What AAF Team Should You Root For? Pt.8 – The San Diego Fleet

After Tom Brady took a knee to bring the clock to triple zeros in Super Bowl LIII, the NFL season had officially concluded on Sunday night. Lucky for all of us, that horrible excuse of a game will not be our final taste of football until August, as the Alliance of American Football League kicks off their inaugural season this Saturday on CBS.

With the league being brand new, unless you live in one of the eight cities that has a team or know someone who is playing in the AAF, you are probably wondering who to root for.

Luckily for all of you, I have a bit of a gambling problem and not much else to do, so I have spent the entire day looking over each team’s roster. After looking everything over, I can honestly say that I am excited to check things out this weekend.

Below are my notes on every team. Hopefully this serves as some insight for the first games this weekend, which I am 100% going to put a ton of money on because, well, it’s football, folks.

Team #1 – The Arizona Hotshots

Team #2 – The Atlanta Legends

Team #3 – The Birmingham Ironbirds

Team #4 – The Memphis Express

Team #5 – The Orlando Apollos

Team #6 – The Salt Lake Stallions

Team #7 – The San Antonio Commanders

Team #8 – The San Diego Fleet

There is not much to dislike about this team. They respect the troops, play in a city with the best weather on earth, have a ton of local players and are bringing football back to a fanbase that was deprived of a team that they loved very much.

I am still all in on the Commanders but the Fleet would probably be my second choice. Despite the fact that they have yet to play in a single game, I feel like they’re just a classy organization. They have a real San Antonio Spurs, St Louis Cardinals type of vibe about them. Or maybe I just really like their team name because it is a bad ass tribute to the Navy.

The Fleet are led by head coach Mike Martz. If you read his name really fast, you might think he is that plumber guy that Colin Dunlap is always talking about. But he’s not. I checked.

Martz was the offensive coordinator in the late 1990’s for the St. Louis Rams, an offense that is known as the Greatest Show on Turf. His offense was so good that they won a championship with a Quarterback that was bagging groceries before the team signed him.

Martz replaced Dick Vermeil as the Rams head coach in 2000, after the Rams made back to back appearances in the Super Bowl. While he would never make it to another NFC title game, in his five full seasons as the head coach in St. Louis, his team only missed the playoffs once.

I am very puzzled as to why Martz never got another shot as a head coach in the NFL after the Rams fired him in 2005 due to a really weird health situation. He had a career record of 56-36 and seemed to have a lot of respect from those he had coached with and for.

After he left the Rams, the team was never the same. His next job was the OC in Detroit. They fired him for wanting to throw the ball to much. The next season, they became the first team to ever go 0-16. Maybe this dude actually knows the game. I sure think he does and I am pumped to see him get another shot after being away from football since 2011.

As far as local connections go, the Fleet have a very strong one to Pittsburgh. There are currently four Pitt Panthers on the Fleets roster: Wide Receiver Dontez Ford (Who I absolutely locked down when we played Sto Rox in basketball back in Middle School), Offensive Linemen Bandon Hodges, Defensive Lineman Shakir Soto and Punter Ryan Winslow.

Last but not least, I think it safe to say that the Fleet have the best uniforms in the league. I mean get a look at these things.

No idea who this dude is because there isn’t a number 52 on the roster but I know for damn sure I wouldn’t want him tackling me in that uniform. No sir, not a chance.

I guess the Fleet were supposed to have Josh Johnson as their quarterback until he selfishly went to the NFL to replace Alex Smith on the Washington Redskins to round out the season. So I have no idea who will start for them under center.

That should be no problem for the four former Pitt players though.

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