Down 23-3, an undisciplined New York Guardians team found their season falling apart, all with a half of play to go.
With the game starting slow, the BattleHawks held a lead of 6-0 in the first quarter. While the game was becoming chippy, it was nothing more than good football. The conflict between players was held within the snap of the ball to the whistle. But as the second quarter closed the BattleHawks took a commanding lead behind quarterback young Jordan Ta’amu. Down by twenty points, an interesting exchange between Guardians quarterback Matt McGloin and coach G.A. Mangus over national television. Coach Mangus gave McGloin a play to call, and he did. But there was a miscommunication where McGloin did not relay the call in full. St. Louis had over 29,000 to blame for the mishap.
While an interaction such as the one previously stated should not be too alarming, McGloin’s halftime interview last week was an insult to any claiming allegiance to the New York Guardians. Similar to this week, McGloin, who went into the second half of the game down a lot to a little to the D.C. Defenders. In a fit of rage McGloin told reporters they need to quote “change the whole gameplan” and had a hot mic where he blamed teammates. He was benched.
Benched again versus the BattleHawks, the Guardians lost all control, with no leader to be seen, seemingly, even in a coach.
With time winding down in the second quarter the Guardians were driving, a rare sight to say the least. That was until all hell broke loose. McGloin finally made a downfield completion. On the tackle, a BattleHawks defensive back dragged the leg of the receiver. Guardians offensive lineman Avery Young took exception to the hit and retaliated. Shoves, checks, and awkward slaps were thrown around. You could argue number 69, Ian Silberman threw punches. The next play McGloin threw an interception and there was yet again a scrap, this time on the sideline. While moments like these are normally put behind a team at halftime, center Ian Silberman had other ideas, sadly enough.
After the first play of the second half, Silberman threw a punch at an unsuspecting BattleHawk defensive lineman. The defensive lineman was seen pleading to the referee to throw Silberman out of the game after the assault. Instead, Silberman was warned and given an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Referees were showed talking to the coaches. They told them, the situation was being treated seriously and that they had there on the rouge offensive lineman. ESPN’s broadcast booth and on-field reporting was fantastic and portrayed a storyline during the events.
It’s honestly impressive that the bush league center created a whole story behind his immature actions, as a lineman. But it seems Silberman will be facing the consequences to his actions, after being benched, coach Gilbride seemed to be at a loss of words. Gilbride has seen plenty of football in his day but never anything like the XFL Guardians. Antagonizing fights and celebrating after minor success is the Guardians’ game. Gilbride has to virtually babysit.
But all of this is good for the XFL. While some fans and even writers may see this as annoying and embarrassing, a newly established league is built off of word to mouth. Fans will be buzzing about the crazy moments on social media such as Twitter and Instagram. All publicity may be good publicity, as long as it is used in a effective manner.
Gavin Hayes is a sports writer and photographer. His past work includes working for Amazin’ Prospects covering the New York Mets minor league system, and formally covered the New York Jets and AFC East for Fan Source Network and Prime Time Sports Talk. He now joins the XFL Board staff with intentions to cover the New York Guardians and general XFL news. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org , or Twitter/Instagram direct message. Business inquires only, please.