XFL: Would it work now?

Discussion in 'The Sports Arena' started by kor420, Feb 8, 2017.

  1. kor420

    kor420 Pre-Show Stalwart

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    With the watered down NFL, would you think the XFL would survive in todays world of sports/entertainment?
     
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  2. Mitch Henessey

    Mitch Henessey Deploy the cow-catcher......
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    The answer has to be a resounding no for a number of reasons.

    I'm pretty sure it was Dick Ebersol, who said it on the 30 For 30: This Was The XFL documentary, but the XFL just couldn't close the gap between all the hype and big expectations, and actually delivering on everything they promised, and the ratings showed it.

    And if they actually delivered on the XFL being a more extreme and no holds barred alternative to the NFL, there's no doubt Vince McMahon and others would find themselves in the middle of a massive shitstorm on so many sides. Just think about what's been going on with concussions, how former players, who are banged up and broken down, and having a tough time leading a normal life, and the trend with current players retiring early, because "it's not worth it." WWE already had to deal with the fallout from Benoit, the current concussion lawsuits, and it's no secret a lot of former pro wrestlers are suffering from serious injuries after years of wrestling.

    On top of all that, you had the stigma of the XFL being attached to pro wrestling. It's damn near impossible to convince or change the perceptions of the people, who believe pro wrestling is "fake" and a low brow form of entertainment, and the XFL was trashed left and right during its tenure for a lot of those reasons. People like Bob Costas (who comes off as a pompous and condescending tool on the 30 For 30) have reputable careers in sports media. Costas, and many others, who shared his views were not going to give the XFL a chance, and there's no way around that. It's also hard to ignore the inevitable uproar on social media for showing close ups of the cheerleaders, the showering in the locker room, and other attempts at being a more edgy product.

    Having an alternative to the NFL sounds like a nice idea on paper, but the NFL is a juggernaut. According to reports, Super Bowl LI had an average viewership of 111.3 million. You also need stars to draw eyes to your product. Who did they have? Tommy Maddox and Rod Smart, a guy remembered for the nickname (He Hate Me) on the back of his jersey? I enjoyed the XFL as a kid (loved the opening scramble for possession to start the game), but a lot of that had to with me being such a big fan of all things WWF.
     
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  3. Lowdown

    Lowdown Ooh baby I like it roooaaaaw!

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    While I was one of maybe a select few that did enjoy the XFL, it was doomed from the beginning being that it was connected to the WWF. Would the XFL work now? I believe so, but it would have to distance itself from WWE completely. If Vince were to bankroll it again, he shouldn't deal with the day to day operations of it all. And forget the idea of being an alternative to the NFL; to me that would entail playing during the same time as the NFL (September-early February). Instead, be an alternative to Arena Football, which is what XFL truly was in their lone season. Forget the whole "edginess" that was attempted. Just play traditional football. Hell, they could maybe have a deal with the NFL in which practice squad players would be able to play in the XFL during the offseason.
     
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  4. Makaveli31

    Makaveli31 Championship Contender

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    Add on the fact that there is NO DEMAND for minor league football. The XFL was bad football. There was nothing exciting about it at all. These were who could not only not make an NFL roster but the practice squad as well. The product was terrible. There are over 1600 players in the NFL and we're talking the bottom of the barrel here. There might be a few "diamonds in the rough" but the majority of players could not play. It didn't matter if they connected to the WWE or not if the product is bad fans won't watch. There are too many entertainment shows now to watch. WAY more than in 2001 so I could not imagine what type of numbers the 'XFL" would do now.
     
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  5. Stone Cold Tea

    Stone Cold Tea Getting Noticed By Management

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    Actually I went to some XFL games on 01 and I can tell you it wasn't terrible. Despite what you may read about it now, it was amazing. The quality of the 'footballers' was years ahead of the NFL. Trust me, I was there.
     
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  6. therockiswwf

    therockiswwf The voice of Michael Cole's headset

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    There would not be enough interest for a primetime minor league. This is the biggest obstacle they would face. They couldn't operate in primetime so their income would go down (ad revenue would go down). They would have to pay the players less which would mean other leagues could compete with them. Rules would have to change due to player safety. The XFL would need major changes to work.

    Why watch NFL-lite when you could just watch the NFL?

    The NFL isn't watered-down. It is trying to make it so not every player is handicapped after their career is done.
     
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  7. Makaveli31

    Makaveli31 Championship Contender

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    There might a have a been a few games that were decent but the majority wasn't. I too remember watching in '01 and alot of it was just bad to average football. There was nothing to me that really stood out as "amazing." By the time the season was close to being over alot of the "star" players went down with injuries so it that drove down the quality of play even further. The final score of the "championship" game was 38-6. As far the statement the quality of "footballer" was years ahead of the NFL. That statement is inaccurate. Most XFL'ers did not go on to make NFL rosters and none made any impact whatsoever.
     
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  8. Jack-Hammer

    Jack-Hammer YOU WILL RESPECT MY AUTHORITAH!!!!
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    I think Mitch touched on virtually all the reasons why it wouldn't work and why it'd be a bad idea.

    If the tragedy of the Benoit situation has had any positive effect, it's that the shitstorm of negative press and Congress itself considering launching investigations to potentially regulate WWE it's that WWE can no longer turn a blind eye to the physical problems of the wrestlers working for them. Prior to the Benoit tragedy, they basically didn't give a damn what you did so long as it didn't interfere with your work. That's how pro wrestling as a whole operated and most of it continues to operate. Whenever something pops up that generates controversy regarding pro wrestling, even if it's something that has nothing to do with WWE, WWE is still the company that gets talked about and/or is the company that winds up taking the heat. Some have called WWE "watered down" at various times and that may be true in the sense that they do try to minimalize wrestlers doing highly dangerous spots; most other companies don't do that because most other companies barely have a pot to piss in and aren't being sued by 50+ wrestlers, some of which haven't worked for them in decades, some of whom weren't in the company long enough to have a cup of coffee, etc. because there's hardly anything to sue over. I mean, WWE took in $730 million in revenue last year, no other company and maybe not all the active wrestling companies currently in operation around the world combined, even come close to that. Whether or not they have any merit is for the courts to decide but if Vince won't do what he can to cover his own company's ass, nobody will.

    What's this got to do with the XFL? Well, for one thing, Vince wouldn't be able to just let "anything" happen, there'd be none of the "no holds barred" bullshit because the athletes have to be protected in the best ways possible. Given that Vince is best known for being the CEO of the world's largest professional wrestling company, there'd be even more scrutiny on the XFL, possibly, in order to gauge that they're doing everything possible to keep the players healthy and safe; one slip up or if something was discovered that could be improved, the press would crucify Vince.

    Also, as has also been brought up, there's no demand for it. The XFL would ultimately come off comparable to something like arena or lingerie football in that it'd be a novelty, something that's different but ultimately something that very few would take seriously.
     
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  9. Makaveli31

    Makaveli31 Championship Contender

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    It wasn't even that. You know what you're getting with Arena and Lingerie Football. The XFL marketed itself as a viable alternative or substitute for the NFL which it wasn't. Despite what some idiot said. It was not "amazing football." The games were boring, the players unknown, and the quality of football was bad. There are 32 teams in the NFL with 53 man rosters. That's over 1700 players if you include the practice squad. We're literally talking about players that would even be in the top 2000 in the world. Besides Vince and the announcers there was no connection to the WWE at all. The ONLY reason WHY the XFL got ANY publicity at all was because of Vince.
     
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  10. Makaveli31

    Makaveli31 Championship Contender

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    that would NOT even be in the top 2000 in the world. Besides Vince and the announcers there was no connection to the WWE at all. The ONLY reason WHY the XFL got ANY publicity at all was because of Vince.
     
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  11. Lowdown

    Lowdown Ooh baby I like it roooaaaaw!

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    I'm hearing you, but let's forget about Vince and WWE, and what XFL stands for. You don't think another football league could he profitable? I'm no expert on how it should be run, but at the same time if this time around the quality is good, then give it a go. Mind you, it doesn't matter if it comes back or not, but I'm more inclined to enjoy a regular football league than arena, though I have enjoyed some arena games.
     
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  12. Makaveli31

    Makaveli31 Championship Contender

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    Well, the proof is in the pudding as they say. The AFL, USFL, XFL, and UFL have all either merged or outright failed (as the case with 3 out of the 4). I don't know how the quality could be good when you don't even have the top 2000 players in the league. There are some NFL games that stink up the joint. The reason WHY the NFL is so successful is because of team identity. It's something that has been established over generations. The XFL does not have that. You add in fantasy football and gambling and it's a billion dollar business. The game itself does not sell it's the intangibles that does i.e. teams and players.

    MAYBE if the XFL were to purge some of the college stars early like the the USFL did with Herschel Walker, Steve Young, and Jim Kelly they MIGHT have a shot but I think they could comepete financially with the NFL. That's the ONLY way it would be successful. There MIGHT be some curiosity but without that team/player connection I don't see it happening.
     
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  13. Gallops77

    Gallops77 Pre-Show Stalwart

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    If the XFL were around, I would watch it because I love football.

    However, the XFL would fair WORSE now than it did then because the NFL is making more money than ever now. In 2001, there really was no NFL network, no Thursday night football. No Sunday night football. It was Sunday afternoons and Mondays. The NFL is a BILLION DOLLAR ORGANIZATION! Vince could not compete with that now.

    Now, if the NFL and Vince McMahon worked together to form a minor league football league to run from February - June/July it would work. It would give the NFL exposure during the "offseason" and allow there to be football 12 months of the year (including preseason NFL games). It's a place guys like Ray Rice could go to show they still can play, or guys who went undrafted or have been stuck on practice squads to go play and try to make a main NFL roster. I could see a Michael Sam or Tim Tebow in this league to try to show they can still go or even just for an added name to a roster.

    Unfortunately though, it'll never happen.
     
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  14. Lowdown

    Lowdown Ooh baby I like it roooaaaaw!

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    This kinda goes back to what I was saying about competing with Arena football. I'm not going out on a limb to say that a new league would draw in NFL fans immediately. There and to Makaveli's point, it could work if they were to target players that are fresh out of college. The problem I see with that is if the season begins in February, and a draft prospect decides to sign with one of these teams, it could hurt their chanced of getting into the NFL. This type of league I feel is tailor made for players like Tebow and Sam as you just mentioned.
     
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  15. Makaveli31

    Makaveli31 Championship Contender

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    Well the "new" XFL would have to target players not eligible for the draft. If you're already an NFL prospect there is no way in hell you are playing football in the spring. Hell you have some NFL prospects thinking of sitting out their final year of college to prepare for the NFL draft.

    The NFL draft rules are you have to be three removed from your high school graduating class to be eligible for the draft. So that makes MOST college players JUNIORS in college before declaring for the draft. The "new" XFL would have to target redshirt freshmen (1 year removed) and sophomores (2 years removed) who want to get paid or college players who were declared ineligible or suspended (like Maurice Clarett in 2003). And dare I say....even high school kids who think they could play in the pro's.

    As college recruiting becomes big business (just look at signing day on ESPN) the XFL would have to truly RENEGADE and worl AGAINST the NCAA and the NFL. We know the NCAA is a non-paid farm system for the NFL. These kids make nothing in college. Vince and the XFL could come in and say "Hey, if you're 18 years of age GET PAID right away and prove you can ball." That would not only get these highly-touted kids INTO the XFL but maybe even KEEP them there which is the ultimate goal in the end.
     
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  16. donutman

    donutman Occasional Pre-Show

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    Who says they have to compete with the NFL? Just run the games on Tuesdays. I think it would be cool to see a guy like Johnny F'N Football work his way back into the NFL.
     
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  17. sikkbones

    sikkbones the root of all evil

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    You also forgot to mention the CFL,
    Thank god no one in Canada thought it was a good idea to join up with Vince.
     
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  18. shooter_mcgavin

    shooter_mcgavin Mid-Card Championship Winner

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    Wouldn't that still be competition?
    I would think the interest of a second Football league would be lower if it ran parallel season with the NFL despite not airing the games on the same day.

    Like if it was in the middle of November and why would I buy tickets and merchandise for the LA Xtreme when I can watch the LA Rams?

    Also, as we have seen, there is no room for two major pro-leagues in the same sport. The WHA and ABA both went kaput less than 10 years in its existence and was absorbed by the NHL and NBA respectively.
     
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  19. sikkbones

    sikkbones the root of all evil

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    There is a reason that the CFL has a summer season.
    And as far as I'm concerned on this side of the border. Its a legit second league.

    Given my team beat the bills in the 60s go Hamilton ticats!!!
     
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  20. shooter_mcgavin

    shooter_mcgavin Mid-Card Championship Winner

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    Speaking of CFL wasn't there a US based team that won the Grey Cup? If I recall the next season that city was going to have a NFL teams so interest in the CFL team quickly died even despite winning the league's Super Bowl equivalent.
     
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  21. sikkbones

    sikkbones the root of all evil

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    Baltimore.

    And they had good support.

    Fan support Edit
    In addition to being the most successful of the U.S. CFL teams on the field, Baltimore was far and away the most successful of the CFL's American teams at the box office. It had significant fan support and strong attendance – averaging 37,347 in 1994 (best in the CFL), and 30,112 in 1995 (second best).

    Fan support in Baltimore was driven by a number of factors not present in the CFL's other U.S. markets. Their success on the field was one obvious factor, however many fans were motivated to support the CFL out of antipathy towards the National Football League, which had spurned several attempts return an NFL franchise to the city. Another major factor in Baltimore's success at the gate was the 1994–95 Major League Baseball strike, which wiped out the last two months of the Baltimore Orioles' season. Baltimore was also a significantly more heavily populated market than the other CFL American markets and the only one to have previously hosted an NFL team, giving the Stallions a larger base from which to draw fans.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baltimore_Stallions


    Only a month after the Stallions' Grey Cup triumph, the state's Maryland Stadium Authority and the City of Baltimore announced that they had reached an agreement with Art Modell, the long-time owner of the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League, (NFL) to move his franchise to Baltimore for the 1996 season. Knowing they could not begin to compete with an overwhelmingly more popular brand in their home country, the Stallions relocated to Montreal as the third and current iteration of the Montreal Alouettes. They are thus one of three Grey Cup champions in the modern era to subsequently fold (the others being the Ottawa Rough Riders and the original Alouettes). The CFL considers the Stallions to be a separate franchise from the Alouettes.
     
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  22. shooter_mcgavin

    shooter_mcgavin Mid-Card Championship Winner

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    Thanks

    And this does show how hard it is for a market to support two teams of the same sport but in different leagues. I mean maybe LA, NY, and Chicago can but not other cities.
     
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