Fantasy football is massive, which is something the AAF understands. It's a new American Football league that's two weeks into its first season. It's designed to serve a number of different masters - for one thing it's positioned itself as a second chance league, a place where NFL players who didn't make the cut can play meaningful games and prove that they're worth another look.
But it's the technology that the league uses that we're going to have a look at today - namely the app that you can grab right now from the App Store or the Google Play Store. The reason we're interested? Because you can now play along with the games live, tracking moves and making predictions on the fly.
Even if you're not a fan of American Football, it's a really interesting new way to engage with sports that could well become more and more popular if the AAF manages to take off over the next few weeks.
The first week of the AAF is dominated by quarterback John Wolford of the Arizona Hotshots. He throws for almost three hundred yards, and wins the inaugural award for the offensive player of the week. It's those stats that are important, as any fan of the NFL knows - numbers make the game.
The AAF has found a way to make those numbers essential during play, not just in predicting how games might go in the week before they kick off. Instead you can track every snap directly from the app, watching the players move into position and making your decision just before the ball goes live.
You pick whether the next play is going to be a pass or a run, whether it's going to go to the left, right, or middle of the field, and if it's going to result in a first down or a touchdown. You earn points if you get any part of your prediction right, but you get more if you nail all of them. You know all the times you spend shouting at the TV, telling the players what to do, well essentially the AAF has gamified that.
The plays happen in real time, with the players represented by little helmets with their number and position on the screen. Once you've made your choice, you'll watch the play happen, with a small ball highlighted by a yellow streak that shows you the direction it's heading in.
You can grab the AAF app from the App Store right this second by clicking right here. And if you're into football, and you're looking for something to sate your desire before the NFL kicks off again later in the year, it's a great way to not just enjoy watching a game, but to get more engaged than you might have done before.