UPDATE: Vince McMahon has officially announced the formation of a new XFL. This league will begin play in 2020 and start with eight teams, 40 man rosters, 10 game schedules, and a postseason that will include two semi-finals and a championship game. McMahon says that the rules in this new league will be “simpler” and he will listen to football experts, coaches, players, medical experts, and the fans for what they want to see.
“Since we’re launching in 2020, we have two years, which is plenty of times to really get this right.” McMahon said during a press conference. “We are reimagining the game of football.”
When asked why this is the right time, McMahon said, “There are seven months of no football and 70 million fans. Why not?”
McMahon said he’d consider “many forms of presentation” and there is interest in broadcasting new XFL games. “There will be no crossover whatsoever between the WWE and the new XFL.” McMahon said when asked.
He also said that he will retain his position in the WWE. He is going to hire “experienced executives who will be out in front. It won’t be me.”
McMahon revealed that the plans call for the league to begin play towards the end of January or beginning of February. Teams are single entity and the league is “way away” from announcing cities for potential franchises.
McMahon said this game would have nothing to do politics, calling standing for the national anthem a “time honored tradition” and that it’d be “appropriate” for players to stand. He said former NFL QB Tim Tebow “could very well play”.
On the topic of Colin Kaepernick, he said, “As long as everyone abides by the rules as laid down, why not?” He said criminality, or lack thereof, is also important. “Even if you have a DUI, you will not play in the XFL.”
For those wondering about whether nicknames on the back of jerseys like the infamous “He Hate Me” worn by Las Vegas Outlaws running back Rod Smart would return, McMahon said he wasn’t sure about it.
Vince McMahon, founder and chairman of World Wrestling Entertainment, is set to announce the formation of a new football league on Thursday at 3 pm EST, according to a report from ESPN’s Darren Rovell. This new league aims to begin play in 2020.
McMahon is no stranger to football. In 2001, he formed The XFL. The league was a joint venture between the then World Wrestling Federation and NBC. The league consisted of eight teams in two divisions and was set to play during the NFL’s offseason. It encouraged rougher play and claimed to have fewer rules. The XFL tried many different things, including replacing the coin toss/kickoff with a fight for possession between one player from each team, using the SkyCam camera angle that was used at times this season by the NFL, and doing away with the extra point kick.
The XFL began play in 2001 and it fell hard, ceasing operations after that season. The on-field product was poor at best and the fan appeal just wasn’t there. The Los Angeles Xtreme defeated the San Francisco Demons 38-6 in the “Million Dollar Game” to win the only XFL Championship. Once NBC announced it wouldn’t broadcast a second season of XFL games, the league ceased operations.
It’s going to be interesting to see if McMahon can make this work. Personally, I think he can. He needs this league to focus on the actual football and not try to use football as an extension to his “sports entertainment”. He needs to surround himself with people who know the game in and out so they can run the football operations, while Vince can manage the business aspects of the league. Time will tell if this works.
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