Warrior Weekly: XFL is Back

WSPN’s Aiden Chitkara breaks down the opening week of the XFL.

WSPN’s Aiden Chitkara breaks down the opening week of the XFL.

Aiden Chitkara

The XFL is back for the first time since 2001. The league originally died out in its first year for many reasons, some of which included poor ratings, expensive TV contracts and a lack of competitive football.

Former commissioner Vince McMahon envisioned a league that crossed between the NFL and WWE. The league included many absurd rules, including the coin flip. McMahon must have believed the coin flip was too civilized because it was replaced by the scramble. In the scramble, two players would fight for the ball at center field, and whoever came away with it gained possession to start the football game. This rule was absolutely nuts, and within the first 2 weeks, 60% of the men were seriously injured from participating in the scramble. It didn’t take much thought to exclude the scramble from the new XFL.

If you thought the Super Bowl halftime show was too sexual, you’d be amazed by the cheerleaders in the old XFL. Back in 2001, the cheerleaders were basically promoting sex on national television, and that didn’t settle well with many viewers. Also, in a primetime game, one of the stadiums lost power and the game was forced to cut into “Saturday Night Live,” which always had higher ratings than the XFL. It doesn’t take a genius to understand why the XFL only lasted one season.

Somehow and some way, the XFL is back, and Vince McMahon is leading the charge. The league is very different from its first attempt, boasting television deals with ESPN/ABC and FOX networks. The old XFL was all about violence, but, this time, the league is putting a bigger emphasis on the pace of play and its motto, “for the love of football.”

The league is experimenting with some innovative rules such as the new kickoff: the kicker kicks from their own 30-yard line, but the defending team lines up on the opponent’s 35-yard line, and the receiving team lines up on its own 30-yard line. This new style of kickoff should decrease injury rates, and there’s a good chance the NFL will look into modifying its own kickoff, which has been a popular topic of discussion over the last few years.

Another cool rule from the XFL is their extra point system. In the NFL, teams have the option of kicking a 33-yard extra point or going for two points on a one-down play starting on the two-yard line. In the XFL, teams have the option of going for one, two or three points. The one point extra point starts on the two-yard line, the two point extra point starts on the five-yard line and the three point extra point starts on the 10-yard line. I like this rule because it should keep games closer and more interesting. Teams will have an easier time coming back from big deficits, and that will be great for keeping fans engaged until the end of the game.

Overall, the new XFL will be very different from its original version, and I along with many other football fans will be excited to see where the league goes through this year and many others to come.