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XFL 2020 was announced by Vince McMahon earlier today and already, the media is buzzing. From sports publications to gossip columns, people want to know what the heck this XFL revival is all about. Luckily for you guys, we've got all the answers right here. Of course, before we talk about what's to come, it's important to relive what was. Yep, that's right, we're going to be discussing the original XFL circa 2001 in order to provide a little backstory, it's been 17 years, after all.
"Our approach to presenting games will be multi-platform, which will allow us to engage fans and customize the viewing experience in ways that were unimaginable just a few years ago." - @VinceMcMahon #XFL2020 pic.twitter.com/eVqmqgWyjr— WWE (@WWE) January 25, 2018
McMahon has made it explicitly clear that this new league, while keeping the XFL namesake, is going to be unrecognizable from what audiences once knew almost two decades ago. Surely, if you can conjure up the images of those Saturday night games, you understand why. Below, we've addressed what we're sure are some pressing questions!
What Does XFL Stand For?
Plain and simple, the XFL stands for, "Xtreme Football League". Creative license was clearly taken in the spelling of "extreme".
How Long Did XFL Last?
The XFL was founded in 1999 and launched in 2001. Sources say a three-day draft period took place from October 28, 2000 to October 30, 2000. The league only lasted a total of one season following its inception.
Why Did XFL Fail?
Unlike the NFL that desperately tries to maintain a family-friendly image, the XFL was the antithesis to that. It was labeled the "everyman's football league" — featuring violence, sexed-up cheerleaders, and high stakes. Players were awarded bonuses for winning games, which was a huge incentive, considering members of the league were paid $35,000 to $50,000, as per ABC. In theory, this sort of "salt of the earth" league should have done well, but ratings were an overall bust. It's hard to snag advertisers with that kind of content and without advertisers, you've got nothing.
Beyond all of that, one of the more crucial mistakes of the XFL was trying to blend football and wrestling, and we're not talking about the sort of wrestling you see in a high school gym. We're talking about the sort of wrestling that the WWE is known for — outlandish and dramatic, the sort of stuff that amps up crowds and has very little to do with athletic merit. This isn't to say that wrestlers in the WWE aren't athletes, but there's a heavy element of performance that simply doesn't exist in commercial sports like the NFL, NBA, and MLB.
What Are People Saying About XFL 2020?
As you might imagine, there's been a lot of talk about XFL 2020 on the Interwebs. So, because we love that kind of stuff, we turned to Twitter to get some reactions and analysis.
Those mocking Vince McMahon and #XFL2020 should keep one thing in mind:— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) January 25, 2018
Unlike Roger Goodell and the #NFL, Vince has already stated that all players will stand for the National Anthem. And I have a feeling that will attract many of the people who've decided to #BoycottTheNFL.
Vince says he wants no players with any sort of criminal record. Even if you had a DUI, you will not be welcome to play in the XFL. #xfl2020— Jason Solomon (@solomonster) January 25, 2018
Vince McMahon says XFL will not become obsessed with politics or social issues & players will stand for the anthem.— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) January 25, 2018
Polls show this is what Americans want.#XFL2020
Vince McMahon bringing back the XFL the right way this time around. Saying that you will stand for the National Anthem in his League, and you wont' be allowed to play if you are a criminal. Thank You Vince McMahon. It should be about keeping professional sports classy#xfl2020— Matt Couch 🎙 (@RealMattCouch) January 25, 2018
When Is The New XFL Coming?
According to Deadspin Vince McMahon didn't provide too many concrete details, but he did mention that the new XFL will be launching in 2020 with eight teams, each having a 40 man roster. He also said that a break for halftime is unlikely, the reason being that game will be faster with more "simplified" rules — rounding a total of a two hour game.
Whether or not this announcement comes to fruition, one thing is certain — people are talking about it! It's not too often that a program that bombs as hard as the original XFL gets a second chance. We're curious to see if McMahon and the others involved will be able to make it work this time. Here's hoping — after all, the NFL stands for "No Fun League," and with ratings down, we can only hope to get our football fix elsewhere if it's more entertaining.
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