It’s baaaaaack. Vince McMahon, the WWE chairman, announced that the XFL is coming back, saying he plans to ‘reimagine’ football to be more fan-centric!
With less than two weeks until the Super Bowl, Vince McMahon, 72, just fired a huge shot against the NFL. With rumblings that the WWE founder and chairman was going to dive back into the football world, Vince confirmed these rumors with an announcement on Jan. 25. Vince, along with his new company Alpha Entertainment, said that the XFL will return in two years. “We will give football back to the fans,” Vince said at the start of the announcement. The XFL, when it comes back, will feature 8 teams, 40 men rosters, and a 10-week schedule.
However, Vince stressed during the announcement that in the lead-up to the XFL, he stressed that he and the league will listen to the fans, asking them “what would you do” if they were in charge. Ultimately, he wants this league to be more “fan-centric.”He also said that the XFL will be separate from the WWE and there would be no crossover between the two brands. He said it was too early to announce which cities would get teams.
Of course, with the current President being a member of the WWE Hall of Fame, a journalist brought up President Donald Trump, and if he would support the league. “I have no idea if President Donald Trump will support this. As far as our league is concerned, it will have nothing to do with politics.” Vince stressed that the league will not deal with “social issues,” saying that the XFL will be only about football.
“Whatever our rules are, everyone will abide by,” Vince said during a follow-up question about if the XFL is going to infringe on a player’s First Amendment rights, before adding the XFL is for players who “just want to play football.” Vince, on the subject of Johnny Manziel, Colin Kaepernick and Tim Tebow possibly playing, he said that any player who ever had even a DUI, they wouldn’t be allowed to play.
Vince McMahon is really bringing back the XFL in 2020. pic.twitter.com/qTHX5YlLlv
— PinPoint Sports (@SportsPinPoint) January 25, 2018
Vince McMahon "The National Anthem is a time honored tradition." Says players are expected to abide by the rules and will be required to stand for the National Anthem. #XFL2020.
— Carmine Sabia (@CarmineSabia) January 25, 2018
Vince McMahon is bringing back the XFL in 2020. Asked if the NFL's ratings dip & kneeling protests factored into the decision, he says no. And yet:
"As far as our league concerned, it'll have nothing to do with politics […] and nothing to do with social issues, either." pic.twitter.com/QGLZJp2k56
— Samit Sarkar (@SamitSarkar) January 25, 2018
"Even if you have a DUI, you will not play in the XFL." – Vince McMahon on character/criminality in #XFL2020
— TheJeremySmithShow (@JeremySmithShow) January 25, 2018
Alpha Entertainment issued a media advisory early on Jan. 25, informing that Vince would have a “major sports announcement,” and early reports said the league would return in 2020. The XFL’s comeback isn’t a total surprise. Vince sold off 3.34 million of his shares of WWE stock in Dec. 2017, making around $100 million “primarily to fund a separate entity from the [WWE], Alpha Entertainment LLC, which Mr. McMahon established to explore investment opportunities across the sports and entertainment landscapes, including professional football,” the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing said, according to ESPN. Alpha Entertainment subsequently filed for five trademarks, including “URFL,” “UrFL,” as well as – surprise, surprise – “XFL.”
The XFL was a joint venture between the WWE (then known as the WWF) and NBC. Vince and former NBC executive Dick Ebersol worked together to launch the league in February 2001. The league featured eight teams: Orlando Rage, Chicago Enforcers, New York/New Jersey Hitmen, Birmingham Thunderbolts, Los Angeles Xtreme, San Francisco Demons, Memphis Maniax and the Las Vegas Outlaws. The XFL was promoted as being a league with fewer rules and a greater emphasis on an older, “rougher” style of play.
One of the aspects of the XFL was the “opening scramble,” which set the football at the 50-yard-line. Players had to run and try to recover it at the start of the game, in lieu of the traditional “coin toss leading to a kickoff.” One player famously suffered the XFL’s very first injury when Hassan Shamsid-Deen, 42, of the Orlando Rage, separated his shoulder on the first scramble of the season, according to CBS Sports. He missed out on the rest of the year.
— Lo Life Blog (@LoLifeTweets) January 25, 2018
— Joshua Modaberi (@J_Modaberi) January 25, 2018
Turns out, he missed the entire XFL. The Xtreme would defeat the Demons in the XFL’s only championship – dubbed the “Million Dollar Game” for prize to be split among the winning team. Despite opening up with massive ratings, interest fell off quickly. The XFL folded after one season and both NBC and WWE lost $35 million – each – on the failed venture. Football fans will have to wait and see if this new league works out for Vince.
What do you think about Vince McMahon’s announcement, HollywoodLifers?