Former NFL Players Helping To Give Football Fans A Fix During Summer In AFFL – Sports Illustrated

Jahvid Best will return to a football field Saturday. A first-round pick in 2010, the running back had hardly carried a ball since his NFL career ended five years ago following a string of concussions — that is until the new American Flag Football League came calling. At first, he wasn’t sure how serious the league was going to be. Flag football, after all, has long been considered a game meant for backyards and children. But then he got to training camp and saw the collection of ex-pros team captain Justin Forsett had assembled—receivers Jacoby Jones, and Jason Avant, quarterback Seneca Wallace—and saw how seriously they were taking the endeavor. “That’s when I knew it would be a good competition,” Best said.

After beating a squad led by Tajh Boyd and Nate Robinson last week, team Godspeed will face a group captained by Chad Johnson Saturday afternoon in Indianapolis, with the winner taking on the country’s top amateur team Thursday at 8 p.m. ET in Houston. AFFL CEO Jeffrey Lewis and NFL Network, which is broadcasting the games and boosting the league on its website, are hoping that fans looking for action on one of the calendar’s quietest sports days will agree with Best: That flag football is worth the time.

Lewis says the idea for a league came to him after coaching his son’s flag football team and wondering how entertaining the sport might be if it was played by the best in the world. This winter, AFFL advisor Tim Brosnan connected him to NFL Network executives, who were intrigued by the possibilities of melding the football fans see on TV with the sport they are more likely to play in a local park—and especially of doing so during the NFL’s short annual hiatus between June minicamps and August

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