XFL to announce Washington’s Head Coach on Thursday

Former Michigan assistant head coach and Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton is rumored to be the first Head Coach of the Washington D.C. XFL franchise.

The XFL has announced it will reveal the Washington, D.C. franchise’s Head Coach on Thursday.

  • Event: Thursday February 21st at 1:00PM ET. Audi Field, Washington D.C.

The candidate doesn’t seem to be a secret, as the rumor mill has already spit out former Michigan assistant head coach and Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton as the man who will be named to the position.

Hamilton has plenty of football experience, with eleven seasons coaching in the NFL with the Jets, 49ers, Bears and Colts, and most recently with the 2016 Cleveland Browns. Early this month, Hamilton resigned his position at Michigan to “pursue other opportunities.”

Other former NFL players and coaches who are rumored to have been courted for an XFL Head Coach position are former Linebacker and Indiana University of Pennsylvania alum, Jim Haslett, and former Seattle Seahawks quarterback Jim Zorn.

XFL broadcast plans may include surprises

Mcmahon feels fans want “totally different ways” to watch football.

In January 2019, Sports Business Journal reported the XFL was looking for broadcast partners that would air nearly all their games. They also reported that the league was in talks with ABC/ESPN and Fox Sports.

Today, we await an announcement about the XFL’s major network broadcasting plan, which we are told is imminent. We also remain curious about the XFL’s plan to stream games online in “totally different ways.”

When the XFL was relaunched, back in January 2018, Vince McMahon stated that he felt that fans wanted more out of their sports broadcast, and they did not necessarily want digital streams to be a straight simulcast of a television broadcast. He felt they wanted “totally different ways” to watch football.

McMahon claimed he aimed to leverage digital streaming as part of broadcasting arrangements for the XFL, and that, unlike in 2001, the XFL would not consider viewership to be an important statistic.

“To me the landscape has changed in so many different ways. Just look at technology and companies like Facebook and Amazon bidding for sports rights. Even if ratings go down, there’s no denying that live sports rights continue to be valuable and continue to deliver,” McMahon stated as part of the XFL relaunch.

So, you can play football, have nobody watch on broadcast television, and still produce a valuable product?

When McMahon said “valuable,” one of the things he may be referring to is online gaming. For example, when the AAF kicked off two weekends ago, their game day experience came with an App where users could follow the game in real time and predict the next play. Although there is no money changing hands, this type of live game prediction could easily lend to gambling, and this is where many feel the AAF may find its greatest success.

Will the XFL follow suit? Likely so.

In 2001, the XFL changed the way football was broadcast, with live mics, on-field cameras, and extensive use of a Skycam, which is now a major part of any football broadcast. Today, we await to see how the XFL will re-invent live streaming, and now, online sports gaming.

Surprise us.

Fan’s Choice: XFL Team Names

The fans have spoken! What do the names Dallas Outlaws, Houston Oilers, Los Angeles Avengers, New York Hitmen, St. Louis Stallions, Seattle Wolfpack, Tampa Bay Sharks and Washington Generals have in common? They were the top vote-getters in our “Fan Choice: Team Name Poll.”

Why did we do this? Mainly, to give XFL fans a voice. Plus, we did it back in 2000, and it was a whole lot of fun. Why not do it again? Just as in 2000, we understand the league’s marketing team is in the process of selecting team names using more stringent criteria than we have presented. That’s their job, and we respect them for it. We just wanted to have a little fun while we waited for the official team name announcement.

Two Rounds of Voting

In the first round of voting, 14 – 28 January 2019, we asked fans to submit team name ideas for each of the eight XFL cities. For each city, we compiled a list of the most popular team name suggestions.

In the second round of voting, 28 January – 14 February, fans were asked to vote on as many of the team name suggestions they thought were worthy. As well, fans were allowed to “write-in” any team name they thought was better than the suggested names.

Voting was strong. In the second round, fans made a total of 18,258 unique votes. By “unique” we mean multiple entries by the same IP address were filtered, leaving only the first entry by any particular IP address as a counting vote. By doing this, we ensured any one individual couldn’t sway the results through multiple entries.

Results

We present to you the results of the XFLBoard Team Name Fan Choice voting.

Dallas (2391 total votes)

  1. Outlaws – 12.7%
  2. Desperados – 12.0%
  3. Gunslingers – 11.3%
  4. Wranglers – 8.2%
  5. Marshals – 7.1%
  6. Vipers – 4.6%
  7. Longhorns – 4.5%
  8. Defenders – 4.4%
  9. Dinosaurs – 4.2%
  10. Dragons – 4.1%
  11. Posse – 4.0%
  12. Red Riders – 3.7%
  13. Sheriffs – 3.6%
  14. Dynamos – 2.7%
  15. Toros – 2.1%
  16. Leviathans – 1.9%
  17. Barbs – 1.8%
  18. Stars – 0.3% (write-in)
  19. Armadillos – 0.2% (write-in)
  20. Bulls – 0.2% (write-in)
  21. Lone Stars – 0.2% (write-in)
  22. Demons – 0.1% (write-in)
  23. Drillers – 0.1% (write-in)
  24. Dynasty – 0.1% (write-in)

Houston (2580 total votes)

  1. Oilers – 16.1%
  2. Roughnecks – 10.5%
  3. Outlaws – 8.0%
  4. Gamblers – 7.8%
  5. Hustlers – 6.5%
  6. Wranglers – 6.5%
  7. Comets – 5.8%
  8. Stampede – 5.8%
  9. Drillers – 5.6%
  10. Moonlanders – 4.0%
  11. Riggers – 2.8%
  12. Howlers – 2.7%
  13. Wildcatters – 2.5%
  14. Vaqueros – 2.4%
  15. Navigators – 2.3%
  16. Launch – 2.1%
  17. Bullriders – 2.1%
  18. Guns – 1.9%
  19. Harriers – 1.1%
  20. Apollos – 0.2% (write-in)
  21. Riders – 0.2% (write-in)
  22. Hurricane – 0.2% (write-in)
  23. Hazards – 0.2% (write-in)
  24. Voyagers – 0.1% (write-in)
  25. Rodeo – 0.1% (write-in)

Los Angeles (1988 total votes)

  1. Avengers – 10.2%
  2. Extreme – 9.5%
  3. Quakes – 9.2%
  4. Assault – 7.0%
  5. Archangels – 6.6%
  6. Stars – 6.4%
  7. Sabercats – 6.3%
  8. Conquistadors – 5.5%
  9. Legends – 4.9%
  10. Rush – 4.7%
  11. Watchmen – 4.6%
  12. Condors – 4.3%
  13. Sabertooths – 3.8%
  14. Heat – 3.4%
  15. Breakers – 3.2%
  16. Pacifics – 3.2%
  17. Paradise – 1.7%
  18. Ravers – 1.7%
  19. Knights – 0.2% (write-in)
  20. Raiders – 0.2% (write-in)
  21. Stars – 0.2% (write-in)

New York (2081  total votes)

  1. Hitmen – 14.3%
  2. Empire – 12.6%
  3. Knights – 11.8%
  4. Nighthawks – 9.1%
  5. Emperors – 7.6%
  6. Liberty – 6.5%
  7. Apples – 6.4%
  8. Guardians – 5.7%
  9. Imperials – 4.7%
  10. Hustlers – 3.9%
  11. Rail Cats – 3.9%
  12. Kings – 3.7%
  13. Scrapers – 2.5%
  14. Pumas – 2.4%
  15. Dominion – 2.3%
  16. Generals – 0.1% (write-in)
  17. Gothams – 0.1% (write-in)

St. Louis (2264  total votes)

  1. Stallions – 14.8%
  2. Archers – 14.6%
  3. Spartans – 9.7%
  4. Clydesdales – 8.7%
  5. Sentinels – 8.0%
  6. River Rats – 7.6%
  7. Spirits – 7.1%
  8. Rhinos – 5.8%
  9. Frontiersmen – 4.0%
  10. Blues – 3.9%
  11. Gateway – 3.6%
  12. Steeds – 3.3%
  13. Plainsmen – 2.5%
  14. Flow – 1.7%
  15. Rams – 0.5% (write-in)
  16. Knights – 0.5% (write-in)
  17. Steam – 0.2% (write-in)
  18. Explorers – 0.2% (write-in)
  19. Silverbacks – 0.2% (write-in)
  20. Browns – 0.1% (write-in)
  21. Saints – 0.1% (write-in)
  22. Steamers – 0.1% (write-in)

Seattle (2225  total votes)

  1. Wolfpack – 9.5%
  2. Sasquatches – 8.8%
  3. Lumberjacks – 8.5%
  4. Emeralds – 8.4%
  5. Sea Monsters – 7.3%
  6. Tridents – 6.4%
  7. Steelheads – 6.2%
  8. Stingrays – 5.8%
  9. Orcas – 4.9%
  10. Scream – 4.9%
  11. Timberwolves – 4.8%
  12. Knights – 3.8%
  13. Kings – 3.3%
  14. Lynx – 3.2%
  15. Silencers – 2.9%
  16. Stallions – 2.9%
  17. Needle – 2.9%
  18. Sonics – 0.4% (write-in)
  19. Grunge – 0.2% (write-in)
  20. Supersonics – 0.2% (write-in)
  21. Kraken – 0.2% (write-in)
  22. Reign – 0.2% (write-in)
  23. Storm – 0.2% (write-in)
  24. Dragons – 0.1% (write-in)
  25. Rain – 0.1% (write-in)
  26. Seals – 0.1% (write-in)
  27. Thunder – 0.1% (write-in)

Tampa Bay (2477  total votes)

  1. Sharks – 16.9%
  2. Tiger Sharks – 10.7%
  3. Bandits – 9.7%
  4. Barracuda – 8.2%
  5. Blaze – 6.7%
  6. Pirates – 6.5%
  7. Thunderbirds – 6.1%
  8. Tsunami – 5.6%
  9. Tridents – 5.2%
  10. Vipers – 4.6%
  11. Blazers – 3.2%
  12. Bombardiers – 2.7%
  13. Rouges – 2.5%
  14. Aviators – 2.5%
  15. Corsairs – 2.5%
  16. Bulls – 1.7%
  17. Rangers – 1.5%
  18. Hurricane – 0.2% (write-in)
  19. Thunder – 0.2% (write-in)
  20. Storm – 0.2% (write-in)
  21. Hurricanes – 0.2% (write-in)
  22. Tigers – 0.2% (write-in)
  23. Rays – 0.1% (write-in)

Washington D.C. (2262  total votes)

  1. Generals – 13.9%
  2. Federals – 11.0%
  3. Warlords – 7.9%
  4. Sentinels – 7.9%
  5. Warriors – 7.9%
  6. Senators – 7.0%
  7. Defenders – 6.0%
  8. Americans – 6.0%
  9. Warhorses – 5.8%
  10. Blue Coats – 5.6%
  11. Cadets – 4.2%
  12. Guardians – 4.2%
  13. Presidents – 4.0%
  14. Pride – 3.4%
  15. Impact – 2.7%
  16. Warhawks – 0.4% (write-in)
  17. Bullets – 0.1% (write-in)
  18. Force – 0.1% (write-in)
  19. Warbirds – 0.1% (write-in)

 

XFL Rumor Mill is Churning

Rumored XFL Head Coaches: Pep Hamilton (left) and Jim Haslett (right).

It has been a busy weekend! Not only did the AAF kickoff their inaugural football season, the XFL was basking in their recent victory of hiring Oklahoma Sooners coach Bob Stoops to a Head Coaching job in Dallas, and still made time to celebrate a one-year countdown until their own kickoff in 2020. However, the XFL excitement didn’t end there, as the rumor mill was churning out more Head Coach candidates.

On Saturday, Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports reported that Pep Hamilton, who recently resigned at Michigan, is now expected to become Head Coach and General Manager of the XFL franchise in Washington, D.C.

Hamilton has plenty of football experience, with eleven seasons coaching in the NFL with the Jets, 49ers, Bears and Colts, and most recently with the 2016 Cleveland Browns.

However, the rumors did not end there.

On Sunday, radio personality Benjamin Allbright alluded to the fact Jim Haslett would likely be signed by the XFL, although he did not indicate which city he would coach for.

Haslett, a Linebacker and former Indiana University of Pennsylvania alum, was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the second round of the 1979 NFL Draft. He played for the Bills, until 1985, and then continued with the New York Jets until 1987. As a coach he held the position of linebacker’s coach for the Cincinnati Bengals, and then Head Coach of the Florida Tuskers (UFL), New Orleans Saints, and St. Louis Rams.

Keep in mind, Allbright was correct when he dished that Bob Stoops would be hired as Head Coach of the Dallas franchise. We fully expect that he has the inside track on this information as well.

XFL Running on Vibe

XFL Commissioner Oliver Luck is promoting the league through positive vibe.

For XFL 2.0, it’s halftime in the two-year runway from inception to kickoff. Taking the approach of the “tortoise” in a well-known children’s fable, the XFL has let the “hare” race towards the finish line at double-speed.

Of course, the hare is the Alliance of American Football, who is kicking off their inaugural season in one short week.  They announced their endeavor later than the XFL, but they have rushed through the task of creating a league, establishing eight teams, hiring coaches, players, officials, signing television contracts, and selling tickets. All that is left is to kickoff the football and measure their success.

Meanwhile, much like the tortoise, the XFL seems to be plodding along.  Slow and steady wins the race, right?

In the midst of massive Super Bowl hype, XFL Commissioner Oliver Luck spent time in Atlanta speaking positively about his league to anyone who would listen. Without a big bag of “hype” to spread around, Luck relied on a positive vibe meant to assure the world that the XFL was doing the right things at the right time, and their pace would lead to success.

Luck talked about Vince McMahon being hands-on, but only as hands-on as one would expect from a CEO of a company. “It’s vertically integrated. That’s what the experts say,” said Luck. Reading between the lines, the positive vibe was that McMahon is involved, but not as involved as the first incarnation of the XFL.

Luck also framed the previous XFL’s limited success by spinning a positive vibe. “We want to do things differently but not be ‘gimmicky.’ People looked at the XFL in 2001 and saw two things that the football population might’ve viewed as gimmicky and weren’t accepted were the skycam and on-field reporters. Nobody was doing that stuff back then and now it’s commonplace.”

He’s right about that.

Luck also gave a positive nod to future XFL officiating by describing a planned nine-person officiating crew with an official stationed in “the truck” meant to quickly handle replays or missed calls in 30 seconds or less.

He had all the answers.

Luck also addressed league salaries, hiring coaches and players, and its relationship with the NFL. He answered all questions with aplomb, demonstrating the coolness of his leadership, i.e., more positive vibe for the XFL.

Clearly, the motive of the XFL was to be able to score points during the NFL’s biggest weekend, and in the shadow of the AAF kickoff, a league seen as their biggest competitor.

Remember that tortoise? He had a positive vibe. He won the race.

The Past

If you recall, a year ago, on Super Bowl Sunday, the XFL released a set of humorous videos attacking the NFL over some of the things the fans hate about the league: confusion over when a catch is a catch, the slow pace of the NFL game, and rules in the NFL that are confusing.

We await to see if the XFL is preparing a new attack on the NFL, or if they are now more content to let their positive vibe carry them along.

Oliver Luck: XFL not a Developmental league for the NFL

In a radio interview, XFL Commissioner Oliver Luck was adamant that Vince McMahon’s startup league, was not positioning itself as a developmental league for the NFL.

“Vince wants to develop a sustainable, standalone league,” Luck said. “He doesn’t want to be a developmental league. I ran a developmental league for 10 years, but I think Vince’s mindset is to build something that can last and sustain itself on its own without any support from the NFL or anyone else.”

Luck said the XFL is close to announcing broadcast agreements,, and clearly NFL Network will not be a partner.

Luck also clarified other details:

  • There will be drug testing for performance enhancing drugs.
  • Nicknames like “He Hate Me” is something the XFL will move away from.
  • Head coaches will make $500,000/year. Top players can make up to $250,000/year. There will likely be bonuses to teams for winning games.

Submit Your Choices for XFL Team Names

In 2000, XFLBoard.com asked the fans to weigh in on their choices for XFL 1.0 team names.  The results were interesting: http://xflboard.com/team-name-suggestion.php

We are doing it again! XFL fans are encouraged to submit their choices for the new XFL team names. Please submit your choices in the form below. Name and email addresses are optional.

We will publish a summary of the “FAN CHOICES” in the near future.

 

Team name submission is closed. Click here to vote on your favorite submissions.

The XFL pokes fun at the NFL on Superbowl Sunday

It’s been just over a week that the XFL has announced plans to re-launch in 2020, and they’re already attempting to take on the NFL. Not to mention showing moxy, by poking fun on Superbowl Sunday, the NFL’s biggest day of the year.

The XFL twitter account @XFL2020 posted three videos, all poking fun on nuances of the NFL that they feel makes the game less exciting to watch: Confusion over when a catch is a catch, the slow pace of the NFL game, and rules in the NFL that are confusing.

In the XFL, a catch is a catch.

Less stall, more ball.

Simpler rules.

The XFL Kicked-off Seventeen Years Ago Today

On February 3, 2001, the XFL kicked off with two Saturday night games broadcast live in prime time, split into east and west games.

In the west, the Las Vegas Outlaws hosted the New York/New Jersey Hitmen. Moments before the first ever scramble for the red-and-black football, Vince McMahon stood at the 50-yard line of Sam Boyd Stadium, and announced, “This is the XFL!” The sellout crowd was deafening.

The XFL’s quirky scramble for the ball, which replaced the traditional coin toss to determine who would have first choice of possession was the first change the fans witnessed. In the western matchup, Jamel Williams of the Las Vegas Outlaws came up with the ball over Donnie Caldwell of the New York/New Jersey Hitmen.

In the east, the Chicago Enforcers visited the Orlando Rage where fans witnessed Orlando’s Hassan Shamsid-Deen receive a separated shoulder in the opening scramble for the ball. An injury which unfortunately ended his XFL career. The game also saw receiver Kevin Swayne receive a deep pass from Quarterback Jeff Brohm, and score the first ever touchdown in XFL history.

Because of the XFL’s connection to the WWE, there was a notion that wrestling matches might break out. No wrestling took place… just hard-hitting football, played by journeymen who were largely participating for the love of the game.

Rumors Aside, Fans Should Take a Big Bite of a World Without the XFL

(Originally posted on TheFanForce.com)

Just like Andy Kaufman and the venerable Elvis, the XFL’s death was unsure and frought with rumors of revival. In the end the fans have lost out! The XFL’s revival will only be seen in the NFL’s new camera angles and the play of stars like LA Xtreme’s Tommy Maddox.

“Vince McMahon is a marketing genius. Everything he touches is golden.”

How many times had we heard these words when the XFL was first founded? It seemed like the thing to say at the time, especially for all the disillusioned football fans that were looking for something exciting to compete with the stodgy NFL.

The truth is that Vince McMahon IS a marketing genius. The marketing of the XFL leading up to the February 3rd kickoff was pure genius. The XFL surprised the sports world when over 10 million people tuned in to watch the first game.

The truth is also that everything he touches IS NOT golden. Here we have the proof.

Apparently even Vince McMahon has bosses. Namely the WWFE shareholders.

Once the inaugural XFL season was completed there was plenty to decide about the XFL. McMahon wouldn’t let on as to how much trouble the league was in. His only response to anyone who asked was that “there will definitely be another season.” Little did we know that Vince McMahon did not dare say anything else, lest the WWF stock dip even further.

WWFE shares had been falling from the start. Ever since the XFL was announced the stock had dove. Part of this was due to the entire stock market making a correction, but part of the blame was still directly on the shoulders of the XFL.

But who can actually fault the XFL? It was the media that had the public convinced that the XFL was a huge failure. The truth was that the XFL would have probably lost about $25 million on this first season and then lose an additional $10 million for two more years. Then the league would probably become a moneymaker. These loss figures were actually part of the original business plan for the league.

But what about the TV deal?

The truth is that losing the Saturday night slot on NBC was not part of the XFL’s failure. The XFL knew that the Saturday night experiment was a failure and was content to move the games to Sunday afternoons. The league also apparently had TNN ready to be the flagship network of the XFL’s Sunday afternoon broadcasts. The bottom line is that this would have downgraded the XFL’s broadcasting power to that of a minor league, equivalent to that of the Arena League or NFL Europe. But let the truth be told, the XFL was actually on this level.

So everything was in place for a second season, right?

Not so fast! This plan, as congenial as it sounds to sports fans, was not enough to appease stock analysts.

It was felt that without glowing good news about the XFL the WWFE stock would further decline. This could not happen. The WWF had already lost millions over the stock decline. Any further decline would create losses that would dwarf the mere $25 million that the corporation had lost through the XFL startup year.

On the other hand, news of the WWFE dropping the XFL would probably cause the stock to rebound.

So this is what happened. Quickly and decisively on May 10th the league was closed and the WWFE stock immediately showed signs of recovery.

Meanwhile, coaches, players, front office staff and most importantly, THE FANS were shocked.

The only hope came from a determined Mike Keller, the XFL’s Director of Football Operations, when it was reported on May 11th, 2001 in USA Today that he was going to try to keep this league alive: “Keller, it seems, already is talking about possibly keeping the XFL alive. “I’m going to assess things,” he said. “The branding of this thing is something to consider. The XFL is one of the best-known brands in sports now.”

Later in July, a rumor was leaked that Mike Keller was about to fail in his endeavor. In the end it was apparent that Mike Keller would not be allowed to continue the league, as he could not be allowed to succeed where Vince McMahon had one failed.

Now, with heavy hearts, I am here to represent the TRUE FANS of the XFL in pronouncing the XFL officially dead.

There will be some people that will call us fools for hanging on this long waiting for the league to be revived. But those that do so can shake their heads in disbelief all they want.

It was the true fans of the XFL that continued to believe that this new league could continue because it was simply a great idea.

Those true sports fans that actually stuck it out and watched the games and honestly enjoyed it will always wonder why such a good thing was considered to be so bad.

Comments

TheFanForce Responds:

Replies: 5 comments

O.K ths XFL is dead.But why Can’t other products live on? Like A video game,& Sports wear, How about an offical XFL fantasy football league by the WWF! Offering the winning franchise a million bucks! What would be the buy in? I just wish I could at least look foreward to playing a XFL PS2 video game by EA or Dreamcast! Somebody comment at my address. – Posted by Shaun Harrod @ 07/26/2001 03:18 PM CST

I sorely regret the end of this exciting, innovative, and different football league! all who had a part in it’s demise, and all who criticized it, will soon be lamenting the fact that they never realized what a good thing they had untill they lost it. What a fresh break it was from the dull and monotonous games of the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, etc etc. It was real people(players), virtually equal in ability, viewed by real everyday people, and commentary that was entertaining and interesting (not just stats relentlessly bombarding uncaring and uninterested ears). The XFL’s first and (hopefully not) only season-WAS THE BEST SPORT SEASON OF ANY SPORT IN THE LAST TEN YEARS! – Posted by The Count @ 07/26/2001 09:44 AM CST

I was hoping somebody would purchase the XFL and revive it. I thoroughly enjoyed the games and attended several live myself, including the first game in Chicago in the cold and the rain. With a major decline in the NBA ratings, I still think the XFL could survive, especially without a TV network being half owner. This kept the major sporting news services, such as ESPN (Owned by ABC) to give anything positive about the league. I assume the XFL will never revive, but I can always hope it will be. – Posted by Bill @ 07/23/2001 09:38 PM CST

The XFL Better Not Be Dead. Because The NFL Sucks! – Posted by Tommy Beck @ 07/22/2001 08:06 PM CST

We miss this League. – Posted by Sal @ 07/20/2001 05:05 PM CST