The XFL ended on this day, fourteen years ago.
For those who don’t remember, the XFL was an alternative football league that was the conception of WWE mastermind, Vince McMahon. Unlike its more established and sophisticated rival, the NFL, the eXtreme Football League had* “less rules, more hits, encouraged taunting, a race/scramble instead of a coin toss and less penalties.” Growing up without cable and ESPN, the XFL was an excellent source of entertainment for me on Saturday nights.
Of course, all good things must come to an end, and the Million Dollar Game, its championship, was the last time we ever saw the XFL.
Why do I miss the XFL? I miss the opportunity to enjoy football in the offseason. Nowadays, we have to endure the latest NFL trade rumors and draft prospects, which does not replace the competition on the gridiron. Yes, we have the Arena Football League. The issue I have with the AFL is that it is too offense-friendly. Having a field that is only fifty yards long and allowing an offensive player to cross the line of scrimmage before the snap undermines defensive tactics.
The XFL, however, did leave an impact on the NFL. “The league also had impressive television coverage including having the coaches and players microphoned, more cameras on the field, and camera in the dressing room.” We’re seeing more live mic moments during NFL games, and Hard Knocks ostensibly can find its roots in the WWE.
*Yes, I know the “X” does not stand for “eXtreme” or for any word.
Image Source: The Simpsons via The Nostalgia Blog