Vince McMahon has brought us more football in 2020 with a reinvigorated XFL league comprised of eight teams across the top cities in the United States. Yes, there was an original XFL league back in 2001, but ended quickly and only lasted for one season.
The main component with the failure of the earlier XFL was the battle between the NFL and college ranks and programs garnering the best football talent.
This should be the focus and key to success and sustainability of the XFL, garner stars and great players to pull in eyes as the NFL season comes to an end.
This season of the new XFL started February eighth and ends in early April. It would be a mistake to assume football fans will tune in because the NFL has ended. After the all-star break in the NBA, it takes over the time of sports fans, and without top talent yet in the XFL, getting most sports fans will be tough.
One strength of the new XFL is how they’ve changed rules to make the game faster and bring in more strategy in scoring plays.
One, for example, is the extra point in which after a touchdown is scored, the offense has the ability to attempt a play from the two, five, and 10-yard line with a score of one, two, or three.
Another example would be the double-forward pass, in which the offense may throw a second forward pass as long as both attempts occur behind the line of scrimmage.
This in year one was the XFLs’ clear advantage, change the most common rules that had NFL fans complaining and make games more exciting.
However, the XFL is fighting the same battle that every new league has to face.
These teams have no tradition among sports fans, while also facing stiff competition with a league in the NFL that already garners the top talent. Also, a schedule that already takes place while other popular sports are looking towards their playoffs or just getting started, such as NBA, NHL, and MLB respectively.
According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, Last Saturday’s XFL debut on ABC, the Seattle Dragons at the Defenders generated 3.3 million average viewers. The reduction from one Saturday to the next at the same starting time (2:00 p.m. ET) amounts to 1.173 million.
That equates to a slippage of 35.5 percent. These are strong for week one, and new leagues usually see a steep drop in the weeks after the opening. Even though a drop of 35 percent isn’t great, the XFL will be tested as to who tunes in as the season comes to a finish.
The XFL is a new league and will need to time to win over football fans and all fans unlike.
This is a clear attempt at an inventive new style of football from the Great Vince McMahon that must be given time to come to full fruition.