A look at the new frankensteined American football league every Brit will love.
The dead speak! After many failed attempts, WWE owner Vince McMahon has been losing blood sweat and tears in his lab creating an alternative to the NFL that is attractive to everyone. He does this on the tombstones of other failed leagues like the Alliance Football League, World Football League, The United States Football League (which was another of the many failed ventures of Donald Trump), and even the first XFL. He’s compiled the corpses into something beautiful that everyone can enjoy.
Everytime I try to force American football down my friend's throats it never works. Why? “It takes too long”. Well not anymore, as the XFL game will average out to just over two hours as they have a running clock except within the last 2 minutes, which makes things intense. “They stop too much”; now they have rules and an additional referee to incentivise less time between plays with an average of six seconds between down and the start of the next play. They even found a way to make boring plays more interesting by disincentivizing punting and force kickoff returns to be playable. Now comes my favorite part. For my regular football fans, or soccer-heads: you know how you hate VAR, and that it leaves you clueless, never knowing what the match officials are talking about? Well, have you ever wondered what the players and officials are saying when they’re on the field? In the XFL they have a live microphone attached to officials – like rugby – including a live feed and microphone on official reviews. So problem solved, right?
Even traditional American football connoisseurs will love the game as seemingly fills in and remedies the things that most fans dislike about the NFL. No more are games played on weekdays when you’re probably too busy, with all but two games falling on the weekend. There’s also the piling of off the field issues of NFL make it questionable to support players like Michael Vick, a convicted dog fighter, or Tyreek Hill, a convicted domestic abuser, and recent superbowl champion. The XFL has said they will not take on any player with convictions like this as well as not tolerate off the field issues, so sorry Antonio Brown and Johnny Manziel.
What’s more, the quality of play in the XFL is far better than imagined, and arguably surpasses other previous leagues. It also gives a place for second chance stars, players from college we didn’t get to see in the NFL like national championship winning QB Cardale Jones, and breakout athletes who can’t afford to waste three years playing for free in college. The NFL overtime rules are so bad and often don’t allow teams to have a response leaving many overtimes to the mercy of the coin toss. We all wanted to see Drew Brees comeback and lead his team past the Vikings last playoffs, right? The XFL gives teams a shootout similar to college ball that is exciting and fair. That’s not to say there aren’t deficits, but it’s still interesting to watch. The previous leagues always feel gimmicky and don't really resemble football, the previous XFL being the largest eye sore of an example, but this does and shows innovation.
While the NFL feels like the sick man of the sports world, feasting on its monopoly to survive, this feels like the monster on the run from the lab to destroy everything in its path. Vince’s monster is free. It’s time to watch the show.