The XFL might be closing its doors for good.
The timing of the league shutdown due to the virus was incredibly unfortunate, especially because it looks as if the XFL wasn't established enough yet to survive an extended suspension of operations.
I’ll admit, I was a big fan of the XFL.
The second run of the ‘Extreme Football League’ was extreme in name only, displaying some decent talent with a few clever rule changes that made its games entertaining enough to watch.
A spring football league had long been a failed idea tried by many (the AAF, the first XFL, etc.), but the new XFL had seemed to fix the issues that had plagued the previous spring leagues. It was well funded, well organized, had respectable uniforms, great TV deals, and some potential star players.
But, from an NFL fan’s perspective, it was doing even more. It was challenging the NFL, not financially, but with some of its innovations, such as the new kickoff and replay review system. The XFL was coming up with and testing new ideas, which could eventually be implemented into and improve the NFL.
Most importantly, the XFL was giving players that would otherwise be on a practice squad or free agents valuable experience, and was starting to look like a valuable pipeline of developing talent to the NFL.
However, it looks as if the XFL might be the next spring league to fold for good. It was the most successful of these leagues in recent memory, but was shut down by something out of its control. Hope remains it might return in 2021, but most of the reports are saying otherwise.
If this rendition of the XFL fails, there would be a good chance it would be the last, as not many would attempt to start up a new spring league for a while afterwards.
Even though it couldn't even make it through one full season, the XFL showed us that a spring football league could stay afloat in a crowded sports world, and many of its players still managed to play their way into another chance with the NFL.
The league failed, but it wasn't all for nothing. For five weeks fans were provided with entertaining football and players were able to make money, learn, and play the sport they love.
Thanks, XFL, it was a good run.