On the same day Tom Brady announced his retirement, a formerly debunked football league announced its return. 

The Arena Football League, which closed shop in 2019 after filing for bankruptcy, announced its return Michael Jordan style by mimicking the NBA legend's two-word press release after returning to the hardwood in 1995. 

With a new ownership group in tow, the AFL plans to make its return in 2024. The AFL's comeback season will feature 16 teams that will play a 10-game regular season during the summer. The AFL is slated to join the USFL and XFL as professional football leagues that will play games outside the NFL calendar. 

The league has yet to announce which cities will have teams when the league resumes play next year. The league had teams stationed in Albany (NY), Atlantic City, Baltimore, Columbus (OH), Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. when the league was last in business. 

The AFL's inaugural season took place in 1986 and ran uninterrupted until canceling the 2009 season due to economic reasons. Despite undergoing several changes, the league continued to operate until temporarily closing its doors in November 2019. 

While never as popular as the NFL, the AFL gained a respectable level of popularity during its first incarnation. The league saw a boost in popularity in the early 2000s after Kurt Warner -- formerly of the AFL's Iowa Barnstormers -- rose to fame as an MVP quarterback for the Rams. 

The AFL is an up-tempo, high-scoring brand of football that is played on a 50-yard field, half the size of a typical football field. Warner, who lit up the NFL during his magical 1999 season, credited the AFL for helping him adjust to the speed of the NFL when he became the Rams' starting quarterback.