XFL football returns on Saturday and one veteran broadcaster tells Humber News he and many other people will be watching closely.
It’s been 19 years since the last game in the XFL, which was originally launched in 2001. It lasted only one season because the league reportedly lost $35 million US.
“I’m curious to see what it’s going to be all about,” Darrin Bauming, Winnipeg Blue Bombers writer, reporter and broadcaster for TSN, told Humber News on Friday.
“Vince McMahon took a swing at this 20 years ago [and] it didn’t pan out. So, unlike a lot of these upstart spring football leagues, they have a little bit of advantage in the fact that they’ve been there and they’ve done it before they can learn from their mistakes. “
The last game, which was also dubbed The Million Dollar game, was on April 21, 2001.
The XFL ended in 2001 but two years ago WWE owner and chairman Vince McMahon announced that his new company, Alpha Entertainment which owns the league, would be relaunching it.
McMahon was also the owner of the original XFL.
“I wanted to do this since the day we stopped the other one,” he told ESPN, calling it “a chance to do it with no partners, strictly funded by me, which would allow me to look in the mirror and say, ‘You were the one who screwed this up,’ or ‘You made this thing a success.'”
McMahon said, players who have a criminal past in crime, drug history, social and political issues or any controversy will not be welcome.
“You want someone who does not have any criminality associated whatsoever with them. Even if you have a DUI you will not play in the XFL,” he told reporters. “So that will probably eliminate some of them. Not all of them. If Tim Tebow wants to play, he can very well play.”
Bauming said he’s skeptical about this issue.
“I’ve heard commissioners general managers, team presidents in a variety of different leagues, say those sorts to share those sorts of sentiments” said Bauming.
“Teams want the best players and it almost seems irrelevant that their history, any sort of controversy that might proceed them often, whether it’s right or wrong, get a benefit of the doubt and they get a second, third and sometimes fourth, you know, opportunity.”
One of the rules for this league is that there is no overtime periods.
Instead there will be a shootout where each team gets five one-play possessions to score from the five yard line. Teams get two points for every time they had a successful conversion.
Teams alternate plays until until one team gets mathematically eliminated.
If the shootout is tied they will go to single rounds until one team does not score.
Oliver Luck, a former NFL Quarterback of the now defunct Houston Oilers, is the commissioner of new XFL.
One week after the Superbowl, the first XFL game will be on Saturday when the Seattle Dragons faces the DC Defenders.
“There’s still people talking about Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs and the Super Bowl,” Bauming said.
“I think it’s a perfect opportunity to kind of carry that momentum through.”