Latest Mitchell column: Possible XFL & NFL relationship?

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4th&long
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Re: Latest Mitchell column: Possible XFL & NFL relationship?

Post by 4th&long »

GregParks wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 11:22 am
4th&long wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 11:15 am
GregParks wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 11:07 am

But why not? It's win-win for the NFL: Potential future NFL contributors get a place to develop where the NFL can sign them basically at any time (depending on league contracts, but no serious prospective NFL player is going to sign one that locks them out of reaching the NFL), and it's at no cost to the NFL or its owners. Consider it one big practice squad that they don't have to pay for. I even recall Luck or someone else in XFL management saying the NFL supports what they're doing, and why wouldn't they? It's not like the XFL or any league is going to be a threat to ANYTHING the NFL is doing.

The idea that the NFL would be worried about any alternative league, much less to the point they would actively try to hold one back, is laughable. As for the Flutie quote mentioned earlier in the thread about the USFL competing with the NFL down the line, w/o knowing the full context of the quote, that tells me I don't need to take him seriously as a league mouthpiece. It's also a red flag for me about the USFL's business plan moving forward if that's how the league is viewing things. You're not going to win in a competition of any kind with the NFL.
I'm basing it on NFL's past experience with alt leagues. Regardless of our perceptions one thing they did NOT want the WLAF to become was the "NFL of the summer" which Tex Scrhamm slipped he was striving to become. Also NFL E was in Europe as it was not a threat along with building a new base X-USA. The NFL does not want to fund a league or even televise for free (AAF paid to be on NFLN). as other have mentioned the NFLPA would need to sign off on assigning players and that is unlikely, with Demaurice the tool as NFLPA admin. Now can that change? Perhaps but NFL does not want to subsidize a league they don't make $$$ on, nor do they want to make a league $$$ by endorsing with nothing in return sans a few players.
Those previous alt leagues you're talking about were MANY years ago, when the NFL while popular was not the behemoth it is today. It's a bit like comparing apples to oranges. It would be more relevant to compare it to the most recent XFL, AAF, AFL, UFL, etc., which, to my knowledge, the NFL did nothing with which to interfere.

And I don't think anyone is saying the NFL is going to fund a league or even assign players to one. I think most people, realistically speaking, are thinking a lot smaller when it comes to any kind of "deal" they make with the XFL. You are right to raise the question though: How far will the NFL go to "help" an alternative league make money, and what is their expected ROI? I think that's what makes any kind of partnership difficult to predict.
I don't altogether disagree, but the NFL outlook is still all about the NFL. So as you say - lets see how far the NFL is willing to go...

In all honesty - the way the USFL stayed away from 5/8 XFL markets - it tells me that's where the XFL should focus and look to partner with the USFL, assuming 2022 goes well. RBC would get what it wants, a TV deal and money investor in FS, why FOX would get a Venture Cap group investor to split risk.
That's why I say watch out XFL - NFL may partner to a point and pull plug. USFL partnership may be better off.
GregParks
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Re: Latest Mitchell column: Possible XFL & NFL relationship?

Post by GregParks »

4th&long wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 4:00 pm
That's why I say watch out XFL - NFL may partner to a point and pull plug. USFL partnership may be better off.
Problem with a USFL/XFL partnership is at least from the business side, there seem to be divergent opinions on how to run the show, with USFL starting small (relatively speaking) and the XFL wanting to have a worldwide presence. I'm not sure how you'd reconcile those within a partnership. The other side of it is, with the conversations with CFL and NFL, you can't say this XFL ownership isn't willing to reach across the aisle and work with others to reach their goal.

This is also assuming (a) the USFL is very successful in its first year (which you pointed out) and (b) the XFL continues to be unable to land a TV deal/spend money willingly. I know you're bullish on both of those being true, but I'm skeptical on at least one of those :)
@gregmparks
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