I remember waking up on Sunday, February 9, 2020 with a sense of a new chapter beginning that day. Pulling into MetLife Stadium seeing tailgate tents, cornhole, the smoke of grills, it all reminded me of my college Saturdays down south. Never being a real follower of the NFL, there was the feeling that this was truly something different, and it was. It. Was. The. XFL! ~ By James @ the Sports Throne
I remember the passion St. Louis showed when their city was selected. The feelings of betrayal and abandonment was channeled into a great home environment with fans who packed the seats and were the first to break the ceiling of the second deck. Chants of ‘Ka-Kaw” and “Kroenke Sucks” became a battle cry of sorts. Seattle also proved itself as one of the best football cities in America, after it was the second, & lower rent choice to San Francisco. The 12th Man isn’t only limited to Sundays in the fall cheering on the Seahawks. Then came one of the true icons of the league out of DC, THE BEER SNAKE. Stretching the full length of the end zone seating fans were able to stack their beer cups, which would end up going viral. XFL commissioner Oliver Luck even contributed to the effort when he was in town. Would Goodell do that? Never! Only in the XFL would that happen.
With this news comes understandable excitement and skepticism, from both sides of the border. Let’s break it down here:
· Interleague play? What could that look like?
· Merger?? Oh gosh those always end in disasters!
· We love the unique rules of our respective leagues. What will be changed? What will be kept?
· The relaunch has been delayed? When will the league come back?
· The CFL can’t play in the spring months. When would they play?
· What will happen to the Grey Cup? It’s an icon of Canadian sports?
· Uhhh the CFL field dimensions are very different. What will be done about that?
With negotiations just starting, surely nothing will be announced soon. They’ll also surely be kept close to the vest with a vow of silence among all parties. In the meantime, it’s up to us fans to speculate and release our own business plans and ideas. A pillar of the XFL was as Vince McMahon said, “Give the game of football back to fans”. So let’s get to it and see if we can smell what the XFL & CFL are cooking!!!
The biggest challenge that both leagues face is cash flow. Both were highly reliant on ticket sales and game day revenues to keep afloat. Much like in other sports in Canada, corporate sponsorship runs a little low in certain areas. Ever wonder why the Expos, Nordiques & Jets left for the USA? The XFL gave their TV product away for free. Dani Garcia has already announced that free broadcasting rights will NOT be part of their business plan going forward. Having an international product will certainly give both leagues significant more leverage in negotiations and will create a better sense of legitimacy among fans. Not only will gameday television revenues be a new stream, but let’s not forget the marketing machine of The Rock. The relaunch of the league would make a great streaming content product on say Netflix or Amazon Prime. That begs to also have a show following a teams season like “The Grind” or “Hard Knocks”. Not only will streaming revenues play a part, but sponsorship certainly will as well. The opportunity to advertise throughout two nations will draw more companies and will command higher prices.
1. 100 yard long field
2. 15 yard deep end zones
3. 59 yard wide field
4. Goal Posts are located at the back of the end zone.
Plus a hallmark of the original XFL that they must certainly embrace again is the CFL’s No Fair Catch rule! This aligns perfectly with the leagues rule of defenders not being allowed to cross the line of scrimmage until the punt has been received. Keeps a Canadian rule while embracing XFL history.
If there’s ever to be a unification of rules, a way to potentially make it work could be:
XFL Rules to Keep:
· Punt & Kickoff
· Extra points
· Double forward pass
· Broadcasting of plays under review
· 20 second play clock
· Fumbles out of bounds
· Single points
· No fair catch
· One foot in bounds