My Monday blog

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#1
Will the new XFL be a one-and-done league like the first go-round in 2001?

Or will Vince McMahon's revived product fulfill its promise as a 100-year brand?

The answer lies somewhere in between.

Don't judge the rebooted football league based on attendance figures or television ratings from its inaugural weekend.

The original XFL taught us a valuable lesson.

The XFL in 2001 called itself an "extreme alternative" to the unadventurous NFL.

Initially, the hype worked.

NBC earned an all-time high rating for males, age 18-34, on a Saturday night when the XFL premiered nearly 20 years ago.

The sky-high rating of 9.5, which translated to an estimated 54 million viewers, did not last for long.

The brash league lost more than half its audience in Week 2 and continued a steep decline throughout the season until television ratings bottomed out in Weeks 9 and 10 with a 1.5 rating.

"The Million Dollar Game," the XFL's championship game won by the Los Angeles Xtreme, earned a paltry 2.1 rating.

Soon thereafter, NBC backed out of Season 2 and Vince McMahon declared the XFL a "colossal failure."

Despite the successful Week 1 launch, the league imploded because fans and followers did not appreciate the product.

Too much showmanship and not enough quality football.

Bottom line, the XFL looked more like a low-level college football game than a high-level NFL contest.

The play on the field never matched the advance notices off the field.

Before the start of the season, the XFL promised "Football With An Attitude" and some even cheered Vince McMahon's loud opening-night pronouncement at Sam Boyd Stadium.

Who can forget McMahon's deep-throated growl, "This is the XFLLLLLLL!"

The in-your-face attitudes of McMahon's pro wrestling-influenced broadcasting crews did not help the situation.

Respected broadcaster Matt Vasgersian teamed with wrestler-turned-governor-turned-carnival barker Jesse "The Body" Ventura for the league's debut broadcast.

At one point, Ventura criticized New York/New Jersey Hitmen quarterback Charles Puleri for poor play, quitting on his team and "not getting hit that hard" after replays showed repeated hard hits to his head and neck area.

Thankfully, Vasgersian softened Ventura's attacks to escape the XFL experiment with his reputation intact.

Ventura lost what little credibility he owned at the time.

The lawless play was not confined to action between the hashmarks.

Cornerbacks were allowed to mug wide receivers at the line of scrimmage -- "In Your Face" football is right -- until a rule change magically appeared in Week 5 to create more exciting plays in the passing game.

The league's desperate measure to change rules in midseason was a telling indicator of impending doom.

In a total of only 43 games in the ill-fated inaugural season, five games ended in a shutout and nine others saw a team fail to reach double-digits in scoring.

Twenty-eight of the 40 regular season games produced 40 points or fewer.

The eight games played in Weeks 3 and 4 averaged fewer than 24 points per game.

Recreational fans desire lots of big plays and loads of scoring; the XFL featured neither quality.

Two more rebellious rules led to several injuries, including a season-ending injury to Orlando safety Hassan Shamsid-Deen, who was involved in a "scramble" before the start of a game.

The "scramble" replaced the traditional coin flip ("boring" in the words of an XFL press release) to determine which team secured possession at the start of the game.

Two opposing players sprinted from the 30-yard line to gain possession of a loose ball at midfield.

Would you believe Shamsid-Deen separated his shoulder when his arm was caught under Chicago's Troy Saunders when diving for the football in Week 1 of the season?

Wrestling legend Jerry "The King" Lawler, employed as an XFL color commentator, cracked, "I don't think I've ever seen anybody get injured during a coin toss."

Lawlor then went too far by bragging, "This is what makes the XFL different right off the bat."

Different and stupid.

Additionally, punt returners were not allowed to call for a fair catch, furthering the "no-holds barred" approach to football.

Thankfully, the newer version of the XFL relies more on traditional football with fewer stunts and gimmicks.

Every XFL game this season will be televised by ABC, ESPN, Fox or FS1.

ESPN, much more influential in 2001 than today, ignored the league because rival NBC owned half the league in partnership with McMahon.

In 2001, it was hard to find a score of an XFL game on ESPN, much less a positive spin or favorable feature story, so familiar with other sports that serve as ESPN broadcast partners.

The most impressive new wrinkle to the 2020 game is a kickoff rule which positions the placekicker as the only player lined up on his side of the field.

His teammates are positioned at the opponents' 35-yard line with blockers only five yards away, shades of the old table-top Electric Football game from the 1970's.

Only the kicker and receiver are allowed to move before the ball is caught.

Kickoffs that travel through the end zone are placed at the 35-yard line to discourage placekickers from bombing the ball through the end zone..

The XFL scheme is safer than current NFL rules and it feels like the perfect remedy for injury issues at the high school and college levels while keeping the traditional kickoff in place.

It's not a gimmick but rather a smart measure to reduce the chances of concussions and spinal injuries during a dangerous play in a violent, high-speed sport.

Now back to the original question of the XFL's viability:

Let's place the over-under on the league's survival at three or four seasons ( OVER 3 years -180, OVER 4 years -120) with a creative, safety-conscious kickoff rule to be remembered as the league's greatest contribution to the game.
 
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#2
Entire blog on the XFL?

Was expecting a few paragraphs on the NCAA Wrestling landscape as we head towards the Nationals.
 

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#3
Losing right now, FISH.

It's hard to write a sports betting blog when you can't find a winner.

When I'm on a roll, the words fly off the keyboard.

Funny how that works.

By the way, I love amateur wrestling.

I was defeated in high school by Michael Foy at 155 pounds during my sophomore year at Thornwood High School in South Holland, Illinois.

Foy went on to compete in the 1988 and 1992 Summer Olympics.

He pinned me in seven seconds.

No joke.
 
#4
The quality of play seemed decent enough to keep it going. One thing I question are the choice of stadiums. MetLife is ridiculous, so is playing in a baseball stadium. To make it worse, the ticket prices aren't that cheap, so good luck building a fanbase quickly with lots of empty seats and asking over $60/ticket for just halfway decent seats. I still believe this offseason will be important for them to move to cities with hungrier fan bases for pro football. It will make for better TV and better local fan acceptance. Portland instead of Seattle, San Diego instead of LA, San Antonio or Austin instead of Dallas, etc. If a guy has a good season playing in the XFL, but plays in Dallas, its so insignificant as everyone is still talking about Dak. If he's playing in Austin, a lot more people will care and notice. Just really simple things.
 

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#5
Good point, WildBill.

How about this idea: College stars who are not quite ready to play in the NFL should play for the team closest to its college or university.

I think the NBA had territorial draft rights many years ago.

Additionally, why not use the XFL as a way for young quarterbacks to improve their skills until they're ready for prime time?
 
#6
Good point, WildBill.

How about this idea: College stars who are not quite ready to play in the NFL should play for the team closest to its college or university.

I think the NBA had territorial draft rights many years ago.

Additionally, why not use the XFL as a way for young quarterbacks to improve their skills until they're ready for prime time?
I don't know about the territorial rights, I think its too restrictive, but certainly XFL teams would be wise to consider the popularity of those seen as local stars. I do agree young QBs and really quite a few players from the NFL should play in the XFL. If it ever gets to that, the league will have long term staying power. I think you could just declare that the rules that apply to being eligible to be on an NFL practice squad make you eligible to play in the XFL if you are under contract with an NFL team. The NFL always signs guys to futures contracts or other deals which are basically a tryout offer for preseason camp, why not put those guys in the XFL and then you have a big head start on trying to decide who you may give a roster spot to. Might even be the solution to going to fewer exhibition games.
 

Sol Diablo

House of Heat
#7
I always thought the perfect business model for another pro football league... A minor league to the NFL. That plays in the spring. Just like the XFL is now.

8 teams. Each NFL division is represented in 1 team. For example, the NFC West would be the LA Wildcats. The AFC West would be the Seattle Dragons.

Every player in the league would ultimately be the property of an NFL team.

This would tie into the interest of die hard NFL fans. They get to watch their guys. Guys that might one day help the NFL team they cheer for.
 

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#8
Love the idea.

Each NFL division owns a team.

Nicely done, SOL.

Of course, it will be next to impossible to get the NFL's blessing without giving up a significant stake in the league.
 

jimmythegreek

The opening odds start here
#9
10 seasonal games, 8 teams, running clock even after incompletes, dumb PAT rules, frozen stance after kickoffs until ball is possessed, booth reviews that aim to add drama but only mock the situation, 2 timeouts per half, and 18,000 fans in an 80,000 seat stadium. If things could only get better from here, good luck. I'm kicking my pocket aces in knowing the optimists caught a river straight.
 

Sol Diablo

House of Heat
#10
Love the idea.

Each NFL division owns a team.

Nicely done, SOL.

Of course, it will be next to impossible to get the NFL's blessing without giving up a significant stake in the league.
The Shield behind any minor league would be GOLD. Any league, even the XFL and Vince, would be stupid to not want to make a partnership.

The WNBA has only endured for one reason. The NBA behind it...
 

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#11
The Shield behind any minor league would be GOLD. Any league, even the XFL and Vince, would be stupid to not want to make a partnership.

The WNBA has only endured for one reason. The NBA behind it...

The WNBA is the NBA's favorite charity.

Would you believe the ladies are getting a significant raise this upcoming season?

Total nonsense.

Whatever happened to the old saying, "You eat only what you kill."
 
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John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#12
10 seasonal games, 8 teams, running clock even after incompletes, dumb PAT rules, frozen stance after kickoffs until ball is possessed, booth reviews that aim to add drama but only mock the situation, 2 timeouts per half, and 18,000 fans in an 80,000 seat stadium. If things could only get better from here, good luck. I'm kicking my pocket aces in knowing the optimists caught a river straight.

Small crowds in large stadiums are not a good look.

Though NCAA holiday basketball tournaments are able to survive the situation.
 
#14
Here were the projected odds for best picture +273 boom goes the dynamite

Here are the projected odds: 1917: 50.7% (-105) Parasite: 26.8% (+273) Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: 21.3% (+369)7 hours ago
 

Sol Diablo

House of Heat
#15
The WNBA is the NBA's favorite charity.

Would you believe the ladies are getting a significant raise this upcoming season?

Total nonsense.

Whatever happened to you eat only what you kill?
Libtardism. The money isn't there to support a raise.

But they will get what they don't deserve. Because of Libtardism.

Equality. If they really believed in equality, they would understand that equality is being paid for what you are worth. Or what someone is willing to pay.

NBA owners will shell it out though. In the name of "equality".
 

winkyduck

TYVM Morgan William!!!
#16
I was at that XFL Championship game in 2001. It was at the LA Coliseum. I still have a program and other stuff from it. I recall how cold it eventually got once the Sun went down. I also recall having the UNDER and seeing a few late scores take a dead under - over.

But the one thing i recall was the father sitting in front of us. He was there with his 3 sons - about 12/10/8. When there are kids in the area I make double sure to watch what I say. NOT THIS GUY! There would be a play made on the field and he would stand up (remember his 3 kids - no older than 12 sitting next to him) an scream stuff like "Take that MotherF****r" - but he said the actual word. He would say stuff as well like "You C*cksucker - you Suck" and had no issues saying it next to his kids. If I said that he would have gotten upset at me but he had no issues being a potty mouth.
 
#17
But the one thing i recall was the father sitting in front of us. He was there with his 3 sons - about 12/10/8. When there are kids in the area I make double sure to watch what I say. NOT THIS GUY! There would be a play made on the field and he would stand up (remember his 3 kids - no older than 12 sitting next to him) an scream stuff like "Take that MotherF****r" - but he said the actual word. He would say stuff as well like "You C*cksucker - you Suck" and had no issues saying it next to his kids. If I said that he would have gotten upset at me but he had no issues being a potty mouth.
Was he a bald, midget, degenerate truck driver? Was he eating fried food and calling the players ni$$ers?

We might know that guy.
 

winkyduck

TYVM Morgan William!!!
#18
Was he a bald, midget, degenerate truck driver? Was he eating fried food and calling the players ni$$ers?

We might know that guy.
Nah - Hispanic guy about 35-40 (at the time) and close to normal height. He had hair, too. What he did for a living - no clue but your guess is not a bad one
 

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#19
I was at that XFL Championship game in 2001. It was at the LA Coliseum. I still have a program and other stuff from it. I recall how cold it eventually got once the Sun went down. I also recall having the UNDER and seeing a few late scores take a dead under - over.

But the one thing i recall was the father sitting in front of us. He was there with his 3 sons - about 12/10/8. When there are kids in the area I make double sure to watch what I say. NOT THIS GUY! There would be a play made on the field and he would stand up (remember his 3 kids - no older than 12 sitting next to him) an scream stuff like "Take that MotherF****r" - but he said the actual word. He would say stuff as well like "You C*cksucker - you Suck" and had no issues saying it next to his kids. If I said that he would have gotten upset at me but he had no issues being a potty mouth.

Final score: Los Angeles Xtreme 38 San Francisco Demons 6.

Do you remember the total, WINK?
 

winkyduck

TYVM Morgan William!!!
#20
Final score: Los Angeles Xtreme 38 San Francisco Demons 6.

Do you remember the total, WINK?
Not exactly but I wanna say around 42ish I recall losing by a late score and like most of us who have the UNDER - I could "see" that "meaningless" score coming from a mile away and sorta knew what my fate was gonna be - before it happened. I do seem to recall the LA team had an actual hot tub in one end zone. Typical LA just like when the LA KISS had an Arena team in each of the 4 corners of the end zone they had "dancers" in cages a good 70+ feet above the ground dancing around a pole. They got lowered at halftime and I vividly recall before each one got lifted up someone put a "handcuff" around the pole in the cage and another around their ankle just in case something happened to keep them from falling a good 70+ feet to what almost certainly would have been their death
 
#24
I think it will last more than 1 year. White Republicans like it, they dont like NBA. With betting being legal now, more people will be interested.
 
#26
I read or heard.. The league has already basically been funded for three years. Of course that hasn't been crossed checked over here.

But I'll take the over 2.5 years.
 
#27
Love the idea.

Each NFL division owns a team.

Nicely done, SOL.

Of course, it will be next to impossible to get the NFL's blessing without giving up a significant stake in the league.
To this point, and I haven't seen it mentioned, the XFL currently has a 9th team that doesn't play in games, but practices and provides game ready bodies to replace injured players. The players on team 9 are absorbed by the other 8 teams after the 5th (i think) game. Smart way to keep depth for the league.
 

jimmythegreek

The opening odds start here
#29
I'll go -300 it don't last past this season, and that's coming from someone who thought the AAF would at least complete at the very least a full regular season.
 

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#30
To this point, and I haven't seen it mentioned, the XFL currently has a 9th team that doesn't play in games, but practices and provides game ready bodies to replace injured players. The players on team 9 are absorbed by the other 8 teams after the 5th (i think) game. Smart way to keep depth for the league.
Brilliant move.

A ninth team in an eight-team league.
 

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#33
One important factor in favor of the rebooted XFL: (Dare I say it?) The Trump economy.

BigRunner in 3, 2, 1...
 
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John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#35
Trump offered this morning at -172 (CRIS) to win the 2020 Presidential election.

"To win 10K" is the limit.
 
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#36
The AHL is the best minor league in professional sports...........................and a team is coming to Henderson, Nv.

Hopfully they are named the SILVER KNIGHTS
 
#38
I was at that XFL Championship game in 2001. It was at the LA Coliseum. I still have a program and other stuff from it. I recall how cold it eventually got once the Sun went down. I also recall having the UNDER and seeing a few late scores take a dead under - over.

But the one thing i recall was the father sitting in front of us. He was there with his 3 sons - about 12/10/8. When there are kids in the area I make double sure to watch what I say. NOT THIS GUY! There would be a play made on the field and he would stand up (remember his 3 kids - no older than 12 sitting next to him) an scream stuff like "Take that MotherF****r" - but he said the actual word. He would say stuff as well like "You C*cksucker - you Suck" and had no issues saying it next to his kids. If I said that he would have gotten upset at me but he had no issues being a potty mouth.
I wonder what prison those boys are in now.
 
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