Future XFL expansion: Rooted in talent before TV

A picture-perfect Saturday afternoon at Dignity Health Sports Park was the backdrop of the LA Wildcats’ XFL home opener. (Credit: XFL.com)

Two weeks into the season and discussions are running rampant on how successful (or not) the XFL has been so far in its infancy. Media engagement, TV rating analysis, and comparison to previous spring football leagues is swirling about.

Expansion is an exciting and engaging topic. The back and forth between media and fans about why city A would be better than B is fun conversation and shows the excitement the league is generating. But expansion may be farther away than conversations lead on.  While there are plenty of encouraging signs for this league compared to leagues past, the overall approach from the XFL has been focused around pacing itself and getting things right.

The XFL Approach

From the announcement of the reincarnated XFL, January 25, 2018, to the kickoff in game one, February 8, 2020, there was over a two-year lead time.

The short-lived Alliance of American Football, or AAF, was announced more than two months after the XFL and kicked off their league less than 11 months after that. The AAF infamously closed its doors mid-way through its first season and the league in total only lasted for 13 months.

True to their approach, the XFL stuck with their timeline not succumbing to the pressure of a rival league.

During the more than two years the XFL spent establishing the foundation of the league, they strategically navigated the sporting industry to anchor themselves with prominent industry names. A key move by the league, at that point in time mostly by XFL founder Vince McMahon, is the hiring of Oliver Luck. Luck made his mark in the college football scene where he was part of the first playoff selection committee and was an executive vice president for regulatory affairs. With Luck, the XFL have themselves an experienced executive leading and navigating this venture.

One of the biggest praises and early successes for the XFL is the TV deal they signed with ABC/ESPN and Fox. These two widely recognized sport broadcasting names bring football onto cable and popular sports channels. Their background in NFL/NCAA coverage is a welcomed experienced partner.

Viewership through two weeks has benefited from all the above. The XFL is a more established product on two widely recognizable networks.

XFL

AAF

Week 1

3.118

2.900

Week 2

2.057

0.622

*numbers in millions of viewers

In the XFL, teams are well distributed geographically in major metropolitan areas. In contrast to the AAF where teams were more condensed and questionably excluded the populated Midwest and East Coast. All but one of the XFL teams, the St. Louis BattleHawks, share a city with a current NFL team. It is no coincidence the eight selected XFL cities already have strong professional football fan bases. This move highlights their strategy to garner support in planning for success.

We’re reaching the point where the XFL and AAF can [finally] stopped being compared. The XFL continues to differentiate itself from other spring leagues. Viewership is bound to fluctuate. Remember those critical of support now, they aren’t helping the league grow but let’s see if they want in on the action when it does.

Expansion in Due Time

A common talking point for an XFL expansion timeline is at the expiration of the current TV deal (estimated around 2021 or 2022). The XFL isn’t making money on the current deal but also isn’t spending any either; this allows them to focus capital resources more towards the product itself. If you’re not already familiar, TV deals are a substantial source of revenue in sports. Until the XFL can start making money across the board, especially on the TV side, expansion is unlikely.

While this argument is certainly a factor, I don’t see it as the end-all-be-all.

More importantly, the quality of football the league can produce will be the quintessential factor in determining the fate of the XFL; whether the league will be a long-term success or another failed attempt at a spring football league.  The league seems to have the approach of ensuring a stable foundation before advancing to the next step. Seen with the paced approach from the announcement of the league to first kick, the XFL cares about the quality of the product.

Viewers want to watch good football, good football means more viewers, more viewers mean more TV network interest, more TV interest means more revenue for the league, and more revenue means an opportunity for growth.

Again, the XFL’s preparation indicates the league is interested about the quality of the product.

Through two weeks, players across the league are starting to establish themselves as top talent. Should this talent find success in the NFL, football players around the nation will take note. There is talent out there that could play for the XFL but is currently is not for a variety of reasons. Since the start of the season, three notable CFL players have signed with the XFL. Seeing the opportunity this league could create may entice fringe NFL players and overlooked guys from college to consider joining to league to try and get in on the action.

The pool of potential talent is only moderately tapped. If the XFL can open the flood gates of talent, then this is when the league will truly be poised for expansion. Without a nine team talent surplus, expansion risks putting a lower quality product on the field that would seemingly damage the brand currently being built.

Until then, keep on having fun with speculating potential expansion cities, I know I will.

Note from the writer: There currently is no indication from the XFL about expansion. There are publications from 2018 with potential cities and nothing points to these actively being considered at. As with all news, try to find the source of a claim before believing it as true.

BattleHawks Fall Short Against the Roughnecks in Week 2 Thriller

Houston QB PJ Walker evades the BattleHawks Jake Payne. (Credit: XFL.com)

HOUSTON – In the most exciting game of the weekend, the Houston Roughnecks and St. Louis BattleHawks traded jabs for four quarters of hardnose football. In the end, Houston (2-0) held on to top St. Louis (1-1) with a final score of 28-24. 

Two of the best quarterbacks in the league squared up and showed their stuff. Houston is led by the shifty PJ Walker. Walker was with the Colts alongside former NFL QB Andrew Luck. Andrew gave Walker high praise encouraging his dad, and XFL Commissioner Oliver Luck, to let Walker try out for the league. Andrew and Oliver both made good decisions as Walker has been one of the most fun players to watch over the first 2 weeks.  

And St. Louis’s own Jordan Ta’amu, the fleet-footed strong-armed 22-year old who is the youngest starting QB in the league.  

Week 2 saw St. Louis stick to their game 1 identity being a run-first team, carrying the ball 43 times for 126 yards. Rush attempts accounted for 54% of their plays this week, down from close to 60% week 1. The BattleHawks likely would’ve kept that 60% run/pass ratio had they not been down the entire second half. 

Matt Jones battled a knee injury during the week which impacted his carry total on the day. He also looked to have reaggravated his knee early in the second half. He ended the day with 16 carries for 44 yards. Christine Michael picked up carries this week with Jones nursing an injury and Keith Ford out for the game. Michael put up a similar line with 15 rushes for 38 yards. 

BattleHawks quarterback Jordan Ta’amu impressed most of the day. He went 30/37 for 284 yards, 3 TDs, and 32 more yards on the ground. The blemish on his stat line is the two interceptions.

Houston’s Cody Brown and Jeremiah Johnson brought in the two picks for the Roughnecks. Interceptions are bad enough, but both guys added big returns after the inceptions to the St. Louis 1 and 6-yard lines, respectively. The Roughnecks didn’t miss a beat on offense following the interceptions adding two touchdowns with only a short field to work with. 

Trading First Half Punches

The opening drive for the Roughnecks started with a 37-yard kick return by Houston’s Ajene Harris. Houston moved the ball this series but the BattleHawk defense held them to a 44-yard field goal. 

The BattleHawks answered the Roughnecks opener with an opening drive touchdown for themselves. Both Matt Jones and Christine Michael started in the backfield with Jones getting the first carry of the day. 

The drive was highlighted by a 27-yard connection between Keith Mumphrey and Ta’amu and finished off with a short pass to Jones for a nice 25-yard catch and run touchdown to give St. Louis a 6-3 lead. 

Not stopping there, Houston responded with a 6 play 66-yard drive ending in the end zone on a PJ Walker pass to Cam Phillips putting the Roughnecks up 12-6; this duo went on to connect for 3 TDs together on the night.

St. Louis struggled to move the ball for the remainder of the first half. There next four drives went punt, punt, interception, turn over on downs. They went into halftime down 21-6.

Opening drives to start a game are usually scripted/ predetermined as part of a team’s gameplan. St. Louis opened their first drive by utilizing four straight plays with a man in motion, and 6 of 9 plays on the touchdown scoring drive. The remainder of the half saw very little motion. For something to be planned and executed well on the first drive and then thrown out for almost the remainder of the game wasn’t something you like to see. 

Second Half Sparks

Coming out to start the second half, the BattleHawks strung together a 13 play drive. Ta’amu and Pierson-El connected for a 23 yard gain, the pair finished off the drive connecting on a 1-yard reception to make the score 21-12. 

After the BattleHawks defense forced a 3 and out, the offense marched back down the field for another 13 play drive capped off by a 4 yard run by Ta’amu. This closed Houston’s lead to 3, 21-18. 

Not to be overlooked in the game is the BattleHawks defense. Week 1 they didn’t give up a touchdown against the Dallas Renegades. Many people brushed this off since the Renegades were without starting QB Landry Jones. 

Don’t let the 28 points-against be the nail in the coffin for this unit. 13 of those points only required the Roughnecks to move the ball a combined 7 yards. Houston was moving the ball well in the first half picking up big chunk plays of 33 and 20 yards. 

As good as the offense was in the second half, the defense was a half-step ahead of them to close out the night. The biggest play they gave up in the second half was a 15-yard scramble by Walker, the drive ended in Houston punting. 

Sacks were elusive on the night largely due to PJ Walker’s awareness in the pocket. Andrew Ankrah was the only one able to record a sack on the day, also bringing home a team-high two tackles for a loss. Cornerback Darius Hillary also played a great game on defense. Hillary was tracking the ball well barely missing two picks, he was jumping the routes like crazy. 

Controversial No-Call

The controversial point in the game came with less than 11 minutes left in the 4th quarter. A perfect punt by Houston’s Austin Rehkow and a pair of offsides by the offense had the BattleHawks back up to their own one-yard line. After clawing their way into Roughneck territory, Ta’amu and the offensive line saw Roughneck MLB Frank Ginda jump offsides. Assuming the refs saw the play and called it, Ta’amu had a free play and threw the ball up to the receiver with the deepest route. Not a single ref threw their flag and Ta’amu’s lob was picked off. 

Ta’amu throws the ball in this situation thinking the play has only upside and any negative play will be taken off the board due to the defensive penalty. The no-call reversed the course of the game with 7 point swing in favor of the Roughnecks.

This season, XFL refs have called games very well. The use of the replay official in the booth has added transparency and is appreciated league-wide. It will be interesting to see how the XFL responds to this potentially game-changing call, arguably the biggest on the year so far.

The BattleHawks would drive and score one more TD with less than 2 minutes remaining in the game to make it 28-24. But the damage was done and Houston hung on to win a thriller, 28-24. 

In the end, Houston won the turnover battle 2-0 and that was the difference-maker this week. The teams competed for all four quarters and we all got to see a great game a football. 

The BattleHawks come home next Sunday, February 23rd for their home opener against the New York Guardians. 

Expect The Dome to be full and the stadium to be popping because football will be back in St. Louis!

Fight and fly on, BattleHawk Nation.

St. Louis BattleHawks: A Team for the Fans

St. Louis BattleHawks

Missouri, a state celebrating arguably the biggest trophy in all of sports with the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs bringing home the Lombardi Trophy winning Super Bowl 54. The best way to continue this historic feeling of peak football is obviously more football. Cue the St. Louis BattleHawks. For 21 years, fans packed The Dome and supported their Rams, that is the Super Bowl Champion St. Louis Rams. The team was not able to sustain The Greatest Show on Turf later falling into a 10-year playoff drought and subsequent relocation spurred by, his name who should only be used in vain, new team owner Stan Kroenke. Just like that, the magic of the Rams was ripped from the fans and the city. 

The St. Louis BattleHawks are not a replacement for the Rams. They are an addition to the city and the passionate fan base supporting the true hometown teams. This is the only current XFL franchise not sharing a city with an NFL team. The BattleHawks aren’t just for the hometown crowd. It’s open season to pick an XFL team; this fan base is passionate, committed, and growing rapidly. 

Take a look at the online footprint each team has on Twitter (parentheses represent growth in followers over the last 7 days).

  1. St. Louis BattleHawks: 77.3K (+31.3K)
  2. DC Defenders: 62.8K (+30.7K)
  3. Dallas Renegades 61.4K (+22.3K)
  4. Houston Roughnecks: 53K (+20.9K)
  5. New York Guardians: 49.3K (+21.3K)
  6. Seattle Dragons: 45K (+15.1K) 
  7. Tampa Bay Vipers: 44.6K (+15.4K)
  8. LA Wildcats: 34.2K (+11.9K)

What the fans are saying

The best way to see how people view the XFL and the BattleHawks is to hear it directly from them. I did just that and got folks reaction to the new league and team.

Rob from Olathe thinks the XFL has staying power. The authentic approach of the XFL this time around shows they mean business.

Media companies and TV deals are significant. The two major networks contracted are Disney, with games on ABC, ESPN, and ESPN 2; and Fox, with games on Fox, FS1, and FS2. Like Saturday and Sunday during the NCAA and NFL season, fans will be amongst familiar channels and crews supporting these games giving it that authentic football. 

Rob also talked about the innovation the league is embracing and trying out. While he doesn’t think every single change will stick, he is all for trying. The XFL has made every indication that they will continue to evolve and adapt the game. Feedback given the NFL has not incorporated has been listened to by the XFL. A tip of the hat to fans from the XFL catering the product to the consumer. 

BattleHawk Mafia (Kyle) from St. Louis talked about how this city is poised to take off as a fan base and as a team. The social media presence has been a great start to engage fans prior to the season kicking off. St. Louis is a football city and this is a chance for everyone out there to show the NFL what they’re missing. He’s ready for game day with the crew, some drinks in The Dome, and BattleHawk football. He reflected about how going to games creates lifelong bonds between parents and children along with friends.

Ryan from St. Louis joins the city as a transplant but has no doubts about the fan base in the city making this an easy choice for him to root for the BattleHawks. He shared thoughts on what this league can become. First, he’s happy to see former NFL guys get second chances. While the XFL and NFL aren’t affiliated, most guys share the goal to make it to the NFL. Channeling his soccer fandom, Ryan said once the league is built up and established he’d like to see a Premier League-esque system where XFL teams change places with poor-performing NFL teams. 

Cory from Nashville shares Ryan’s excitement to see the talent in the league have a chance to succeed. One guy in particular is Jordan Ta’amu, the BattleHawks QB who produced a ton at Ole Miss. He highlights Ta’amu’s ability to move around the pocket and keep plays alive (something we saw a lot of week 1). He’s excited about Will Hill, former Safety in the NFL, to patrol the backfield (Hill notched an interception week 1 against the Dallas Renegades). It’s guys like Hill and others who show the league as a whole has high caliber talent on the rosters. Fun note, Cory gave these answers before these guys put up stellar first games.

The sense I got from the fans I talked with is that they are ready, the city is ready, and nation is ready for BattleHawk football.

Getting Over the Hurdle

It is fair to acknowledge this league and team don’t come without risk. The UFL, AAF, and even a previous version of the XFL closed their doors after brief stints of existence, the AAF not even making it through their first season. There may be some former Rams fans who are hesitant to jump on board risking another heartbreak and even additional people not wanting to waste their time due to new league fatigue.

The barriers for a successful league exist and are no small feat. The sports world has seen leagues come in go, and heck, the first version of the XFL has been used as a gold standard of what not to do this time around. And that’s the beauty of it. This XFL is not the XFL of 2001 and the only resemblances the two share are the name and the man up top, Vince McMahon. 

A good reminder is that the XFL is a work in progress. The league is stepping in to help evolve the game of football fans know today. Some changes will be great and some changes wont be, but expect a product that will continue to develop to meet and exceed expectations.

Having seen a successful week one in the league, hopefully some of the hesitation has been put to rest. Buzz in the news is increasing week over week, fan bases are growing, and now more than ever is a great time to support the league.

To those XFL fans undecided on a team to follow and those interested seeing what the league is about, there is no wrong choice when picking a team. But I know one fan base who knows there is a right choice. 

And hey, America doesn’t have a team yet in this league…just saying.

Fight and Fly On, BattleHawk Nation.

Did you miss some of the action week one of BattleHawk football? Check out this game recap.

XFL BattleHawks Take Down Renegades to Secure First Win

BattleHawks QB Jordan Ta’amu impressed with almost every aspect of his game. (Photo: XFL.com)

The St. Louis BattleHawks marched into Dallas as the biggest underdog in the league week 1. Undeterred, St. Louis played team football taking down the Renegades 15-6. St. Louis secured two big firsts this game: the first win in franchise history and the first XFL team to win on the road. They move to 1-0 on the year. 

While not a high scoring affair, the BattleHawks and Renegades provided an action packed event the XFL has been promising. 

Offense Begins to Mesh

St. Louis established the run game early and leaned on it throughout the game. Running back Matt Jones shouldered the largest load, carrying the ball 21 times for 85 yards. Jones was able to chip away medium gains most runs then setting up good yardage for second and third downs. Keith Ford added a 16 yard run for the BattleHawks first touchdown late in the first half. The surprise of the day was Jones getting the start over Christine Michael who was slotted first on the depth chart. Jones took advantage of this opportunity while Michael struggled all game; 0 yards on 7 attempts and losing a yard on his lone reception. 

BattleHawks QB Jordan Ta’amu impressed with almost every aspect of his game. Through the air, Ta’amu was 20/27 with 183 yards and a TD, on the ground he added 77 yards on nine carries. Ta’amu said he had nerves starting out but throughout the game, you could see him settle in. Coach Hayes said he was impressed by the young quarterback’s poise. Access to in-game audio let us in on a conversation between the two after Ta’amu took a 12-yard sack on third down, leaving a long 48-yard field goal attempt Taylor Russolino nailed, Hayes stressed the importance of throwing the ball away.   

Ta’amu started a drive halfway through the third quarter by hitting receivers on three straight attempts for 10, 11, and 13 yards. A couple plays later Ta’amu tore down the field for a 37-yard run. He capped off the drive by connecting with Alonzo Russell in the back of the endzone, both party’s first touchdowns of the season.

Eight receivers got in on the action today. Wideout turned tight end Marcus Lucas hauled in 4 catches. L’Damian Washington pulled in a team-high 5 receptions. Alonzo Russel showed off his hands in the endzone for 1 of his 3. And De’Mornay Pierson-El had the longest play for the offense after a speedy catch-and-run for 41 yards. 

Offensive game ball: QB Jordan Ta’amu

Lockdown Defense

The BattleHawks don’t win this game without the defense showing up the way it did. Drive after drive the front seven kept the pressure on Renegades QB Philip Nelson. Four BattleHawks picked up a sack on the day, linebackers Terence Garvin and Dexter McCoil, then Dewayne Hendrix and Jake Payne from the line.

Dallas could not get their run game going all night, as a team they only had 12 attempts for 58 yards. With nothing working on the ground, the Renegades went pass-heavy with Nelson going 33/42 for 199 yards. The backfield was put to the test and they passed. Most completions were for short yardage only. Former NFL safety Will Hill sealed the game for St. Louis picking off Nelson with less than 30 seconds left in the game. All around, the BattleHawk defense played as one cohesive unit avoiding the big play and shutting the Renegades out of the endzone. 

Defensive game ball: S Will Hill

The major blemish on the day was all the penalities, 9 for 78 yards (though the final penalty was intentional to give punter Marquette King more room to kick). Several drives stalled out as a result keeping Dallas in the game all night. St. Louis was the most penalized team through week 1, something that will need to be addressed moving forward. 

If you tuned in to the game this week, you saw the great new fan features the XFL rolled out this season. In-game interviews, listening in on play calls, and hearing the refs deliberate and most importantly get calls right highlighted the changes in the broadcast. 

St. Louis keeps their Texas road trip going as they head down to Houston next Sunday to take on the 1-0 Roughnecks. 

Fly and Fight on, St. Louis.

XFL Launches Free Gaming App Amid Increase in Sports Betting Partnerships

Play XFL is available in both the Apple and Google Play stores.
Play XFL is available in both the Apple and Google Play stores.

A new fan focused feature was introduced today by the XFL – the PlayXFL app. In an effort to focus on fan engagement and entertainment this is certainly a differentiator for the league.

The PlayXFL app is a free app that lets fans predict final scores to select games. Week 1 highlights the two Sunday games. Pick the score correctly for both games and win $25,000. Simple, right? Well give it a go taking on the likely anticipated thousands of fans giving their best shot.

If you think $25,000 gets you excited, Week 2 has a prize of $500,000 to the person able to predict the exact score to the 3 designated games. I imagine fans will now plan to watch a little closer and a little longer this opening weekend to give themselves the best shot for cash week 2. Stick around for the playoffs and you could win a cool, $1,000,000 – that’s six zeros and a cool one million dollars, my friends.

Plan on going to the games? The app offers another feature to fans in-stadium to play a 4-question Pick’em game to win team swag, tickets, and more.

PlayXFL is available on iOS and Android devices in the US only.

A Play for Sport Betting

PlayXFL is a great addition by the league. Fringe fans will have a reason to tune in, casual fans have a reason to increase their commitment, and hardcore fans can flex their knowledge to try and win big. The XFL is also bridging the gap for fans to transfer their knowledge to the sports betting world. The XFL has a direct partnership with sportsbook Fox Bet along with daily fantasy platforms DraftKings and FanDuel.

The XFL isn’t missing a beat as they bring betting front and center to the game. Consistent with the shift and growth in the betting market, sports betting is big business and the XFL wants a piece of the pie. Expect to see TV graphics during game broadcasts with live updates on how the point spread and over/under are impacted. Crews in the broadcast booth will also incorporate discussions about the impact of plays on the money lines. Teams going for and missing a 3 point PAT and eventually the team goes on to lose by 7 in at +3.5 spread is big news to bettors and broadcasters can dissect these plays as they happen.

Whether free or paid, sports betting is geared up and ready for the 2020 season.

St. Louis BattleHawks Season Preview: A Chip to the Ship

2015 saw a prominent sports staple stripped away from the city of St. Louis. With the final victorious snap against the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the St. Louis Rams said their final goodbye to the city due to their departure to Los Angeles. Less than five years later, football is back in The Gateway to the West. The XFL is here.

Mark your calendar for this Sunday at 4pm CT. That’s when the new hometown St. Louis BattleHawks take the field for the first time against the Dallas Renegades in Dallas.

What to Expect

The XFL is set to bring action packed fan inclusive professional football to 10 cities across the county. At its core, this is football but with a few common sense modifications fans want to see. Kickoffs are expected to have more excitement with added safety, PATs can be worth 1, 2, or 3 points, continuous clock outside of the 2-minute warning, and, say it with me, no more ties. For a full review of new rules check out the XFL’s rule page.

Your BattleHawks

Taking the reins of the team to start the inaugural campaign is duel Head Coach and GM Jonathan Hayes. Hayes himself is a former NFL tight end of 10+ years and a college and NFL coach for almost 20 years. Coach Hayes has a clean slate to bring power house football back to St. Louis.

Offensive coordinate Chuck Long looks to help is guys find the end zone plenty of times this season. BattleHawks named Jordan Ta’amu their starting quarterback. Ta’amu is an electrifying QB who ascended through the ranks of college football, transferring to Mississippi part way through his college career he took this new talent head on, he was second amongst SEC QBs in 2018 with close to 4,000 passing yards. Ta’amu is a true rookie to professional football. As a key piece to the BattleHawks offense, look for this rising star at the center of your BattleHawks drives. Keeping the pressure on Ta’amu is former NFL Panthers QB Taylor Heinicke, his time in professional football brings experience to the QB conversation and added protection at the most valuable position.

There is little known about what the depth chart looks like on both sides of the ball but the BattleHawks have some exciting talent to watch out for this season. Christine Michael at running back is an exciting name to watch. With over five years of NFL experience and a Super Bowl ring with the Seahawks, Michael has seen firsthand what winning culture at the highest level is like. Look for Michael to share the backfield with the likes of Lenard Tillery, Matt Jones, and Keith Ford.

Coach Hayes comes from a background as a tight end specialist in his playing and NFL coaching days. Watch for how the BattleHawks incorporate and value their tight ends. Cole Hunt and Wes Saxton look to provide a balance of receiving and blocking. Hunt may have an early edge for initial reps and it will be good news for the offense if Saxton can pick up where his productive college career left off. Watch for 2-tight end sets to leverage the strength and size of these two BattleHawks.

Brother of HC Jonathan Hayes, Jay Hayes, will lead efforts as the defensive coordinator. Names to watch on the defensive front are the likes of Andrew Ankrah, a former CFS All-American piled up 8.5 sacks his senior year. Ankrahs power will be joined by Gimel President who spent time with the Titans and took down QBs 10.5 times over his college career. Linebacker Terence Garvin played in almost every game during his five year NFL career bring a strong presence to the left side of the defense.

Roaming the backfield cornerback D’Monte Wade looks to shine. The former FCS All-American racked up 10 picks in college and shined in training camp for the Chiefs in 2018, look for him on the outside. Over the top Will Hill brings four years of NFL experience as a starter for the Giants and Ravens. Hill had a knack for finding the end zone with two pick-6’s and a growing ability to pressure the QB.

XFL rules make punting less advantageous, place punts within the 35 yard line cannot go out of bounds otherwise the ball in placed at the 35. The BattleHawks weapon in the punt game is All-Pro punter Marquette King poised to pin opponents and set the defense up for big stands.

The Chip

The guys suiting up every week this season for the BattleHawks are all out to prove something. Whether it be college programs that passed them up or NFL teams that didn’t give them a chance to shine, this is a group of professional talented football players ready to put on a show. The love of the game is why the XFL is here, showing the world their talent is why your navy and grey BattleHawks put their jerseys on week in and week out. Just this week, CBS ranks them last in projected wins at 3.5. It’s one more voice telling these guys they’re at the bottom. But not any more.

They’re here for you, St. Louis. They’re here to bring the excitement of professional football back to this city. It’s time for the narrative to change around this ‘not being a football town’.

Enough is enough for the city and this team. 2020 is the year to show the XFL and America what this team and city are about. And hey, in 12 weeks this hometown team could be raising the championship trophy showing all the non-believers what this is all about.

Battle on, St. Louis!

Home Games

Week 3: Sunday February 23rd at 2pm | vs NY Guardians | Watch on ESPN

Week 4: Saturday February 29th at 4pm | vs Seattle Dragons | Watch on Fox

Week 7: Saturday March 21st at 4pm | vs LA Wildcats | Watch on Fox

Week 9: Sunday April 5th at 11am | vs Tampa Bay Vipers | Watch on ESPN

Week 10: Sunday April 12th TBD flex game | vs DC Defenders | Watch on ABC/FS1 TBD