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The XFL remains a powerful brand. It appeals to anarchists and revolutionaries. It symbolizes rebellion against hubris and ultimate authority, albeit a failed coup against a fat
king asleep in his throne. The original concept was far better than the execution.
It will be much different this time.
That doesn’t mean the new XFL will work, an eight-team league that will begin play in 2020 featuring less commercials; games intended to last no more than two hours; zero
miscreants in uniform; and absolutely no kneeling during the national anthem.
This is not a product re-launch. This is the DeLorean coming back as a station wagon. There will be no titillation, cheerleaders or WWE storylines. The only thing extreme about
the new XFL is the politics.
During Thursday’s press conference, founder Vince McMahon made it clear that his next assault on the NFL won't depend on ratings or network approval. There are other ways to
consume and monetize professional football, fast becoming an outdated concept. That kind of strategy shows vision and
, and television viewership is a dwindling piece of the pie
McMahon banned anyone with a criminal record from playing in his once-failed league, exactly the kind of hell-raising player he coveted 17
, instantly eliminating Johnny Manziel
years ago,Womens Cam Newton Jersey, posting $70 million in losses., when the XFL was pulled after one inglorious season
But that still leaves Tim Tebow and Colin Kaepernick,Womens Luke Kuechly Jersey, and both players would draw huge audiences. It could resuscitate the career of Robert Griffin III. It will seem
irresistible to former stars who miss the platform of football, who seemed very excited by this new
,Authentic Walter Payton Jersey, like Chad Johnson and Terrell Owens. It even lit a fire in Matt Leinart
football league, pointing out that he’ll only be 36 when kickoff commences.
McMahon also made it clear that no player will be allowed to protest societal issues on the playing field,Womens Jordan Howard Jersey, polarizing issues the NFL
, capitalizing on one of the most disruptive
has ever encountered. The move was predictable and savage.
Say what you want about his approval ratings, a league once hailed as
, but President Donald Trump’s ongoing condemnation of the NFL has left bruises on an American heavyweight
bullet-proof. Commissioner Roger Goodell has danced around the issue for months, trying to appease very different factions: a growing percentage of players who will no longer be
muted; a long-standing and profitable relationship with the U.S. military and the American flag; and fans who have lost sight of the original issue, but resent how their
favorite sport is soured by all the unwanted militancy, and how professional athletes (many of them minorities) can be so angry about the state of the country when earning
millions of dollars playing a game.
So the strategy is clear: The NFL can have the Patriots. McMahon will immediately claim the other kind, those who believe the NFL has let them down on some level
, the real kind
– especially when it comes to the national anthem.
Maybe it’s a coincidence that you can draw a direct line between Trump’s Twitter evisceration of the NFL, the league’s rejection of a Super Bowl ad asking Americans to stand
for the national anthem, the unveiling of the new XFL, Linda, and how McMahon’s wife, heads the Small Business Administration in Trump’s cabinet.
Don’t be surprised if a predominance of McMahon’s eight franchises are positioned in deeply red, Little
, football-obsessed regions located in the Deep South. Maybe Birmingham
Rock and Memphis. A Florida franchise would print money with Tebow at quarterback. Or how about RG-III in San Antonio?
The new XFL would never work in Arizona, even though the politics generally align and the climate is ideal for a league that will begin its competitive schedule in the month of
January. But our landscape is muddy,Authentic Cam Newton Jersey, where experimental leagues eventually come to wither and die.,Authentic Mitchell Trubiskyn Jersey, complicated and horribly oversaturated
But if you can get beyond sarcasm, skepticism and motives,Womens Mitchell Trubiskyn Jersey, you’ll find a legitimate conversation to be had with McMahon's new venture,Authentic Luke Kuechly Jersey, maybe even a case for another rogue
football league in America.
The NFL’s biggest problems are not declining ratings,Womens Walter Payton Jersey, concussion protocol or what constitutes a catch. It’s the lack of practice time and player development on the
professional level,Authentic Jordan Howard Jersey, compounded by incoming rookie classes that have been playing a completely different game in college.
Goodell badly needs a developmental league. His NFL franchises must have ownership in these teams, allowing fans to watch and gauge their future talent. Remember when Archie
Bradley was tearing up the minor leagues? Imagine the excitement and revenue streams available for certified minor-league football, where Cardinals fans could get excited about
some young player tearing up the XFL.
Meanwhile, athletes who have been misfit, misled, overlooked and dramatically underpaid in college should have another outlet. The competition will make everyone better. And
somewhere down the line, he will look like a genius. And he might have done a valuable service to the
, if McMahon sells an improved version of New Coke to 32 billionaire owners
But this time around, a little advice: No "He Hate Me." No midfield scrums to determine opening possession. No more overhyped promises. But if McMahon wants to make an exception
for Manziel, that’s fine by me. I prefer a little anarchy.