Joined: 22/05/2017 06:31:49
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,Authentic Aaron Rodgers Jersey, 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,Authentic Ha Ha Clinton-Dix Jersey, and television viewership is a dwindling piece of the pie, fast becoming an outdated concept. That kind of strategy shows vision and
McMahon banned anyone with a criminal record from playing in his once-failed league,Authentic Andrew Luck Jersey, instantly eliminating Johnny Manziel, exactly the kind of hell-raising player he coveted 17
years ago,Womens T.Y. Hilton Jersey, when the XFL was pulled after one inglorious season, posting $70 million in losses.
But that still leaves Tim Tebow and Colin Kaepernick, 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, like Chad Johnson and Terrell Owens. It even lit a fire in Matt Leinart, who seemed very excited by this new
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, capitalizing on one of the most disruptive, polarizing issues the NFL
has ever encountered. The move was predictable and savage.
Say what you want about his approval ratings, but President Donald Trump’s ongoing condemnation of the NFL has left bruises on an American heavyweight, a league once hailed as
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, the real kind, those who believe the NFL has let them down on some level
– 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, and how McMahon’s wife, Linda,Womens Aaron Rodgers Jersey, 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,Womens Ha Ha Clinton-Dix Jersey, football-obsessed regions located in the Deep South. Maybe Birmingham,Womens Andrew Luck Jersey, Little
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,Authentic T.Y. Hilton Jersey, 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,Womens Leonard Fournette Jersey, complicated and horribly oversaturated,Authentic Leonard Fournette Jersey, where experimental leagues eventually come to wither and die.
But if you can get beyond sarcasm, you’ll find a legitimate conversation to be had with McMahon's new venture, skepticism and motives, maybe even a case for another rogue
football league in America.
The NFL’s biggest problems are not declining ratings, concussion protocol or what constitutes a catch. It’s the lack of practice time and player development on the
professional level, 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, misled, athletes who have been misfit, overlooked and dramatically underpaid in college should have another outlet. The competition will make everyone better. And
somewhere down the line, if McMahon sells an improved version of New Coke to 32 billionaire owners, he will look like a genius. And he might have done a valuable service to the
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.