With the NFL On the Ropes, Is It Time for the Return of the XFL?
With NFL viewership crashing, naturally some entrepreneurs are taking a look at providing competition for the eyeballs of sports fan. Vince McMahon is apparently thinking seriously of reviving the defunct XFL and giving it another try:
Now, out of nowhere, rumors of a potential return of the XFL have surfaced, with Brad Shepard reporting that McMahon is “looking to bring back the XFL and may announce it on January 25th, 2018.”
The WWE, when asked to confirm or deny a potential XFL reboot by David Bixenspan of Deadspin.com, said this: “Vince McMahon has established and is personally funding a separate entity from WWE, Alpha Entertainment, to explore investment opportunities across the sports and entertainment landscapes, including professional football. Mr. McMahon has nothing further to announce at this time.”
That’s far from a denial, and it feels like an implicit confirmation.
Arguably, the time may be right for the XFL or something like it. A November 2016 Sports Illustrated article regarding the current state of football in America created the distinct impression that fans want old-school football, with all the big hits and none of the obsessions over safety.
“Those attitudes from fans coupled with the messages that invariably will be sent by the incoming Commander-in-Chief,” we wrote on November 16, 2016, “suggest that the time may be right for someone to roll the dice with $250 million or so in the hopes of launching a football league that would essentially operate like a modern-day XFL — loud, proud, violent, brutal, bloody, and everything that the NFL was before political, legal, and social sensitivities forced the league to change.”
Here’s hoping that it succeeds!