What do the letters X-F-L stand for? Surprisingly, nothing. Creator and CEO Vince McMahon just thought it sounded cool compared to their top competitor, the NFL. But what the XFL was, was a professional football league in the United States. It played only one season in 2001. Below, readers will learn what the XFL was, and where it’s going.
The XFL was a one-hundred million dollar project that combined efforts from NBC and the World Wrestling Federation (now known as World Wrestling Entertainment). The league claimed to be the polar opposite of its main competitor, the NFL. Instead, the XFL offered viewers dangerous hits, skimpier cheerleaders, and players who were making low wages – but were paid bonuses for winning.
Where Did the XFL Go Wrong
Readers may read the back story and think the XFL sounds good. And at first, it did garner high ratings. But things quickly went downhill. There were good ideas, like players choosing the name on the back of their jersey. They also implemented the sky-cam, that is used in the NFL today.
The problems quickly outnumbered the good ideas. Instead of starting the game with a coin toss, players would race to get the ball in the middle of the field. This quickly caused devastating injuries.
Players were encouraged to date cheerleaders, and wrestling-like storylines were implemented. This took away from the football aspect, and made it more like wrestling.
Cheerleaders were displayed in very little clothing, and women were in hot tubs behind the end zone. This caused activists to take a stance.
All of this caused the ratings to plummet so badly that a second season was never played.
The XFL is planning a new season in 2020. This time, it’s owned by Vince McMahon’s Alpha Entertainment. The WWE and NBC have no stake.
Vince McMahon cites two key differences this time. While the “sports entertainment” component will still be a part of the XFL, it won’t be as outlandish and blatant as the earlier league. The second difference is that the rules and overall game will be purposefully simpler than those of the NFL. This is strategic as many fans claim the NFL makes the rules too complicated.
The 2020 season of the XFL was recently announced, so there’s not much to know just yet. Excitement will continue to build as 2020 is approached.