Football's New Pathway
ATLANTA, GA-- Most American young athletes grow up wanting to be professional baseball, basketball, or football players. The National Football League (NFL) is hands-down the preeminent professional football league, and the NFL is where young football players aspire to play. The road to the NFL, however, is long and hard, and often if young players step off the traditional track of getting into the league, their dreams come to a swift end.
Many players get discouraged and walk away from the game. There does not seem to be a clear path for a player that is undrafted out of college. The Arena Football League (AFL) is no longer an option, and the Alliance of American Football (AAF) folded after one season. The Canadian Football League (CFL) has limited roster slots for American players. What are the young American players to do? Well, that path has now become clear! With the arrival of the Xtreme Football League (XFL) and National Gridiron League (NGL), post-collegiate players now have a clear path to the NFL.
Each summer, over 16,000 college football players graduate from the unofficial minor league of the NFL, which are NCAA and NAIA institutions. Of these graduating players, only 350 are drafted or signed to NFL rosters each pre-season. This limited access to NFL opportunity will undoubtedly have deserving players denied an opportunity. For years many defunct football leagues have tried to provide a suitable platform for these players, but unfortunately, most if not all have failed.
Enter the XFL and NGL beginning this spring and summer the path to an NFL future for players has finally laid. The XFL, which is currently enjoying tremendous success this spring, has eight teams spread throughout the country. XFL teams compete mostly under traditional football rules with a few new creative rule twists to make the game safer. The NGL, which kickoffs this summer, has twelve teams spread mainly throughout the southeast, and the mid-west will compete under gridiron football rules, which are a new set of football rules designed with anticipation of becoming an Olympic sport.
Both the NGL and XFL may have slight differences from the NFL in rules, but both share one distinct similarity of being suitable platforms for players to continue their football careers. So, young players take full advantage of these new opportunities and pursue the dream.
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