Welp, I finally got my gubment stimulus debit card and I think I’m gonna use it to try to buy the XFL.
Why not? It’s in bankruptcy and will supposedly come cheap, and I’m about as cheap as they come. The auction isn’t scheduled until August, but I figured I’d go ahead and put my plans out there now so everyone will know where I stand.
XFL, as you know, doesn’t stand for anything.
When the first version was founded in 2001, early claims were that it was short for “Extreme Football League.” Founder Vince McMahon said that wasn’t the case. Plus, had it been the Extreme Football League the acronym would’ve been EFL.
Also, the original XFL sucked.
The XFL that was rebooted 19 years later did not, in fact, suck. As far as minor league pro football goes, I thought it was a fine product. Still, it made it through only half of a regular season before it was forced to shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Even though the second attempt at the XFL didn’t die by its own hand, it still died. And now when you think of it, you think of failure.
It’s why the Ford Motor Company hasn’t tried to revive the Edsel, why the Coca-Cola Company won’t give New Coke another try, and why DC Entertainment and De Line Pictures aren’t making “Green Lantern II.”
Right or wrong, some names have negative connotations and the bad publicity is hard to shake.
If I decided to go with a blast from the past rebrand, I’d call what used to be the XFL the Continental Football League. That would honor what was arguably the United States’ best minor football league.
Better yet, though, I’ll just go with the North American Football League. This name has been used by semi-pro circuits and leagues that failed to launch, but I don’t think there’d be much of a legal tussle if I decided to use it for my XFL makeover. If there is, I’ll call one of those lawyers with the 999-9999 numbers and take ’em to court.
If you take a look at the 2020 XFL and the 2019 Alliance of American Football, you can see there are some cities that are much more enthusiastic about spring football than others.
In the XFL, the St. Louis BattleHawks and Seattle Dragons were far and away the most popular teams among fans, with the Hawks averaging 28,541 paying customers per game and the Dragons pulling in 25,616.
In the AAF, the San Antonio Commanders led the league with 27,721 fans per game while the San Diego Fleet and Orlando Apollos flirted with close to 20,000 supporters for their home contests.
So, I’d make sure those five cities were in the NAFL and think of getting rid of some of the teams that drew poorly.
One problem is that you need major markets for TV purposes, and unfortunately New York and Los Angeles were two of the biggest box office disappointments in the XFL.
Not sure what I’ll do about that, so I’ll wait until my bid is approved before considering the matter further.
For the most part I thought the 2020 XFL’s rule package was excellent – especially the low-collision kickoffs and the banning of gunners on punt teams.
And while the gimmick of one, two and three-point conversions was cool at first, that novelty wore off quickly.
Instead, I’d steal from the old World Football League and make touchdowns worth seven points (with a single point conversion attempted via a run or pass from the two and a half yard line).
And the one rule I’ve always wanted to see in an alternative football league is the defense getting a tangible reward for forcing turnover, whether it’s a fumble or interception. So if the Dragons pick off a Commanders pass, they score a point.
Anyway, those are my bright ideas for bringing the league formerly known as the XFL back to life. I truly think if my offer is accepted, it’ll be $1,200 well-spent.
Wish me luck.