Since it disbanded after one underwhelming, inaugural season in 2001, the XFL remained dormant in the hearts of the fans who enjoyed the wild spinoff of professional football. While the original XFL had its obvious flaws, rule changes like the electric opening scramble (replacing a traditional coin toss) and the total abolition of extra points made it wildly popular to football fans looking for a change.
The brainchild of Vince McMahon, who serves as WWE chairman and CEO, announced in January the XFL would relaunch in 2020 as a shorter, faster, family-friendly game compared to the National Football League, and now we know the eight teams who will be representing the XFL 2.0.
During a press conference on Wednesday, Vince McMahon, alongside XFL Commissioner Oliver Luck, announced the eight XFL cities, some of which will play in NFL stadiums, who will be a part of the league when it returns:
— Dallas, Globe Life Park
— Houston, TDECU Stadium
— Los Angeles, StubHub Center
— New York, MetLife Stadium
— Seattle, CenturyLink Field
— St. Louis, The Dome at America’s Center
— Tampa Bay, Raymond James Stadium
— Washington, D.C. — Audi Field
While the XFL team names for the new franchises have not been announced, some major markets are going to take over where the league had previously failed.
The original XFL fielded teams like the New Jersey Hitmen, Las Vegas Outlaws, Birmingham Thunderbolts, Memphis Maniax, and the 2001 XFL champion Los Angeles Xtreme, who were led by XFL MVP quarterback Tommy Maddox.
These new XFL markets, particularly located in major football cities with established professional franchises, will likely help this new rendition gain traction where the old, raw version of the XFL could not.
Still, watching highlights of that incredible first season, including custom jersey names and wild on-field antics, brings back so many memories of how crazy the XFL really was. I mean, who could forget iconic players like He Hate Me!?
Much like the United States Football League and Alliance of American Football, the XFL revival, which is sponsored by Alpha Entertainment, will attempt to pull fans searching for new football aside from the NFL to its games. The 10-week season will send four teams into the playoffs, and the semifinal winners will play in the XFL’s version of the Super Bowl, the “Million Dollar Game.”
Regardless of what you think about another startup league to rival the NFL, the XFL gives us more football to watch, and I am all for it.