After less than a week since the Super Bowl, a new professional football takes the field. It’s called the XFL, and the league owners hope to fill stadiums with the same fan excitement you would see in the worlds of professional football and pro wrestling. You heard me right, pro wrestling.
When I first heard of the XFL, the first idea that popped into my head was “X,” as in X-Y-Z, a term used to describe a random object, situation, or person. I had to ask myself, “What is the XFL? When and where do they play? How long is the season? How many teams?” I’m a football fan. These are all valid questions. The XFL isn’t anything new but rather a reboot of a previously failed league of the same name looking to reestablish itself in the world of pro sports. I was a little confused.
The original XFL league was formed in 2001 by WWE executive Vince McMahon. McMahon was banking on capturing any leftover desire to watch football following the NFL season. The XFL promised “rougher play with fewer rules” than the NFL. It sounded more like pick-up football in my neighborhood as a kid, where you commonly made your way home with a fat lip, bloody nose, and plenty of strains and sprains. And, to take the excitement to a whole new level, the league’s announcers even came from the world of WWE.
Even though the league was called a “colossal failure,” McMahon tried to resurrect the league in 2018.
But, after only five months, the stadium lights went dark, once again, and the football season came to a screeching halt as league owners filed for bankruptcy. Covid-19 sacked that season. However, there may be a happy ending to this story.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson purchased the fumbling league and has aspirations of filling stadiums with the same excitement as the NFL and WWE combined. It’s a twofer. Except, I doubt there are. Johnson is a recognizable figure as an A-list Hollywood actor who started his carrier in the NFL and pro wrestling.
The XFL consists of 8 teams: The St. Lois Battle Hawks, Arlington Renegades, Seattle Sea Dragons, San Antonio Brahmas, Houston Roughnecks, DC Defenders, Vegas Vipers, and the Orlando Guardians. The league hopes to find a niche with a minor-league-type sports audience across America.
Who knows, instead of seeing trick plays and hearing audibles, fans may scream nice “Squash” or know the game isn’t a “Kayfabe.” Teams hope to “Push” during this season and not experience a “Burial” like in past years.
The teams each play a 10-week regular season. The XFL playoffs are scheduled for late April. The Championship is in mid-May.
XFL games are televised on ESPN and ABC.
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