Vince McMahon has made two attempts at challenging the National Football League, and both times his Extreme Football League, or XFL, has failed. Today, the XFL announced that it would be ceasing all operations effective immediately and has no plans on restarting in 2021.
Now, earlier this year, Vincent Kennedy McMahon, a man whose entertainment products have basically raised me, denied my press permit to cover the New York Guardians. Still, I hold no ill will toward the product.
Vince McMahon is great at seeing holes in existing products. It is how he went from controlling a northeast region wrestling promotion started by his father and turned it into an international phenomena worth well over one billion dollars. No one understands what a product should be more the Vince McMahon. It is a testament to the National Football League that Vince McMahon has now failed twice in upsetting their dominance.
The first XFL brought us many of the NFL features we now love and enjoy including the sky cam. This XFL brought us live feeds of the review booth, on-field interviews of active players, and an official whose lone responsibility is setting the ball before a snap. In this coming season, we will likely see at least a few of these ideas come to fruition when and if the NFL season starts this year.
The most likely changes are the on-field interviews and review booth microphones. In the few games the XFL played, the on-field interview of Matt McGloin, a former Oakland Raider, burying his offensive coordinator made the most press of any XFL action.
The review microphones are likely because fans (and gamblers) demand transparency from the league and officials. These are ideas that only Vince McMahon could have come up with.
From beer snakes to Cardale Jones, the new XFL was a fun alternative to the NFL. The game was fast-paced and gave us football after the Super Bowl. I thoroughly enjoyed the weeks we had it on Saturday and Sunday when we had nothing else.
This may be the last Spring or Summer football we have for quite some time, and it is a shame the COVID-19 virus took it from us prematurely.