All of the XFL players and staff have returned home from the inaugural team mini-camps and will no doubt rest up before official training camps begin in January. At this time of the year I was thinking of what I want out of Christmas for the XFL, so I decided to write down a list for Santa Claus and hope he’ll deliver it not on Christmas Eve, but make a “special” delivery in early February 2020. This is what I am asking Santa for this Christmas:
- A league that will stay around. We have all experienced spring football leagues and while Americans love their football there seems to be something wrong with keeping around professional football after February. The USFL did a great job of spring and summer football the first two years in existence and gave us later NFL legends since as Jim Kelly, Reggie White and Steve Young but when the USFL challenged the NFL to play in the fall that league disappeared with a $1 lawsuit settlement. The Alliance of American Football (AAF) tried to rush out and put a season together earlier this year and fell apart just as the league was getting interesting, hurting the players, the coaching staffs, and the fans who were just warming up to the AAF. If the XFL wants to win over fans then please Santa help this league stay around for years and years to come!
- Players that are truly dedicated to making the game a special event for fans. In a day and age where players in most professional sports are seemingly disconnected from their fans, XFL players need to bring some excitement and genuine enthusiasm for the game back to the stands. Football is a game of passion, and we need players and coaches who truly love the game and are excited to be out on the field every moment of every game. I have already seen a lot of passion and true desire in this infant XFL season and want to see everybody “go hard” on every down.
- Fans are an integral part of the XFL and find a team you can support and stick with them no matter the outcome of the season. Other sports have “bandwagon” fans and the XFL needs true fans who bleed with their chosen team no matter if they win or lose. The players, coaches and management staff are putting together a great league, and let’s get behind the teams and show them that the XFL has a place in professional sports and can keep football excitement going long into the spring each year.
My Christmas wish is that the XFL builds a special football bond between the teams and their fans, and that this league hangs around for many, many years to come. The players and coaches are getting ready for the season… let’s get ready with them!
Happy Holidays and bring on February 2020!
Mike Gambill has joined XFLBoard.com as a reporter for the Houston Roughnecks.