This weekend, the return of the XFL kicked off in Dallas, New York, Houston and Washington D.C.
I liked it and have a good feeling about this league.
Early reviews and ratings are already better than last year’s failure of the Alliance of American Football (AAF) which failed to finish the season.
I watched the highlights of all four games from the first weekend and I think they have a quality product on the field. It’s also a kinder, gentler version of the original XFL that Vince McMahn put in our faces in 2001.
I also love the rule changes with the kickoff and extra point rules where they have eliminated kicking the point after touchdown for letting teams go for 1,2 or 3 points. I think that’s a great idea.
The league had an average attendance of 17,000 in Dallas, DC, New York and Houston which isn’t too bad. The XFL generated more ticket sales revenue prior to kickoff than last year’s AAF generated during its entire season. TV ratings where respectable with over 3.3 million viewers.
So can the XFL make it where so many others have failed? It depends on one very important thing – money. If they play within their means and don’t try to compete with the National Football League (NFL) they could last a bit longer than other leagues that have failed in the past. I also think that scheduling might help. I’m not sure that starting the season the week after the Super Bowl is a good plan. I might have waited until the first weekend in March.
The XFL has a great opportunity to be a developmental league for the NFL. The XFL isn’t trying to do that yet but if they can be a stable league, the NFL might see the advantage of a working relationship. I would like to see that happen. I have always thought that a spring football league could work with the right financing and management.
I was glad to see that the new XFL dropped the gimmicky WWE hype from the first version. Maybe they got it right this time. It’s hard to predict their future after the first week but they are certainly off to a good start.
Scores from the first week:
DC Defenders 31, Seattle Dragons 19
Houston Roughnecks 37, Los Angeles Wildcats 17
New York Guardians 23, Tampa Bay Vipers 3
St. Louis Battlehawks 15, Dallas Renegades 9