What is the XFL?

The new football league strives to be more entertaining and fun to watch than traditional football.

Courtesy+of+XFL.com

Courtesy of XFL.com

Off-brand NFL? Wannabe? Spin-off? The XFL has been called many things since the announcement of their resurrection. The eXtreme Football League (XFL) first originated in 2001 by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) CEO Vince McMahon. Poor television ratings and low attendance canceled the league after one short season. In 2018, McMahon announced that he would be reviving the short-lived league in 2020.

Compared to the NFL, the XFL game is significantly shorter and the pace of the game is much faster. As well as many rule changes, the XFL strives to be more enjoyable and exciting to watch than the NFL.

In comparison to the NFL’s thirty-two teams, the XFL only has eight; the Washington DC Defenders, Dallas Renegades, Houston Roughnecks, Los Angeles Wildcats, New York Guardians, St. Louis BattleHawks, Seattle Dragons, and the Tampa Bay Vipers. When the NFL started in 1920, the league only had ten teams. An NFL team can have no more than 53 players on a roster while an XFL team can only have 40 players. The XFL teams play 10 games and depending on how well they do, a division championship game and the league championship game. The NFL season lasts 17 weeks with one week of rest for each team. The XFL has no bye week.

For NFL fans, the XFL league has many old faces. It has many players and coaches who started their careers in the NFL. The new league is a second chance for many players who failed to make a name for themselves in the NFL and is a chance for younger players who were not good enough to play in the NFL.

“I like it a lot. It’s a great alternative for the NFL during the off-season. I like all the different rule changes.”

— Kalhan Handoo

The XFL has implemented a variety of rule changes that are intended to make the game more thrilling and exciting for viewers. According to the Official XFL website, the rule changes mean “less stall and more ball”. Shorter halftimes, reduced play clock, and fewer timeouts make the game shorter and allow for much more action. One of the biggest complaints of the NFL is how long the game takes and how little the ball is actually in play. New rules also include the removal of the extra point kick, rules that enhance the likelihood of kickoff and punt returns, and a “shootout” overtime. A shootout overtime is where each team takes turns trying to score, the team that scores the most out of their five chances will win. These rules are designed to make the game more enjoyable to watch for viewers. In the NFL, only one player on each team uses a headset to communicate with coaches. The XFL allows all players on the field to use headsets and communication devices to talk to each other and coaches in real-time.

Kalhan Handoo, sophomore, considers himself a big NFL fan but also likes the new XFL.

“I like it a lot. It’s a great alternative for the NFL during the off-season. I like all the different rule changes,” Handoo said. “I don’t like how it’s not a big market like the NFL. There’s not a lot of people attending games and the fan bases are very small.”

Luke Mayer, freshmen, said, “I like [the XFL] because it’s different. It’s unique, it’s cool. I like how the players are allowed to have fun. There are no rules on a celebration like there is in the NFL.”

Izzy Dykstra, sophomore, also likes the new league.

“I think it’s a really cool spin on football compared to the NFL. I like all the brand new rule changes that the XFL introduces. I think there’s a good chance that the NFL will adapt some of the XFL’s rules,” Dykstra said.

Courtesy of Bleacher Report
The XFL football that is used in game.

When asked if the XFL will ever surpass the NFL, the replies from the three students were all very similar.

“No, never. There’s no way,” Handoo stated.

“Honestly, no,” Dykstra replied.

“No. The NFL is too big and too popular,” Mayer added.

The XFL hopes to be a big success and they are on the right track. The league promised faster games and more action, and viewers are getting exactly that.