In 2001, Vince McMahon unveiled a new and somewhat controversial football league. He named it XFL. Its purpose, much like the now folded Alliance of American Football league, was to extend football for fans that wanted to watch the sport year round. It only lasted one year because of the wrestling gimmick that came with the league. Players would have nicknames on the back of their jerseys, who can forget “He Hate Me”, instead of last names. We also all remember the Coin toss right? Two players race to get possession of the ball and whoever came up with the ball won the “coin toss”. There was also the ever-changing rules throughout the season. This made the league hard to follow.

It’s alive!!!! It’s alive!!!!

Then on January 25, 2018, Vince McMahon brought the XFL back from the dead, just like the Undertaker would do so many times through his career. This time though, it sounds like Vince learned his lesson. I mean I would to if I lost $35 million on my investment. This time around he’s taking the wrestling type features out of it and making it more football related. The league also looks to speed the game up with shorter play clocks, as well as a continuous running game clock outside of 2 minutes. They’re aiming to keep the entertainment of the game moving.

Big step forward with TV deal for XFL

The biggest thing that will help XFL workout this time around though is the TV deal they struck on Monday. One reason I believe AAF folded was they didn’t really have a legitimate TV deal. Fans couldn’t watch their team every week unless they paid for subscriptions to CBS sports network or the other channels you had to pay for. All XFL games will be on ABC, FOX, ESPN, ESPN 2, FS1, and FS2. Unlike the NFL, until towards the end of each season, the XFL will have games on every Saturday and Sunday. There will be 2 games on Saturday starting at 2 pm and 2 games on Sunday. This is big if you want to keep fans interested in a specific team. Gives them a chance to get invested in a team. That, in turn, would lead to merchandise sales as well as game ticket sales.

No money? No chance in hell.

One last reason this league should work out is because Vince McMahon IS the investor. The AAF found out the hard way with not having a solid investor. I may be wrong but maybe Vince saw just how much money would be needed to fund the league due to AAF’s collapse. Vince liquidated $270 million in WWE stock, on top of the $500 million he was ready to invest, for additional funding. Love him or hate him as a WWE personality, he’s a smart businessman. He’s grown the WWE to be a billion-dollar company. Not saying he will do that here, but hopefully, he can at least keep it going longer than 8 weeks.

Until next time, this is your good friend Jimbo signing off.

Follow me @jimbostsports and my show @STSportsPodcast

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James Casterline

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