Will the XFL last?

For football lovers who just can’t get enough, the XFL is officially back. It is both similar and different in more ways than one when compared to its original launch in 2001. However, will this new form of football entertainment be able to compete?

Photo Courtesy of NBC Sports

The XFL’s first launch was successful in the beginning however, overtime the number of viewers and interest greatly decreased due to the “gimmicky” feel of the league and the players. It wasn’t until 2017 that there was talk of potentially bringing the league back from former and current owner Vince McMaohn. 

There are a total of eight XFL teams and they all made their debut the first week of play. The first official game of the new season was played on Feb. 8, 2020 between the Seattle Dragons and the DC Defenders. The Defenders would prove victorious 31-19. The rest of the teams in the league are the Los Angeles Wildcats, the Houston Roughnecks, the Tampa Bay Vipers, the New York Guardians, the St. Louis Battlehawk and  the Dallas Renegades. 

The XFL has a number of interesting qualities such as player interviews in between and after plays rather than after games or during halftimes. There is also a shorter halftime length (only a 2 minute difference from the NFL but we’ll take it). Not to mention, refs and coaches are mic’d up during the games as well. Some viewers may love it and some may not. 

After watching the first and second week of the season, it’s clear that this version of the XFL has better quality football and is not such an obvious product of the owner of WWE. However, it still may not be everyone’s cup of tea. 

Some may view it as a simpler filler for people that simply cannot live a few months without football (Which is definitely very hard for some people). Others may see it as just another form of sports entertainment and more money put into McMahon’s wallet. 

With all the hype and support around it, it begs the question, will it last or will it flop again? To be fair, the first go around was a disaster due to lack of planning. For starters, when the league was first announced in 2001, McMahon did it with only a year until the launch. Pretty bold considering there were no teams established and no players or coaches hired at the time. 

However, it was too late. Once the media got a hold of a football league that could potentially compete with the National Football League, they took it and ran. As mentioned previously, it was hyped up beyond belief and naturally, the first week of play many tuned in to see what it was all about. According to the To XFL News Hub, to make things worse within the second week of play, the XFL was already implementing factors from the WWE (at that time the WWF). 

The list could go on about how awful everything went and all of the mistakes that were made. However, this time let’s not focus on that anymore. Will the XFL become a top competitor to the NFL? Probably not. Is it decent football, sure. There is much more support for the league this time.  For the sake of all the money invested into this organization for the second time, it would be nice if it succeeded this time. To top it all off, former Buff kicker Sergio Castillo plays for the Houston Roughnecks. Plus…XFL sounds a lot cooler.