XFL Set to Return
Vince McMahon brings back the league having learned his lesson
Vince McMahon set social media on blaze Thursday when he revealed his new vision of the XFL. The teaser video involved ideas for less infractions, more ball, less stall, fantasy, betting, etc. The idea in Vince’s own words is to “give the game of football back to fans”. Some ideas thrown around were less commercial breaks or eliminating a halftime. So what does that mean? And most importantly, what’s next?
Vince stated there will be eight teams in the inception of the new XFL that will play ten game regular seasons, culminating in a 4 team playoff. Unlike the original XFL in 2001, Vince stated he will not be the face of the league and they will be looking to hire real football executives that will make decisions regarding the league. There will also be no crossover in terms of WWE talent coming to the XFL, for example Jim Ross or Michael Cole will not be commentating the games.
There were obviously some questions about bending the knee and if that there will be some sort of rule stating the players MUST stand if they were to sign a contract in the league? Mostly those questions were sidestepped but comments made before the press conference seem to indicate that players will have to stand for the anthem and during the press conference Vince mentioned the XFL will not be a league that caters to players political opinions and they should do those things on their own time or social medias.
As a lifelong wrestling fan and someone who admires Vince McMahon as a businessman I am immensely excited to see him go back into the football market once again. I was one of the few who stuck with the XFL in its entirety in 2001 and there was some talent on the field such as the one and only league MVP and XFL champion Tommy Maddox who went on to quarterback the Pittsburgh Steelers.
And to be fair I think it’s a great step for Vince to hire others to run the league and for him to be the financier as opposed to the GM of the league, along with taking two years to do research on cities, players, etc. I think it shows that he’s willing to learn from previous mistakes to make this new XFL as successful as possible.
In my opinion I think it’s a little outrageous to think that you can tell players to not have social opinions, which they state they aren’t doing, allowing the use of voicing their opinions on their own time using their own social medias or whatsoever. That idea seems to be archaic and I think they may have trouble finding players willing to abide by those rule sets. But in a post President Trump election America it is very likely there is a group of people who will find the idea of a league making a rule to force players to stand appealing, albeit a niche market.
Another idea brought upon us by Vince McMahon was that the players must not only be good football players, but more importantly, good human beings. He stated that if a player were even to have a DUI on his record, then that player would most likely not be able to join the league. Ruling out a guy like Johnny Manziel so quickly is a bad move in my opinion. He did make mention that if Tim Tebow were interested that the door would be open, but side stepped the idea of Colin Kaepernick.
Finding cities may be trouble, I’m not sure how the search will occur. I think that cities like San Diego, Oakland, and St. Louis should be the first three on the shortlist. Since they already have football stadiums ready to be played in on day one. I would also look to play in cities that already have NFL stadiums you could potentially rent out for the duration of the XFL season. Mr. McMahon stated they haven’t even begun the search for potential cities.
I think this league can be successful and it’s possible that it will serve as a great appetizer in between NFL seasons if the standard of football is good enough. I like the idea of trying to shorten the game to be able to occur in 2 hours, which I think will make watching games less tedious. The idea of Vince not being the face of the league is a great idea, as it will allow the brand to distance itself from the albeit successful but polarizing WWE.
The success of this league will come down to how it is ran, in terms of the rule changes that were hinted to and how traditional football fans react. Too much change could doom the league before the start, but if there’s some “re imagining” ideas that seem legitimate and help the game potentially, it could grow intrigue instantly. If there is one man I’m not counting out or underestimating it’s Vincent Kennedy McMahon. I’m intrigued and excited to see where the league ends up in these next two years.