|Alliance of American Football (2019)
|Team colors||Navy blue, dark orange & bright orange|
|President||Michael P. Waddell|
|General manager||Tim Ruskell|
|Head coach||Steve Spurrier|
|*Orlando Apollos (2019)|
|League championships (0)|
|Conference championships (0)|
|Division championships (0)|
|*Spectrum Stadium (2019)|
The Orlando Apollos were a professional American football team based in Orlando, Florida, and one of the charter members of the Alliance of American Football (AAF), which began play in February 2019. The team played its home games at Spectrum Stadium on the campus of the University of Central Florida. They were coached by Heisman Trophy winner and former college and National Football League (NFL) head coach Steve Spurrier. NFL front office veteran Tim Ruskell was the general manager and longtime college athletics executive Michael P. Waddell was the team president.
The team's name was inspired by the Greek god Apollo, and his and Florida's connections to the Sun, while the team's colors of orange and navy were tributes to Florida's sunshine and the Apollo program, respectively. The team's helmets depicted Apollo, who commonly pictured as an archer, shooting a bow-and-arrow.
On April 2, 2019, the league's football operations were reportedly suspended, and on April 4 the league allowed players to leave their contracts to sign with NFL teams. The league filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on April 17, 2019.
On April 7, 2018, Orlando was announced as the first Alliance team along with its coach, Steve Spurrier. On September 20, the league announced four inaugural eastern franchises' names and logos including the Orlando Apollos. On December 4, 2018, the team and iHeart Media announced its broadcasting arrangements.
On February 20, 2019, the league announced that due to Florida worker's compensation laws, the Apollos had moved its practices to Camden County High School in Kingsland, Georgia, with players being housed at hotels in Jacksonville, Florida, and commuting to home games in Orlando. The AAF was unable to secure a league-wide insurance plan prior to the start of the season, and while the state of Georgia will arrange worker's compensation insurance for any business, including professional sports where the majority of practices are held in the state, Florida does not classify professional athletes as employees.
The Apollos began play on February 9, winning their first game in blowout fashion, defeating the Atlanta Legends at Spectrum Stadium, 40–6. They would follow the opening win up with another high-scoring effort on the road, defeating the San Antonio Commanders, 37–29. They would win their first five games, and were the AAF's last undefeated team in the inaugural season before losing to the Arizona Hotshots on March 16, 22–17. However, they bounced back the next week by beating the Atlanta Legends, 36–6, to become the first team in the inaugural season to qualify for the playoffs.
After the league’s suspension of football operations, head coach Spurrier, by virtue of the team's league-leading record, stated, "we’ve got to be the champs, right?" FanDuel Sportsbook declared the Apollos "honorary champions", while paying out futures bets placed on all AAF teams.
The team's assigned area, which designates player rights, includes the following:
National Football League (NFL)
Canadian Football League (CFL)
Apollos' games were broadcast on iHeartRadio's Real Radio 104.1 FM with the Apollos' weekly radio show heard Thursdays on WYGM and WJRR HD-2 channel, while a weekday program was heard on a group of thirteen area radio stations. The Apollos also had a weekly TV show every Wednesday night at 11 p.m. on Cox's TV 27. The program, APOLLOS FOOTBALL with Steve Spurrier, allowed fans to get a deeper look at the team, with player features, behind-the-scenes access, and detailed analysis following each game.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 "Central Florida's newly named football team — the Orlando Apollos — is ready to blast off on a sun-filled, fun-filled journey". Orlando Sentinel. https://www.orlandosentinel.com/sports/open-mike/os-orlando-apollos-alliance-spurrier-gators-20180919-story.html. Retrieved September 20, 2018.
- ↑ Kercheval, Ben (April 2, 2019). "AAF operations suspended, league's future in doubt after eight games of first season". https://www.cbssports.com/aaf/news/aaf-operations-reportedly-suspended-leagues-future-in-doubt-after-eight-games-of-first-season/. Retrieved 2019-04-02.
- ↑ "AAF to immediately suspend operations". April 2, 2019. http://www.espn.com/espn/story/_/id/26423928/source-aaf-immediately-suspend-operations. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
- ↑ Schwartz, Nick (April 4, 2019). "AAF star Keith Reaser becomes first player to sign NFL deal after league shutdown". USA Today. https://ftw.usatoday.com/2019/04/aaf-keith-reaser-kansas-city-chiefs. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
- ↑ 
- ↑ Steimle, Kevin; Breech, John (April 7, 2018). "Steve Spurrier announced as first coach and Orlando first host city for Alliance of American Football" (in en). CBSSports.com. https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/steve-spurrier-announced-as-first-coach-and-orlando-first-host-city-for-alliance-of-american-football/. Retrieved April 7, 2018.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Lundine, Susan (December 4, 2018). "Orlando Apollos pro football team snags radio deal with iHeart Media". Orlando Business Journal. https://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/news/2018/12/04/orlando-apollos-pro-football-team-snags-radio-deal.html. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
- ↑ "Orlando Apollos set final roster". Alliance of American Football. January 30, 2019. https://aaf.com/orlando-apollos-set-final-roster. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
- ↑ "Alliance of American Football schedule released for Arizona Hotshots, other 7 teams" (in en). AZ Central (USA Today Network). October 16, 2018. https://www.azcentral.com/story/sports/football/2018/10/16/alliance-american-football-arizona-hotshots-2019-schedule/1658993002/. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
- ↑ Bianchi, Mike (February 20, 2019). "Orlando Apollos will start practicing in Georgia because of Florida workers' compensation laws". Orlando Sentinel. https://www.orlandosentinel.com/sports/open-mike/os-sp-orlando-apollos-workmans-comp-georgia-practice-20190219-story.html#nt=oft12aH-3gp2. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
- ↑ Florio, Mike (March 24, 2019). "Orlando Apollos clinch AAF playoff berth". https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2019/03/24/orlando-apollos-clinch-aaf-playoff-berth/. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
- ↑ Regan, Brett (April 3, 2019). "AAF Champs? There’s Another Orlando Team Claiming a Football Title". https://fanbuzz.com/aaf/steve-spurrier-apollos-aaf-champs/. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
- ↑ Fawkes, Ben (April 4, 2019). "FanDuel to pay out all AAF futures bets for $10K". http://www.espn.com/chalk/story/_/id/26434469/fanduel-pay-all-aaf-futures-bets-10k. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
- ↑ Inabinett, Mark (July 12, 2018). "Alabama, Auburn players to go on Birmingham AAF team's assignment list". AL.com (Alabama Media Group). https://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2018/07/alabama_auburn_on_birminghams.html. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
- ↑ Boyce, Christopher (8 February 2019). "Orlando Apollos season kicks off this weekend; WRDQ TV 27 to broadcast 4 games for 2019". https://www.wftv.com/sports/orlando-apollos-season-kicks-off-this-weekend-wrdq-tv-27-to-broadcast-4-games-for-2019/916723093.
- Bianchi, Mike (April 2, 2019). "Demise of AAF leaves Steve Spurrier, Apollos players feeling betrayed". https://www.orlandosentinel.com/sports/open-mike/os-sp-aaf-suspends-operations-spurrier-apollos-20190402-story.html. Retrieved April 3, 2019.