In just a few short months, the Tennessee Football Alliance will kick off its inaugural season and eight teams – mostly from the Nashville and Louisville areas – will line up and battle their way through the round-robin gauntlet and the playoffs, looking to hoist the Bill Caldwell Cup at season’s end.
“I’ve been a part of two leagues so far and I’m just an entrepreneur type of person, if I’m a part of something and I think it could be taken to the next level, I try to do that,” TFA co-commissioner Ricky Prochaska told Developmental Football USA.
Prochaska and fellow co-commissioner Scott Wallace have worked around the clock for the past several months, striving to make the TFA one of the nation’s premier developmental football leagues. In just their first season, the TFA will to provide its members with more perks and opportunities than most leagues at this level, with plans to do even more down the road.
“We feel like a lot of corners get cut in some leagues,” Prochaska said. “You’ve really got to go above and beyond to make it elite. We’re going to provide championship rings to the winners. Every game is going to have film posted. We’re going to have an All-Star Game. We’re working out a TV deal. We’re working to host CFL combines. We’re doing a youth football academy.”
On top of strengthening and taking care of league members, the TFA also plans to continue giving back to the Nashville community. This weekend, the TFA is hosting its second annual Toy Bowl.
“We’re going to be avid in the community,” Prochaska said. “We’re going to go out and do stuff for the homeless and do stuff for the kids and just try to impact everything in a great way. Everything goes hand in hand, as far as one thing feeds off of another. You’ve got to do everything top notch.”
The league members will be divided geographically into two conferences. The Music City Conference will include the Clarksville Wolfpack, the Dickson Chaos, the Louisville Piranhas and the Tennessee Fury, while the Volunteer State Conference will feature the Clarksville Airborne, the Clarksville Rattlers, the Middle Tennessee Bulldawgs and the Nashville Raiders.
“There are not many leagues across the U.S. that provide rings,” Prochaska. “The winner gets a trophy yeah, but everybody plays for a ring. That’s what everybody wants. A lot of leagues say they’re about getting players to the next level, but we’re actually going to do that.”
The seven-week regular season will begin in February and each team will play each other once. The team with the best record in each conference will get a first round bye in the playoffs and the team with the worst record will be eliminated. Then, the No. 2 and No. 3 teams in each conference will play, with the winner advancing to the conference championship.
The conference winners will then play for the Bill Caldwell Cup in the TFA Bowl on April 14.
“He was the owner of the Nashville Storm in Nashville,” Prochaska said. “The Storm is the most decorated team in Tennessee. They won countless championships.”
One week after the championship game will be the TFA All-Star game, where the Top 40 players from each conference will battle it out. The game will be followed by the league awards ceremony, as well as the TFA youth football awards ceremony.
“We’re doing everything we can to put our name out there,” Prochaska said. “If you’re out in the city of Nashville, you can look and see us on a billboard. Former NFL players are contacting us about being a part of it. It’s a real cool thing we’ve got going on.
“We wouldn’t have made this much progress without several behind-the scenes people. We want to thank everybody that helped us get to this point, it takes a total team effort when doing something on this large of a scale.”