Earlier this afternoon, the XFL announced that it would suspend operations.
The XFL became the third professional football league in the past year to suspend operations. Last April, the Alliance of American Football shut its doors after eight games because they couldn’t afford to keep the doors open. This past November, the Arena Football League closed shop permanently a month after declaring bankruptcy stemming from an insurance lawsuit against the league.
How We Got Here
The league halted its reboot after Week 5 following the NBA and NHL’s shutdown. The XFL announced the cancellation of the remainder of the season on March 12. Two days later, the news came out that a Seattle Dragons team member had tested positive for Coronavirus.
Eight days after the league canceled the season, the league gave all players permission to sign contracts in other professional leagues. On March 23, the Carolina Panthers signed likely-MVP Houston QB PJ Walker and the Kansas City Chiefs signed St. Louis QB Jordan Ta’amu.
This week, fans were reporting on various Facebook groups that the league was refunding season ticket holders. The final straw came today the league announced that it was laying off all staff with the exception of some executives.
We Sure Had Fun, Didn’t We?
From the onset of the opening kickoff, the XFL provided football fans with aspects that made the league so unique. There was sports gaming during matches and innovative touchdown conversion scoring. We also saw some memorable sideline interviews.
Game of the Year
The XFL provided some fun moments during its reboot and arguably the game of the year came in Week 2 between Houston and St. Louis. It was a see-saw battle that saw the Roughnecks come out on top. But it was a duel between the two best quarterbacks in the league: Walker and Ta’amu.
A Message to the Haters
Many elitists of the football world who were naysayers of the league are likely to celebrate and say “I told you it would fail.” What those elitists don’t realize is that the league wasn’t a victim of its own undoing. The league became just another victim to a global pandemic that has halted almost all professional sports leagues in North America. League employees from social media to interns to game operations staff have lost their jobs. If all you can do is laugh, point, and say, “I told you so,” go pound sand.
Hopefully, Vince McMahon will bring the league back when the world is somewhat back to normal after #CoronaSZN ends. Until then, we’ll have to wonder what might have been for this version of the XFL.