Raiders Tirol

Stuttgart Surge

Vienna Vikings

Barcelona Dragons

Düsseldorf Rhein Fire

Istanbul Rams

Cologne Centurions

FCF

via DAZN

Also still in its baby stages, the FCF, Fan Controlled Football, is one that’s doing well, too. Interestingly enough, it is the first of its kind…a league controlled entirely by fans.

The players actually make a salary as do the coaches. The players are paid $400 a week, plus a place to stay and food; the coaches make just over 3 Grand a month and also have food provided for them.

An expansion is planned…the league is growing and growing fast. As per Wikipedia, the FCF talked of a $40 million investment by Animoca Brands into the league, so expect big things for this league that promises 2 seasons a year and up to 20 teams in the near future.

By the way, it’s 7 on 7 and is indoor, so you get a completely different feel to the whole experience. Team names include: Shoulda Been Stars, Zappers, Glacier Boyz, Beasts.

IFL 

via Sports Logos

Also indoor (The Indoor Football League)…this one’s a tad older than the latter league. The IFL got its start in 2008 and is still going strong and is an option for football fans out there for sure.

There are currently 14 teams and there are two more headed to the league for 2024, the Bismarck Bucks and the Columbus Wild Dogs.

The other current 14 IFL teams are:

ARIZONA RATTLERS

BAY AREA PANTHERS

DUKE CITY GLADIATORS

FRISCO FIGHTERS

GREEN BAY BLIZZARD

IOWA BARNSTORMERS

MASSACHUSETTS PIRATES

NORTHERN ARIZONA WRANGLERS

QUAD CITY STEAMWHEELERS

SAN DIEGO STRIKE FORCE

SIOUX FALLS STORM

TUCSON SUGAR SKULLS

TULSA OILERS FOOTBALL

VEGAS KNIGHT HAWKS

What’s perhaps very interesting to see here is the list of former teams that were part of this league. The term ‘huge’ doesn’t cut it. Check it out: HERE.

Well, there you have it folks…all leagues that you can definitely sink your football-loving teeth into, and yes, all of which get TV time, so check your listings, apps, internet connections…whatever you have to do, but you can sure follow these leagues closely. Enjoy!

*For all of your XFL news and information: XFL News Hub

NEXT: MLFB To Hold Annual Shareholder Meeting December 1st

Be sure to join Alt Football Reddit and connect with other XFL and alt football fans.

Domenic Marinelli is an author and freelance writer/journalist. His work has appeared in The Sportster, E-Wrestling News, Pro Wrestling News Hub, CFL News Hub, XFL News Hub, Ringside News, Daily DDT, USFL News Hub, as well as other print and internet publications. He is the author of Generic V, Summer of the Great White Wolf, His Old Tapes (stories & poetry), Across a Dark River in Palermo and so many others. He lives in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. https://linktr.ee/AuthorDomenicMarinelli

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