The XFL is back, baby!

The XFL is back, baby!

The XFL is coming back in 2020.

And Vince McMahon is actually taking time to plan out the league this time around instead of rushing into it like 2001. “The XFL is doing it right this time. They didn’t rush into it, so they’re gonna wait to kind of build everything up. I think they’ll be more successful than last time because of that,” said XFL and football fan in general, Mr. Bengel.

The XFL is very specific on how their contracts will be structured. All quarterbacks earned $5,000 per week, all other non-kickers earned $4,500 per week, and kickers earned $3,500 per week. All players earn a $2,500 per regular season win bonus, a $7,500 per win bonus, and the winning XFL “Super Bowl” team gets $1,000,000 to split evenly amongs the team.

The XFL also has strict stipulations on how long the contracts can be. “I thought one of the most interesting things was the players are signed to 52 week contracts, so they’re supposed to be involved in their community,” said Mr. Bengel.

One of the most anticipated announcements about the XFL will be the cities where the teams will be located. There is no real indication as to what cities will be targeted. One theory is that they will put teams in cities with popular NFL teams because there are already a lot of football fans. Another is that they will put them in cities and states that do not have a professional football team and give the locals a professional team to cheer for like Louisville, Kentucky.

The cheerleaders from the movie “The Replacements” doing their best XFL impression

Another anticipated part of the XFL is if they will change any rules. The previous XFL did not have fair catches or late hits. This lead to many injuries, but it also gave the people what they wanted: rough, hard-hitting football. People like to see humans beat up on each other. The problem with not changing the rules is the prevalence of CTE in 2018 that was not around in 2001. “They’ll change some of the rules. Obviously they can’t keep it as rough and tumble because of all the CTE and things like that. If they just practice blatant disregard, the league will get some bad press, and the people won’t play in it if it’s completely unsafe,” said Mr. Bengel

They will change rules they deem are unsafe, but they will replace them with something just as interesting. They will likely allow players to call a fair catch. They may slightly tweak the opening scrum, but hopefully that will remain similar because it is much more exciting and engaging than a coin flip. One rule they could change to make the kicking game more exciting is to make it more like rugby. In rugby, you kick the extra point from wherever the ball is touched down in the end zone. You can scoot as far back as you want, but you may be kicking the ball from near the out of bounds line. That would be an exciting rule to replace a dangerous rule. No matter what they do, they have to stay different from the NFL.

One other rule the XFL ran into trouble with was their cheerleaders. They could be very risqué, and they could be accurately compared to the cheerleaders from the movie “The Replacements.” “I thought I read an article that said he might be getting rid of the cheerleaders all together. McMahon said are going to put the focus on football,” said Mr. Bengel.

I believe they should keep the cheerleaders and just tell the TV cameras to focus on the football game if they cheerleaders are deemed inappropriate or distracting by the network.

One of the problems the XFL ran into last time was how to toe the line between the NFL and WWE. “I think he should just keep it in the middle (between NFL and WWE). Now they can add some WWE antics. I think the simplest WWE-like thing to add would be to mic the players up in the game. Be ready with that bleep button. That’s one thing that people crave with sports. It feels like the goodness of the game,” said Mr. Bengel.

A few announcements they have made are about the schedule and the teams. There are going to be eight teams, and each team will have a 40-man roster. The season will begin in early January and will consist of 10 regular season games. The playoffs will be similar to the current college football playoff format with four teams, two semi-final games, and a final game known as “The Million Dollar Game.” Mr. Bengel liked the move of the beginning of the season from February, like they did in 2001, to January.

“I think it’s a perfect move because of the fact that during the month of January college football is over; basically your Saturdays are empty. The NFL tries to take over Saturdays by doing the double playoffs, but they can only do that two of the weekends, so I think the XFL could benefit from it. Plus, very few people are watching college basketball on Saturdays in January. They’re filling a gap that people might want naturally want to watch sports on certain days. Instead of having to watch the first game of 30 for a college basketball team, they might be filling a football gap,” said Mr. Bengel

The XFL will have the most success if they add the entertainment aspect and value of the WWE with the entertainment value of the NFL. The XFL will allow players to show more of their personality, and they will find ways to get the fans more involved in the game. They also need to make it safe enough that players, especially former, still popular NFL players, will want to be in the league. “If it just increases the entertainment value (of football), it will be incredibly successful,” said Mr. Bengel.