The XFL is Back!

Robert Pearl ’20, Opinion Columnist

Once upon a time Vince McMahon had a vision. A football league that was everything that the NFL was not. Raw, raunchy, provocative football that people could watch once the NFL season was over in an effort to satisfy their needs to see people run into each other at full speed. That was back in 2001. Now its 2020 and the XFL is back in action with some flavor of the original attempt along with better football. We are going to talk about some of the new and interesting aspects that this league has to offer.

The first thing to acknowledge with this new football league is the rule changes that have been put in place to not only make the game safer, but more exciting for viewers at home. The first rule everybody will notice is the new kickoff rules as they start every game with one. The look is completely different when compared to the NFL as the kicking team is now lined up on the same half of the field as the return team. What this rule allows is for safer kickoff returns while still making it an exciting play. The second biggest change is arguably the point after touchdown rules where instead of a one point kick or two point option from the two yard line there is instead three different scoring options. There is no more kicking so instead you have the choice of a one point attempt from the two yard line, a two point attempt from the five yard line, and a three point attempt from the 10 yard line. What this rule allows is for teams to score more points on less possessions in an effort to boost scoring in the league, a common problem in previous startup leagues in the past. There are plenty of other rule changes that are used as a way to speed up the game while making it more competitive. These would include one foot inbounds would constitute a catch, 25 second play clock, and an overtime that is a shootout format from the five yard line. All of these rule changes were made in an effort to have the game experience be more enjoyable. 

The XFL rules were one way to differentiate from the NFL. The other way that the XFL is differentiating themselves is by the broadcasts themselves. Currently they not only allow but encourage the booth to talk about gambling during the games including live lines. This is something that the NFL is getting more open to yet the XFL has fully bought into the industry. During the duration of the games there is also plenty of interaction with the players and coaches on the sideline that is not given when watching the NFL. Now in the XFL you can listen to a kicker get interviewed after he misses a kick or listen to the head coach after a missed fourth down attempt. All that the XFL is doing is attempting to give more access to the fans while producing a good football product. 

If you think that the XFL is something that interests you and you want to learn more about the teams in the league, are looking for a week by week analysis of what’s going on, and betting analysis, I have a podcast with Jordan Hollander and Trystin Golowski called the XFL Line of Scrimmage that gives our listeners a fun but in depth analysis of what’s happening in the XFL. Listen to us on YouTube at XFL Line of Scrimmage every Friday!