Tag: Professional Football

XFL Announces Teams For 2020 Kickoff

Presentation1It appears that the resurrection of the XFL is coming in February 2020 as XFL Commissioner Oliver Luck announced the cities planned for the new league.  Only two cities (New York and Los Angeles) will return from the previous edition of the XFL which played in 2001.

The new cities and stadiums will be:

  • Dallas (Globe Life Park)
  • Houston (TDECU Stadium)
  • Los Angeles (StubHub Center)
  • New York (MetLife Stadium)
  • St. Louis (The Dome at America’s Center)
  • Seattle (CenturyLink Field)
  • Tampa Bay (Raymond James Stadium)
  • Washington, DC (Audi Field)

The new XFL plans to be more fan-friendly with fast-paced games, family-friendly environment as well as several ways to view games.

The league will play a 10-game schedule with two semifinal playoff games and a championship game.

Another league, the Alliance of American Football (AAF) kicks off in February 2019 so it will be interesting to see which league will survive.  At this time, neither league has teams in both leagues.

The previous version of the league consisted of Orlando Rage, New York-New Jersey Hitmen, Chicago Enforcers, Los Angeles Extreme, Las Vegas Outlaws, Memphis Maniax, Birmingham Thunderbolts and San Francisco Demons.  As with the original league, Vin McMahon will also be involved in the XFL reboot but is promoting a “kinder and gentler” league when it takes the field in 2020.

Suggested nicknames for the new teams include:

  • Dallas – Wranglers, Outlaws, Desperados
  • Houston – Outlaws, Roughriders, Stallions
  • Los Angeles – Extreme, Stars, Condors
  • New York – Hitmen, Heroes
  • St. Louis – Steamers, Stallions
  • Seattle – Enforcers, Kraken
  • Tampa Bay – Krewe, Thunderbolts, Tritons, Bandits
  • Washington – Warriors, Stars

Philadelphia has registered a domain for an XFL team and may be a future location if the league succeeds and looks to expand.

Johnny Maziel who failed with the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League (NFL) and recently played with the Montreal Alouettes in the Canadian Football League (CFL) tops the list of players who might be interested in playing for the Dallas XFL franchise.

So will the XFL work?  I think it CAN work but only if it can survive the competition with the AAF which will already have a head start on them.  I think both leagues can co-exist as long as they establish themselves and don’t put franchises in cities with other leagues.  I still think that outdoor football in the winter/spring is a hard sell but still should appeal to football fans more than arena football.

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Friday Flashback:  1938 Nashville Rebels

Long before the Tennessee Titans called Nashville home, there was another professional football team that played in the Music City.  The year was 1938 and the National Football League (NFL) was still a teenager, having become the NFL in 1922.  There were still several “professional” leagues playing across the country including the Midwest Football League.  In 1938 they changed their name to the American Football League (not the same as the AFL that would later merge with the NFL) which included a team in Nashville called the “Rebels” along with five other teams (Chicago, St. Louis, Louisville, Cincinnati and Dayton).

The Rebels were coached by Johnny Lynch and finished the season at 2-2-1 and lost a thrilling playoff game to St. Louis 19-13.

1938 Schedule:

  • 9/28/38 – at Cincinnati (Lost 34-0)
  • 10/9/38 – at Chicago (Lost 20-0)
  • 10/16/38 – at St. Louis (Tied 7-7)
  • 10/23/38 – Dayton (Won 22-0)
  • 10/30/38 – at Louisville (Won 10-0)
  • 11/27/38 – Playoff at St. Louis (Lost 19-13)

The Rebels played their only home game on October 23, 1938 at Sulphur Dell against the Dayton Rosies.  Ticket prices were $1.50 with end zone sections for 55 cents.  Segregation during those days also had a special section for African-Americans.  Less than 2,000 spectators witnessed the game and sat through “three hours of miserable football weather” as the Rebels won 22-0 with three touchdowns from Rock Reed and Marty Slovak.

Nashville qualified for the playoffs when Cincinnati folded.  This created a rematch between Nashville and St. Louis.  The Gunners trailed 13-12 when halfback Ray Johnson scored the winning touchdown in the closing minutes.  St. Louis would lose the championship game the following week to Louisville 3-0.

In spite of their successful home game and showing in the playoff game, the Nashville Rebels dropped out of the league.