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This Is The New XFL: Vince McMahon’s Alternative To The NFL Is Back

No, you did not just walk into a time-warp back to 2001.

On Thursday, after months of speculation, WWE owner, chairman and CEO Vince McMahon and his new company, Alpha Entertainment, officially announced the revival of the Xtreme Football League, resuming play in 2020.

“Why not now? Now is a perfect opportunity and I always wanted to bring it back,” McMahon said.

Yes, the one-year attempt at a football league that brought you He Hate Me, Jeff Brohm’s inspirational speech, promises of cameras in the cheerleaders’ locker room, no fair catches, no coin toss and all of the sometimes absurd spectacle that was the then WWF Attitude Era is being reincarnated.

Shout out to journalist Brad Shepard, who got the date of the announcement on the nose back in December:

“Quite frankly, we’re going to give the game of football back to fans,” McMahon said.

“The new XFL will be fan-centric, with all the things you like to see and less of the things you don’t.”

McMahon said that in having the XFL cater to fan interests, the game will be “shorter, faster-paced, family-friendly and easier to understand.”

When the XFL relaunches in two years, it will consist of eight teams, playing a 10-week regular season schedule that will start in January with two semifinals and a championship game.

The cities that will be home to the teams are yet to be announced, but McMahon said that there will be no franchise model and he will be the sole owner of all teams.

Another topic yet to be announced is how and where games will be presented to fans. However, McMahon said that it will be “multi-platform.” During its original run, XFL games were aired on NBC.

In regards to the enduring controversial issue of players protesting during performances of the National Anthem, McMahon stated that he does not intend for that to be an issue in the new league:

“People don’t want social and political issues coming into play when they are trying to be entertained,” McMahon said. “We want someone who wants to take a knee to do their version of that on their personal time.”

With the announcement of the rebooted XFL comes speculation about who could fill up the rosters come 2020, with a particular emphasis on one player:

“In the XFL, the quality of the human being is going to be as important as the quality of the player,” McMahon said in regards to who would be eligible to play.

After being asked on the prospects of the likes of Johnny Manziel, Colin Kaepernick and Tim Tebow doning an XFL jersey, McMahon reiterated by stating that no one with a criminal record would be able to play in the league.

“If Tim Tebow wants to play, he can very well play.”

Oh and speaking of the XFL meshing with controversial figures/politics at all:

So, there it is: Vincent Kennedy McMahon is on a mission to redo what was a massive failure that came in the middle of an otherwise successful, legendary, one-of-a-kind career.

It goes without saying that times have changed since the heyday of the first run of the XFL. In 2020, gone will be the days that are reminiscent of old-school wrestling with all the lewdness, violence and absurdity included.

It will be interesting to see how the on-field product will look once play commences and if the McMahon can attract talent that will be good enough to make it watchable.

It’s clear from McMahon’s announcement that we won’t get to see any of the wrestling-esqe material, emphasis on violent play, and the general lunacy which was packaged together with the original XFL.

And as a wrestling fan, I definitely know that McMahon hasn’t been known for the best creative decisions when it comes to his bread-and-butter product in recent years, but that’s a topic for another day.

With what happened with the original XFL combined with some of his wrestling business decisions, there’s reason to be wary of any new McMahon ventures.

However, if McMahon is serious about making a concerted effort to right all the (many, many) wrongs from 2001, there is a possibility that America could receive a viable, watchable option to fulfill its football-watching desires in the offseason.

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