This Is The XFL Part Two?

Submitted by LongLiveBo on December 21st, 2017 at 11:50 PM

Vince McMahon sold $100 million worth of WWE stock today to fund Alpha Entertainment, which he created, in part, to fund a pro football venture.

Alpha Entertainment filed for 5 trademarks last week to the "XFL."

Draw your own conclusions.

— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) December 21, 2017



December 21st, 2017 at 11:58 PM ^

This could also mean the revival of 2k football. We could be seeing the best football video game ever if this happens. All-Pro Football 2k8, which came out ten years ago, has better gameplay than Madden 18.



December 22nd, 2017 at 12:40 AM ^

The way we watch football today on television is due in no small part to innovations pioneered by the XFL. There was a lot wrong with that league but it was not all bad.


December 22nd, 2017 at 11:15 AM ^

Yeah, the WWE does a lot of things poorly, but they're great at live presentation.  The cameras and audio were quite a bit better than what the NFL product was at the time.  Also, they had some innovations with sideline questioning and proximity to coaches that you see now.


December 22nd, 2017 at 11:17 AM ^

They probably won't have the mad dash to the ball instead of kickoff, but it's not like all forms of football don't have to deal with concussion issues.  I don't think the XFLv2 will ever really happen, but they could probably introduce some real, meaningful changes to improve player safety with a whole new product if they were so inclined.


December 22nd, 2017 at 8:10 AM ^

You know, the ex-quarterback turned Purdue Head Coach that likes to let his players decapitate other team's quarterbacks? 

Must have learned that from the XFL....

Mr Miggle

December 22nd, 2017 at 8:39 AM ^

Combine that with Ball's idea of offering an alternative to the NCAA for young players. Forget the rough play that the XFL encouraged. Maybe experiment in the opposite direction to protect young players. That could possibly generate good publicity.

Maybe I'm overly optimistic because I'm wearing a Birmingham Thunderbolts t-shirt at the moment. There is some potential there, but creating a viable new league is always going to be tough. He can afford a gamble.


December 22nd, 2017 at 8:51 AM ^

Based on initial reports, McMahon believes that the market for the XFL is people who believe the NFL isn't violent enough, and also believe that it's bad that they don't force players to stand for the national anthem (EXPLICIT NOTE: I am NOT trying to start a national anthem conversation).


I'm not sure how well that's going to work (I think the market is quite a bit smaller than he thinks) and I think there's a really high barrier to taking fans from the NFL that they're going to have a seriously difficult time getting over, but it sounds like that's what they're going for.

Mr Miggle

December 22nd, 2017 at 10:40 AM ^

for rough play, at least in my strong opinion. Times have changed and his league would get killed by the media. He's not going to do this on his own and a TV partner would have their say. I just can't see him going down that road again.

It's foolish to try to take fans away from the NFL or CFB. The success of a new spring football league depends in large part on football's overall popularity. He won't be competing with them for an audience, but he can try to learn from what people do and don't like about them.

I'd suggest a territorial draft for starters. To the extent possible, fill teams with local players or those who attended nearby schools. I'd be much more interested in watching if all the former Michigan players were on the same team.



December 22nd, 2017 at 10:56 AM ^

I'm just going off what I've seen people writing about the venture, I don't think a more-violent football league is going to be a good or particularly marketable idea.


McMahon is 72 - I don't think he wants to mess around with a second-rate football league for 20 years before anyone starts to care about it; I'm also not convinced that a second-rate football league can truly survive. Arena Football already exists in the offseason and nobody really cares to watch it because (a) they don't care about any of the teams and (b) the games aren't nearly as good as college or the NFL. I don't think you could legally pull off a regional draft in a national sporting venture these days (it would seem to run afoul of the same rules that prohibited free agency). 


The thing is, McMahon doesn't seem like a moron, he built the WWE basically from nothing. I'm just not sure what angle he sees that he really feels is going to get a sustainable league going, because the XFL wasn't, and Arena Football isn't (there are currently six total teams, and only three of them are older than 2 years old).


December 22nd, 2017 at 11:21 AM ^

My reading of the situation from a couple different sources isn't that he thinks the league isn't violent enough, but that they don't convey the ferocity of the game properly.  McMahon is a carny at heart, but he's made a living conveying bone-shattering violence that can be repeated somewhat safely 300+ days a year.  Making the product feel more visceral and violent is more valuable to him than actually being more violent.  He's also about stars and personalities, and that's something the NFL has always struggled to market effectively compared to, say, the NBA.

I do think this is a play, a bit, for the anti-Kap/kneeling crowd, but that is probably ancillary.  McMahon wants to find a way to make money, and I think he sees a way to do that with a the XFL.  I personally think it won't work, but I at least get the premise behind it.

Larry Appleton

December 22nd, 2017 at 9:36 AM ^

The original incarnation of the XFL was a clusterf***.  Here were the problems:

1) The name.  Duh.

2) It marketed itself as being a league that could be on par with the NFL.  WRONG!  They should have gone after the Arena League and challenge to be THE second-tier league first.  Play around with that for a few years or decades, then try to move up.

3) Starting the season in February was so stupid!  People need a little vacation from football after the Super Bowl.  The appetite starts up again in the spring.  Start the season in May after the draft and after college spring ball, and you'd have much more interest.

4) The meaningless rule changes.  All I can remember is "no coin flips" and "no fair catches."  If you want to give people an alternative, MAKE IT DIFFERENT FOR REAL!  What about:

- More players on offense, including linemen, are eligible receivers.  Maybe not all of them, but more.

- You only have three downs to get a first.  Or five downs.  Something different.



Now, if they are bringing it back, I think the smart thing to do would be (*gasp*) THE LAVAR BALL MODEL!!!!  In that, I mean be a professional alternative to college ball.  The NFL needs you to be three years removed from high school.  This league should be anyone 18+.  Mix the league with players that were not good enough for the League and with youngins who either aren't smart enough for college or just don't want to go.


December 22nd, 2017 at 10:37 AM ^

I thought the purpose of the XFL was to turn football into a gladiator sport. So it has nothing to do with the anthem thing, because after a year or so of playing this game, few of the players will still be able to stand up long enough for them to play the entire anthem.

I get that the NFL is suddenly vulnerable due to a perfect storm of negative publicity from all sides, but this is not a good solution. We need to make football safer, so it doesn't become like boxing did in terms of participation. There was a time, long ago, when high schools had boxing clubs - and not just in urban areas.

Real Tackles Wear 77

December 22nd, 2017 at 10:59 AM ^

I liked the XFL for its one season when I was a kid, and would love to see an upstart that 'does football' in a new way, but I see a huge problem: the XFL was all about rough, hard-hitting, no holds barred football, and its most famous rule was no fair catches. With all the concern over CTE and head injuries, I don't see any way they could do the same today. 

I could see them as trying to position this league as a sort of 'alt-right' anti-establishment football league as an alternative to the 'PC' NFL but I'm not sure that's a big enough fan base to support the product. (NO POLITICS)


December 22nd, 2017 at 11:58 AM ^

It didn't work before, why in god's name would he think it would work now after increased scrutiny to the sport and lingering lawsuits, but stupid is as stupid does. Lot's of that these days. LOTS