*sigh…* Here we go again… The XFL is coming back in 2020. “Why?” you may ask; well I’ll tell you why. It’s because about a year ago, 17-25 year old white dudes with Twitter accounts watched a 30 for 30 about something that happened in 2001. Something that they had never heard of. Shockingly, the youthful whites liked the football movie! Hooray! Guess where they shared their thoughts and opinions on the football movie… Anyone know? That’s right! Twitter dot com: The home of opinions. You know who saw those opinions? Good ole’ Vince McMahon, the XFL’s ex-founder. So Vince decided to do the dumbest thing he has ever done since create the XFL the first time: create it a second time.
Vince McMahon is relaunching the XFL, promising a “shorter, faster-paced, family-friendly, and easier to understand” re-imagining of football. pic.twitter.com/0QCqcdjoRO
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 25, 2018
If you live under a rock and don’t know what the XFL is, here’s a quick summary. It was founded in 1999 by WWE founder Vince McMahon and played only one season in 2000-2001. The goal was to steal the NFL audience in the springtime and let Vince play-out his vision of football. It was also a complete failure. It had very low ratings, very bad football, and a very gimmicky environment. However, it did have a few things come out of it. It was the very first sport to have the “Skycam”, Mic-ing up players, and sideline interviews, all of which the NFL soon adapted. It had nicknames on jerseys, 50 yard scramble fights for the football rather than a coin toss, ridiculous WWE-esque cut-aways, skimpy-outfitted cheerleaders and much more ridiculousness. If you haven’t seen last years ESPN 30 for 30 “This Was The XFL” you really should.
But back to the revival. While this could end up being really cool, I think it has the potential to be an even bigger flop than it was the first time. In this article, I will give you all of my reasons why:
Reason #1: Vince McMahon might go broke. Ok, this is an exaggeration. Vince McMahon’s net worth is 1.62 billion. So he won’t actually become broke. However, he could lose a ton of money in this. He reportedly sold all of the remaining shares of his baby -the WWE- to fund this XFL comeback. The XFL’s first rendition had a 100-million dollar budget and ended up becoming a net loss of 35-million. So if this time around flops like the first one, Vince has a lot to lose.
Reason #2: Professional football is dying. I might have hyperbolized there, but there is some truth to that. Have you heard? The NFL’s ratings are way down. So simply, if the NFL isn’t getting as many viewers, why would people watch a watered down version of it in the spring. The CFL does in fact still exist, and it’s not stealing those numbers.
Reason #3: It isn’t going to be what it once was advertised as. The once advertised league as an alternative to the NFL is now going to try to become the NFL. In his press conference, McMahon made it clear that this wasn’t going to be the same type of league from 16 years ago. He said that they were actually going to be concerned with player safety (shoutout Jeff Brohm), they are unsure of nicknames on jerseys, Vince will not have any type of on-screen role, and much more. This is sounding like the complete opposite of the first XFL. It’s already sounding like they want it to be much more serious this time around on not a league of both excitement, entertainment, and showmanship that the original league made its very short-lived name off of.
Reason #4: If you’re a convict, you get no contract. Yeah you heard that right. Vince wants Zero guys with a history with the law playing in his league. Which is simply unfair. The biggest name circling around this league is-to no surprise -Johnny Manziel. Johnny was arrested for disorderly conduct, failure to produce identification, and possession of a fictitious driver’s license in 2012, so this automatically rules out a huge name who tweeted that he has interest to play in the league! This league could’ve potentially given ex-NFL’ers a second chance if they were ever kicked from the league due to law trouble. I mean can you just imagine if you got to see Johnny Football tossing touchdowns to Justin Blackmon? Where is Justin Blackmon by the way? Man, that guy could’ve been so good…
— Johnny Manziel (@JManziel2) January 25, 2018
Reason #5: Safety. Player safety and concussions are a huge deal right now. More and more brain scans are starting to show football has a direct correlation to CTE and other brain damages. Concussions are so dangerous, and the NFL is expected to pay out 1 billion dollars in the next 65 years for their massive, and growing concussion settlement. So what makes you think a league where to determine possession, they charge straight at each other for 50 yards and dive for a ball headfirst will be safe? The XFL is gonna be paying $4000 a week to guys who will be drooling in a wheelchair 30 years from now if this league, by some miracle, ends up existing for more than a year this time.
Reason #6: They want nothing to do with politics or any type of social commentary. Yet, Vince made it clear that players will be required to stand for the National Anthem before games. As in of it will be in their contracts. The league wants everything to be centered around the sport of football. So is the XFL making its own political statement with this decision? Go ahead and debate.
Reason #7: They have absolutely zero plan. Literally none at all. Vince got up for this announcement and said that him and his team have been doing lots of market research on where to locate these 8 teams. translation: they have no idea what they’re doing, or how they are going to do it. Hmm… I wonder if I can think of another alternative football league that was a major disappointment and flopped after only one year due to a lack of planning… oh wait! THAT. WAS. THE. XFL.
Even through all of my hate-speech toward it, I really do want to be wrong. I’d love to see the XFL succeed. I love Vince McMahon and everything he has done with the WWE. I just find it highly unlikely that the XFL has any chance of making any impact on the sport of football with all of these reasons and more stacked against it… for the second time.