Vince McMahon is back at it again, kicking the tires on the once dead XFL for another try in 2020, and while most roll their eyes at the thought, this new league could actually do some good for the NFL.
Should the NFL be threatened by the XFL? Absolutely not. However, the league office will be watching closely as McMahon has targeted a league which listens to the fans.
Listening to the masses sounds great, but can also be opening up Pandora’s box when it comes to rules and the way the game is played. In his introductory video, McMahon said the XFL is going to give football “back to fans”.
If, by chance, you missed the video stating the return of the XFL, you can see it below:
Vince McMahon is relaunching the XFL, promising a "shorter, faster-paced, family-friendly, and easier to understand" re-imagining of football. pic.twitter.com/0QCqcdjoRO— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 25, 2018
McMahon talks about some hypothetical changes from football the way fans know it now, and how it could be in the XFL:
- Eliminate Halftime
- Fewer commercial breaks
- Faster game
- Simpler rules
These are just a few things listed by McMahon in the video, but he also went on the say the goal was to have a “shorter, faster-paced, family friendly and an easier-to-understand game.”
It all sounds great, and while many are laughing at the thought of the XFL returning, with players like Rod Smart donning “He Hate Me” on the back of his jersey coming to mind, the XFL could serve a larger purpose to the NFL.
If you didn’t know, with McMahon nothing is out of bounds, anyone who has followed the WWF/WWE knows this, and his experimentation could actually produce a better game.
For instance, if McMahon experiments with a football which has a computer chip embedded in it to tell if it crosses the goal line or line-to-gain, it could be an innovation which the NFL takes and adopts into their game. This technology could open the door for easier spotting of the football, more sophisticated ways of measuring a first down and less grey area when it comes to the current struggles in short-yardage situations.
Also, it will be interesting to see how the XFL formulates their rules. The ‘Catch Rule’ in the NFL might be the most debated, and controversial, rules in all of sports. If the NFL doesn’t change it, and the XFL does alter the rule and sees great success, the NFL might need to re-visit their stance on the rule as it currently stands.
Outside of pace of play, rules and procedures, the XFL could eventually be a very valuable commodity for the NFL. The National Football League is the largest sport in North America, and it doesn’t have any type of minor league system. Some argue college football provides the minor league system, but the NCAA would strongly disagree. The XFL could be a great place for players to go and continue to improve their craft in hopes of returning to, or getting into, the NFL. In a way, it could replace the now extinct NFL Europe.
Instead of thinking the XFL is just going to do nothing but flop, again, there is a chance McMahon and company have learned from their previous endeavor. It is okay to be different, but when people tune in they still want to just watch football. Not wrestling — football.
Either way, McMahon will have two years to get things together, with the re-launch set for year 2020. There is a lot of work to be done. Figure out team names, which cities will have teams, and all the rules, etc. This won’t be an easy task, but if the minds behind the new XFL are smart, they will realize the opportunity in front of them. Not to compete with the NFL, but to be a trailblazer for the NFL, and possibly pairing up with them in some way, shape or form in the future.
McMahon is an extremely smart business man, and if he learned from his mistakes with the XFL the first go-around, there is a chance his second trip into professional football isn’t a flop.