Vince McMahon announced today that he is bringing back the XFL. It is slated to begin play in 2020. Vince claims he wants to give football back to the fans. Let’s hope for better success this time around.
The XFL originally debuted in 2001 with 8 teams. It was a joint venture between WWF & NBC with games shown on NBC, UPN, and TNN. All teams were owned by the league and the rules were geared towards a gladiator-style of play, safety be damned. But it fizzled rather quickly, with McMahon himself calling it a colossal failure.
I’m very interested to see what happens this time. I watched some of the games back in 2001. It was fun, it was a little different. But I slowly lost interest, primarily due to the lack of talent in the league. It had more of a beer-league softball aura about it. We can credit the XFL for the popularity of the skycam. They were the first sport/league to use it with any semblance of regularity. So what does the league need to do in order to gain longevity in a world that throws away anything that even starts to bore them?
Talent; it needs to be laden with a higher talent level. I think this should be fairly easy. Think of some of your favorite college players that didn’t quite make it. We’re also living in a much more transparent world. More eyes = more talent found. I feel that if the league focuses more on talent and less on extremism, it could be successful. My Vegas pal, @paulzilm, is skeptical, and rightly so. He, like others, doesn’t think the demand for more football is there. He may be right, but time will tell.
This topic will be discussed quite often over the next 2 years, so buckle up. I hope it works, but I won’t be disappointed if it doesn’t. I don’t need the extra football, I just want it. You can bet that I’ll be looking into starting an XFL Fantasy League though. Who’s in?