The history of American professional football is littered with failed leagues thanks to the dominance of the NFL as well as a brand that has been cultivated for decades and has until recently proven to be virtually indestructible.
However, that brand has now become irredeemably tarnished thanks to the league’s decision to choose sides in an acrimonious cultural battle that veered into outright anti-Americanism with the rampant spread of national anthem protests.
Some of the defunct leagues are the United States Football League (USFL), World Football League (WFL), American Football League (AFL) and the All-America Football Conference (AAFC); the latter two were absorbed by the NFL.
One other league, the gimmicky XFL had a very brief run back in 2001 but flamed out quickly.
Now that the environment is more favorable to competition, the XFL is back and looking to take on the establishment NFL which has veered so far into radical leftist politics that it should just go ahead and change its name to the SJWFL.
On Thursday, the XFL was reborn and for those who want to satisfy their football Jones but can no longer watch the NFL without wanting to vomit or put the remote into punt formation, there will be an opportunity to do so starting in 2020.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 25, 2018
WWE founder and chairman Vince McMahon announced Thursday he is giving a professional football league another go.
It will be called the XFL, the same name of the league McMahon and NBC tried for one season in 2001, but it won’t rely on flashy cheerleaders and antics as its predecessor did, he said.
McMahon said he is the sole funding source for the league, which is slated to begin in January 2020. Its first season will have eight teams around the country playing a 10-week schedule. The initial outlay of money is expected to be around $100 million, the same amount of WWE stock McMahon sold last month and funneled into Alpha Entertainment, the company he founded for the project.
“I wanted to do this since the day we stopped the other one,” McMahon told ESPN in an exclusive interview. “A chance to do it with no partners, strictly funded by me, which would allow me to look in the mirror and say, ‘You were the one who screwed this up,’ or ‘You made this thing a success.'”
One mark of the new league, McMahon said, will be faster games. The ideal running time, he said, would be two hours.
As for the timing of the announcement, two years before the league’s debut, many might point to McMahon’s relationship with President Donald Trump, who this fall criticized the NFL for allowing its players to kneel and sit during the national anthem. McMahon said players in his league will not be given the forum to take a personal stance while on the playing field. McMahon’s wife, Linda, heads the Small Business Administration in Trump’s Cabinet.
“People don’t want social and political issues coming into play when they are trying to be entertained,” McMahon said. “We want someone who wants to take a knee to do their version of that on their personal time.”
McMahon said being the only owner of all of the teams will allow him to do whatever he wants.
“I can say, ‘Here are the rules, and as long as you are playing football in the stadium for us, you follow these rules.'”
As poet and novelist, Victor Hugo once famously remarked“Nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come” and WWE co-founder Vince McMahon seems to realize that may be the case with relaunching his football league.
The NFL will use every dirty trick in the book to stop his venture including mobilizing armies of media stooges and public relations flacks against him but if McMahon takes his time, is able to lure some big name pro and college players and capitalize on the ill-will that the NFL has spread then he may just be able to catch lightning in a bottle.
The new XFL will not rely on gimmickry and flash but will instead by a straight up football league which America hasn’t had since the USFL was run out of business.
If McMahon wants to do it right, he should immediately draw the battle lines when it comes to patriotism and use that as a marketing tool right off the bat. The NFL has long paid lip service to the military and American values but showed its true face in 2017.