The XFL starts this weekend. Immediately after the Super Bowl, NFL fans everywhere run to social media complaining about the lack of football for the foreseeable future.
This Saturday at 2 pm ET, the 2020 XFL season kicks off when the Seattle Dragons travel to DC to play PFT’s Washington Defenders (-7) on ABC. If you’re in the tri-state area, I strongly suggest a trip to MetLife Stadium on Sunday to see the New York Guardians host Marc Trestman and his Tampa Bay Vipers (-2.5). Skeptical football fans everywhere will be able to analyze and enjoy the revival of Vince McMahon’s professional football league every weekend until April 26th’s Championship game. Here’s the broadcast schedule for the first 6 weeks of the XFL season:
I’ve been oddly obsessed with the success of the XFL since I first laid eyes on pro wrestling's version of pro football. Everybody was hating after the first go-around only lasted one season, but I've been advocating for its return since its untimely departure. I was 6-years-old when I started playing tackle football. Back then I was inspired by guys in the WWE just as much as I was by guys in the NFL. Rikishi to Reggie White. Mark Henry to Jason Taylor. The Rock to The Fridge. I was 11 in 2001 for the XFL's original iteration. It was absolutely electric, but boy did it have its flaws.
But even Mike Florio seems optimistic about the XFL this time around:
“It already has more promise than the AAF, which debuted with strong ratings on CBS last year but fizzled as games were televised by lesser platforms (and imploded because there never was enough cash). XFL games will be televised by ESPN/ABC and FOX, networks that seem poised to push the veal aggressively to a built-in audience”
Speaking of built-in audiences, Clem wrote a blog earlier this week about how the XFL plans to incorporate gambling into their broadcasts. Games featured on ESPN and ABC will have the spread and Over/Under displayed on “score bugs” while announcers address the line whenever they see fit. I’m not a degenerate gambler, but I can’t wait to hear the call for XFL’s first bad beat.
Let's all give the XFL a chance this weekend. It's more football. Just watch it. If you don't watch the XFL for your own enjoyment, do it for Cardale Jones. Do it for Landry Jones. Do it for Jarron Jones or former Michigan State star, Connor Cook. Or Antonio Callaway of Hard Knocks/Cleveland Browns fame. Or former New York Giants DT, Jay Bromley. As for me? I'm just here for more football.
(Now let's all enjoy an irrelevant but impressive Cardale Jones highlights from roughly 5 years ago.)