I’ll never forget the announcement of the XFL back in 2000. The WWE was on fire and the idea of a new football league sounded amazing. I had stopped watching the NFL a few years prior, so the idea of a new, edgy football league was something that really appealed to me. It was made even better when they announced a team in Memphis, where I was living at the time.
I anxiously awaited the XFL news and had even started a Memphis Pioneers fansite (The Pioneers was an early rumored name for the Memphis Maniax). Then the XFL debut came and it was well… interesting. I wasn’t as captivated as I expected to be, but I did enjoy it. I think I watched the first three weeks and then my interest tapered off. The gimmicks just weren’t good enough and the commentary really stunk. The football wasn’t that good and well… I guess I disliked all the things about the XFL that everyone else did.
I was bummed out they didn’t get a second season, but that’s life when it comes to new sport leagues. About five years ago, decided to watch some XFL games on YouTube and I found that they didn’t age all that well. It was very easy to see why the XFL failed and my thought about watching all of the XFL games and recapping them was quickly dissolved when I realized how much of a chore it was to get through a game.
Then came the XFL 30 for 30. Nostalgia was in full swing and the next thing ya know the AAF and the XFL are announced. The AAF appealed to me more and I really enjoyed all the action that I saw. Of course, that league suffered financially and closed after nine weeks. The XFL took a slower approach to setting everything up and well, the team names and locations didn’t do much for me.
But now I find myself sitting here, twenty years later and just three days from XFL 2.0’s kick-off and I’m a little excited.
I’m not the biggest football but I do enjoy the sport. I love Arena football and love the idea of a faster paced game that has less down-time. The XFL seems to be taking a more deliberate approach at getting this right this time around and they have good partners, a sound financial plan, and some interesting rule changes that should hopefully result in some quality football. It also helps that the AAF on-field action was pretty good and lots of AAF players are in the XFL. The question is, will people not tune in because they don’t want to get invested in another league that may disappear after one season or even less than a season?
I honestly don’t know, but I’m excited to see how the XFL goes. I’m trying to pick a team to root for, but I’m torn between several. Maybe I’ll check out a few games and pick from there.
I hope that this time next year I’m writing a post hyping up season two of the XFL.