The revamped XFL debuted this past weekend. Mostly positive reviews followed with cautious optimism seems to be the common theme. Some of the names of players may be familiar and the coaches have a ton of experience. Then the league came out firing with new rules on kickoff and faster pace of play that is supposed to draw in fans to help bridge the gap from the end of the NFL season to next fall. I believe they are off to a great start and hopefully it gains the support it needs.
One of the best things that came out of the weekend was the transparency on the reviews. Fans can now sit through an official review and see exactly how they determine the call on the field to get it right or wrong. Secondly, the previous mentioned kickoff rule, the ball is kicked from the 30-yard line and players on the kickoff team line up 35 yards from the end zone with the kickoff team just five yards away from each other. The returner is stationed inside the 20 and the tackling team and blocking team cannot move until the returner catches the ball. This eliminates high-impact collisions while keeping the kickoff in the game.These paired with instant sideline interviews after plays and now the play calls from coaches can be heard on TV. All this has made for some pretty compelling TV.
Once the product on the field gets rolling and things become more fluid for the players, this all should come full circle. You add a good product on the field plus the compelling TV, there is no reason that the XFL shouldn’t be able to compete with the likes of the NHL and NBA regular seasons. Let’s face it, some of the regular season NBA games are fairly boring and it wouldn’t be hard for the XFL to bring in more action.
There are a ton of great players out that there that may have just missed a shot at an NFL roster. Without a league such as the XFL they may never be able to play football again. This league gives them another opportunity to gain playing time and having another shot potentially at the NFL. If not, they can play in the XFL for a long duration as the league grows. Let’s be honest, more and more players come out of college that can be added to XFL to raise the talent level.
This is why the XFL needs our support. Without people watching on TV and attending the games, we will see another spring league fold. Which is something I hope we avoid all together.
The league has only been through one weekend, but the XFL seems to have built enough fan support for the league right off the bat. That could always diminish as the season goes on. The league has already has surpassed ticket sales revenue of the AAF’s entire season. Hopefully this is type of momentum that continues to grow to build the brand and exposure of the XFL.
I know the spring can bring busier schedules, the weather is getting nicer and you just want out of the house. If you do find yourself in the house and need something to do. Turn on the XFL, watch football and give it the support it needs to build a product that can be something great for us. If not, the winter months just become that much more boring.