Ask anybody about the original XFL and there’s a good chance they’ll laugh. The original incarnation lasted one season, and is considered by most to have been a failure. The XFL is making a comeback this year, and while many are skeptical that this league will have the same fate as its predecessor, those who have been paying attention see it much differently. League owner, Vince McMahon has done his research, learned from his mistakes, and is ready to run a successful football league.
Here are five good reasons the XFL will succeed this time around.
5. The XFL Will Be Family Friendly
Those who remember the original XFL, will remember that they caught some criticism for how skimpy the cheerleaders outfits were. There were even segments that teased that they were going to sneak into their locker room (only to disappoint fans by only approaching comedy legend Rodney Dangerfield). This XFL will have nothing of the sort. In fact, the XFL will have no cheerleaders at all. This league promises to be entertaining for fans of all ages.
4. More ways to watch the games
The original XFL had one nationally televised live broadcast a week, with a second non live game after that, that was recorded during the same time as the previous game. This time around, all the games will be at different times, ensuring fans won’t have to try to decide which game will be the most exciting. Also, with partnerships with ABC, Fox, ESPN, and Fox Sports 1, every game will be nationally televised.
3. Far Less Gimmicky
Most people’s biggest recollection of the first XFL was Rod Smart. Better known as the name on the back of his jersey, “He Hate Me.” The original XFL allowed players to put nicknames on the back of their jersey. They also started games by having two opposing players scramble each over possession of the game ball, in lieu of a traditional coin toss. It was essentially a cross between McMahon’s WWE, and football. While this definitely gained curious onlookers, the novelty of these bells and whistles wore off quickly.
This time around, the XFL is focused solely on football. McMahon has taken a bit more of a hands off approach, and left former pro quarterback, and more recently, the athletic director for West Virginia University, Oliver Luck in charge as the CEO and commissioner of the league.
2. Innovative Rules
Scaling back on the pageantry doesn’t mean that they’re scaling back on the fun. There are so many rule changes coming to this league, and they’re all designed to make the game more fun for the fans. They’ve eliminated the traditional, almost automatic one point kick. They replaced the PAT kick with the choice of making plays from scrimmage, from the two, five and ten yard line. These attempts are worth one, two, and three points respectively.
Also, replacing one of the most controversial rules in professional football, the XFL has completely overhauled how overtime is handled. Replacing the traditional rules of sudden death overtime, the XFL has a concept that’s more akin to the hockey shootout. Each team will have an offensive and defensive unit on the field, and have a five round shootout of two point conversion attempts to determine the winner.
This, along with a new double forward pass concept, changes to kickoffs and punts, and clock rules will give the fans something different to watch.
1. The League is Fan Oriented
Game tickets range from $25-30 for tickets in the lower bowl, so fans can be close to the action no matter where they sit, without breaking the bank. Season ticket holders even get a field pass to watch one game a year from the field. Teams will also be holding events throughout where fans can meet other fans, coaches, and players.
The league also has a fan advisory board, which surveys fans about how they feel about the league, and what they look for in their football experience, so they can cater to the ultimate fan experience.
The XFL has a lot of naysayers out there who are basing their opinions on past experience. But Vince McMahon and the XFL have done their research, learned from their mistakes, and have built the foundation for a long lasting football league for years to come.