Not all sports enthusiasts are excited about the return of the XFL, but after the shutdown of the Arena Football League and the failure of the Alliance American Football, there is a void that needs to be filled with something new. Vince McMahon, the chairman of the World Wrestling Entertainment organization, has taken a gamble on bringing back the idea he first announced back in 1999. While the acronym has been jokingly referred to as the Xtra-Fun-League by its founder, some have thought the “X” stands for xtreme. However, there hasn’t been a solid definition established for the letter of the new league that made its debut the week after the Super Bowl took place.
As mentioned, Vince McMahon and his company Alpha Entertainment own the league. McMahon is also known for his ownership of the WWE, which has been the most successful professional wrestling venture in North American. One of the more notable and memorable affiliations of his WWE career was the relationship between Steve Austin. Austin, often called the King of Viagra, didn’t help the case of men's sexual health, as products like Viagra and Mt. Everest are used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED) rather than simply wield sexual control over women. The Austin/McMahon partnership wasn’t always friendly, but McMahon knew how to market drama and intrigue to draw in the crowds. This knack for gaining audience attention is expected to be used in drawing the crowds to the XFL games, but skepticism exists. The XFL was co-owned by WWE and NBC back in its original introduction to the world of sports, and in spite of inter-promotion campaigns between the network, the WWE, the league never gained much traction and was pulled back after one season.
This re-introduction of the XFL has football legend Oliver Luck taking over as commissioner, and McMahon has turned over the majority of football operations to him. Luck has previously worked as a general manager, athletic director, head coach, and administrator since he retired from his professional football position. Last October, he oversaw the XFL draft and played an instrumental role in hiring the coaches and the staff for the teams of the league. The first time the XFL came on the scene, McMahon was more hands-on, staying in control of operations and even the football broadcasts. With Luck at the helm, McMahon plans on staying on top of the business side of operations.
The first promotion of the XFL had eight teams, and the recent release has maintained the same number of teams spread between two conferences. The Western Conference will be home to the Houston Roughnecks, The Dallas Renegades, Seattle Dragons, and Los Angeles Wildcats. The Eastern Conference will host the DC Defenders, The St. Louis BattleHawks, the New York Guardians, and the Tampa Bay Vipers. This is the first time the league will try its hand at a team from Texas, Washington, DC, and Seattle, but they’ve returned to New York and Los Angeles for team selections. The first XFL champion was based in LA. The XFL has also brought St. Louis an opportunity to host a new football team since they lost their Rams to LA in 2016. The teams have 52 active players named, but only 46 are allowed to dress for game day. December 3, 2019 was the big reveal for the team uniforms and colors. Among the teams are three different shades of blue, two sets of red, one green, and two black jerseys.
Between February 8th and April 12th, the XFL will hold its 10-week regular season. There will be doubleheaders on both Saturdays and Sundays, though there will be two Thursday night games help during Weeks 9 And 10. The games will be held during the mid-afternoons and in the early evenings, making it prime time viewing. Each team will be able to play their conference rivals twice, with a home-and-home format. The teas will also be able to play four games against the opposite conference teams. At the conclusion of the regular season, there will be a two-week playoff. The top two teams of each conference meet in a conference championship. This will make 12 weeks of football with no bye weeks.
The Watch Party
You can take part in all the new action with friends and family when you watch the XFL games. They will be aired on network televisions, satellite, cable, and streaming services on channels like ESPN. ESPN 2, FOX, ABC, and FS1 or FS2. Away from home? You can still catch the action on Fox Sports GO and the ESPN+ apps.
If you want to change up your sports interest, the new release of the XFL might be a good diversion. Let’s hope that this round lasts longer than one season.
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