Vince McMahon is venturing away from his wrestling dynasty and attempting to make a spring pro football league resonate with football-thirsty NFL fans. When the new and improved version of the XFL kicks off this weekend, it will mark the sports and entertainment tycoon’s second attempt at such an endeavor.
The original XFL was a professional American football league that played its only season in 2001. The XFL was operated as a joint venture between the World Wrestling Federation (now the WWE) and NBC. The XFL was conceived as an outdoor football league that would begin play immediately after the National Football League season ended to take advantage of football fanatics who still yearn for pad-popping after the NFL and college football seasons had concluded
It lasted one season and then tanked.
Never one to be defeated, McMahon repackaged his XFL brand and named former NFL QB Oliver Luck, the father of former Colts QB Andrew, as commissioner. For the football fans willing to give the league another shot, here’s everything you need to know about the 2020 debut of the XFL.
According to ESPN, “Teams are spaced around the country. Seven are in current NFL cities, and the eighth is in St. Louis, which hosted the NFL’s Rams from 1995 to 2015. The teams will play in a combination of NFL, NCAA, Major League Soccer and Major League Baseball facilities.
Each team will play 10 games on Saturdays and Sundays between Feb. 8 and April 12. Four teams will advance to the playoff semifinals April 19-20, and the XFL Championship will be played April 26 — the day after the 2020 NFL draft concludes. Ticket prices vary, but generally speaking, XFL executives have hoped to cap a trip to the game for a family of four at $100.”
List of Teams And Stadiums
Dallas Renegades (Globe Life Park)
D.C. Defenders (Audi Field, MLS)
Tune in! https://t.co/Q1EbggixGn
— DC Defenders (@XFLDefenders) February 7, 2020
Houston Roughnecks (TDECU Stadium, NCAA)
Los Angeles Wildcats (Dignity Health Sports Park, MLS)
New York Guardians (MetLife Stadium, NFL)
St. Louis BattleHawks (The Dome at America’s Center, NFL)
Seattle Dragons (CenturyLink Field, NFL)
Tampa Bay Vipers (Raymond James Stadium, NFL)
The XFL has instituted three post-touchdown options. There are no extra-point kicks. Instead, teams will have the option to go for one point from the 2-yard line, two points from the 5-yard line or three points from the 10-yard line. “Having a nine-point touchdown option in the fourth quarter can be significant,” Luck said.
Each head coach doubles as his team’s general manager and comprises an array of old school NFL vets and former NFL and college coordinators and head coaches.
Houston’s June Jones and Tampa Bay’s Marc Trestman are both known for their offensive ingenuity and have been head coaches in both the NFL and CFL.
Seattle’s Jim Zorn was an NFL head coach. Los Angeles’ Winston Moss, D.C.’s Pep Hamilton, St. Louis’ Jonathan Hayes and New York’s Kevin Gilbride were longtime NFL assistants.
Not sure how Pep got here because not too long ago, he was considered one of the bright offensive minds on the NFL as an offensive coordinator for the Colts and Brown. He was being considered for several head coaching jobs and then just bounced to Michigan for $4.25 million.
Moss was formerly the assistant head coach and linebackers coach for the Green Bay Packers.
Perhaps the best known of all is Dallas’ Bob Stoops, who won 10 Big 12 titles and a national championship during an illustrious 18-year career at Oklahoma.
Brand Name Assistant Coaches
The XFL’s assistant-coaching ranks are also filled with NFL brand names, including former Houston Oilers HC Jerry Glanville (Tampa Bay defensive coordinator), Mike Riley (Seattle offensive coordinator), offensive guru Norm Chow (Los Angeles offensive coordinator), former Giants linebacker Pepper Johnson (Los Angeles defensive coordinator), Ted Cottrell (Houston defensive coordinator) and Hal Mumme (Dallas offensive coordinator).
There are some other guys that die-hard NFL fans might recognize but the talent pool isn’t that plentiful right now
St. Louis safety Kenny Robinson, who was dismissed from West Virginia because of an academic violation and chose to sign with the XFL rather than transfer is the only XFL player who entered the league with college eligibility remaining.
He’s using this XFL season to audition for the 2020 NFL Draft.
The average player will earn about $55,000 over a 10-game season, but some quarterbacks will receive considerably higher salaries — in some cases approaching the NFL minimum of about $500,000.
Week 1 lines for the 2020 season are already posted at Caesars Sportsbook, as are futures. As of last week, Tampa Bay had the best odds (7-4) to win the XFL championship and is projected for a league-high seven wins.