XFL revives spring football, hopefully for more than a season

WWE owner Vince McMahon relaunches his XFL spring football league to hopeful attendance numbers and pro-ready players.

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Jenaro DelPrete, Staff Writer/Social Media Manager

Going into the market of spring football is extremely hard to do successfully. The United States Football League (SFL) failed hard even with huge corporate backers, the Alliance of American Football (AAF) was ill-equipped to deal with the hype with no players to hold it up. Vince McMahon’s XFL is hoping to fill the spring football market after it’s initial failure in 2001. The league is only a few weeks in but here’s my best coverage of it so far. 

XFL was bound to be at least a little bit interesting with commissioner Oliver Luck being behind it, as he was head of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and NFL Europe, not to mention his tenure with the Houston Oilers and several coaching positions. The legitimacy laid in the hands of those who were backing the league. Vince McMahon had a go at this previously in 2001, which failed almost as hard as the AAF. The marketing tactics can only be so effective; however, when this league was announced, we needed to see real football.

PJ Walker and Landry Jones among the likes of Pep Hamilton and Bob Stoops really take the league to more of a comfortable place for NFL and NCAA fans. That’s what kept me interested before even the first kickoff; I was able to see the players I knew play for a second chance or even a first real chance at professional football. This kept me and other potential fans cushy and comfy while we waited for the first game following the Super Bowl. 

Now, let’s talk about the actual ballgame. It’s fun, that’s the best description for it. I can’t say it’s the perfect football league, there is obviously going to be glaring problems in any inaugural season, but this might be the smoothest launching of any secondary football league. The biggest issue is the quarterback play: it’s shoddy. Cardale Jones of the DC Defenders is killing it and PJ Walker of the Houston Roughnecks is absolutely a star. But aside from that, we’re not getting Grade A QBs, Landry Jones is a coin toss most plays and Matt McGloin is not all that impressive after his stellar first game against Tampa Bay. 

Offensively, the XFL is actually interesting. I’ve really enjoyed the aggression in the run plays and the agility in the pass plays. I do think it’s on par with college football, which is what I honestly believe is what the fans want.

The NFL has the best of the best in the entire world of football, but college players have the passion and youthful heart in their playing. You can see development in college and you can see these guys playing for the love of football: unironically, that is the XFL’s tagline. 

The defense in this league is killer and I do mean killer as in violent and ugly. That is entertainment, watching how powerful these guys are and just how well executed the defenders can make each play. I don’t think we have low score teams like some people are saying, I think we just have some absolutely perfected defensive lines. 

In my eyes, I think this league has a lot of staying power, I would absolutely say this is another league to compliment the NFL. The XFL is not a competitor league, I think they know that would be a poor business model. The addition that this league brings to professional sports is quite significant and enjoyable, I think Vince McMahon got it right this time.  Let’s hope we get to the second season.

The views in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the GENESIS staff. Reach Jenaro DelPrete at [email protected]