Fans of professional football might vaguely recall a short run of a rival football league around the turn of the century. Ultimately the XFL, which was run by CEO and owner of WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) was an incredible failure, yet there are rumblings from high on the rumor tree that the XFL might be making a comeback as early as January of 2018. While the entire landscape of the sport of football has changed since the XFL had its first attempt, there is still a distinct possibility that Vince McMahon and company will stand to lose just as much (if not more) if they were to pick up their failed attempt at a football league and try again.
For starters, in order to have a successful football league you are going to need television sponsors that believe in your product. Given the first failed attempt that projected overall losses close to 70 million dollars for both the WWE and NBC respectively, it would be a difficult task to find a television broadcasting station that would reach the homes you would need to in order to find any sort of success without assuming that they will be in the dark about the very evident risks they are taking. After all, no station wants to broadcast a show no one is watching, and that is what the XFL used to be for the most part.
While it might be fun to joke about how all the new rules and sanctions on the NFL play has made the sport more like two-hand-touch than tackle football these days, there have been a lot of valid concerns about the health and well being of the players on the field. Given the more recent spinal injury to Ryan Shazier of the Pittsburgh Steelers, even with these new sanctions in effect it can be difficult to prevent players in the sport from having life altering injuries that could paralyze them or disable them for good.
The XFL on the other hand, was billed back in the early 2000s as being the fun league where many of the silly rules placed on NFL players would not need to apply. While this began to look at little more like a real life game of NFL Blitz and street ball between bitter rivals, in today’s era of football, it could be a nightmare in terms of lawsuits and injuries. It wasn’t even all that well liked as you would think back then, either.
While it is still widely unconfirmed that the XFL would be making a comeback at all, this would not be out of the realm of possibility. There have been a lot of promoters that have likely considered beefing up the sport again to take away all of the reasons that have caused many fans to lose interest, such as the harder hits. In the end, though, as much as it might look like a sound business strategy to try on paper, it will likely not translate as well when it comes to actually getting out onto the field.
Vince McMahon might be willing to roll the dice on this venture regardless of the risks, and that is something that people are either going to look forward to as former fans of the league or boycott altogether. Whichever way you land on the issue, it is best to know what could be hitting television next year.