Fans who tuned into the XFL in its opening weekend saw a bunch of new and unique things, but will it be enough to keep the league alive?
First of all, the kickoff is way different. I have mixed thoughts on it. How do they kick onside kicks? Do you have to announce it ahead of time, and thus, eliminate the idea of an onside kick?
I’m somewhat of a traditionalist and like things the old school way and that includes the kickoff but if it’s going to help make the game safer, I could get used to the XFL’s kickoff in the NFL if that’s the only way to keep it.
Something else I liked from the first weekend is being able to hear the play calls and discussions between coaches. The interviews on with the players on the sidelines during the games were interesting but I’m undecided as to whether or not I’d like to see that concept adopted by the NFL. I’m definitely not a fan of having no extra points.
I really want to know what the XFL plans to do to keep the league running. At best, it’s going to be a minor league for the NFL and right now, it’s kind of like a guinea pig to the NFL, which can pick and choose different concepts and apply them in the fall.
My guess is once the newness wears off the XFL wears off, the ratings will drop and the league will fold. It lacks a star power. Sure, people may recognize names like Landry Jones, Connor Cook and Cardale Jones but I don’t think they’re such big names to get people to continue watching. Not to mention, if they do have an impressive enough performance, they’ll likely take another shot at the NFL. It was kind of cool to see Bob Stoops coaching again but who’s going to tune in for that reason?
On a side note, one reason I tuned in for a little bit of the Dallas Renegades game was to see what it looked like to have a football field at Globe Life Park. Sure, football field fit in there but it’s easy to tell it was clearly built for baseball, and it made me sad to think we’ll never watch the Rangers in that park again.
One thing the XFL does have in its favor is the season in which it plays its games. A lot of people miss football and want as much as they can get of it after the Super Bowl and will settle with whatever is available. I just wonder if that’s going to be enough to keep it alive. I would love to be proven wrong, but I have my doubts.