Relaunch of the XFL: Third Time’s a Charm?
Duwayne “The Rock” Johnson (he/him) has relaunched the XFL for it’s third launch this February. The XFL is a professional football league originally launched in 2001, which was the joint venture between NBC and the WWF, which was owned by Vince McMahon (he/him). It failed in 2001 for a variety of reasons, mainly low ratings. Then there was a 2nd launch in early 2020, but was cut short due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Soon after, the XFL went bankrupt. The XFL then tapped The Rock and his ex-wife Dany Garcia (she/her) to become the new owners of the XFL, who relaunched the league.
There are eight teams in the league split into two divisions. In the North division, there are the DC Defenders, Seattle Dragons, Vegas Vipers, St. Louis Battlehawks. In the South division, there are the Orlando Guardians, Houston Roughnecks, Arlington Renegades, and San Antonio Brahmas.
The XFL is a place for many former NFL players to keep playing football after their time in the NFL. A much smaller league with a shorter season than the NFL, some NFL veterans players in the XFL include former Patriots receiver Josh Gordon (he/him), Broncos former 1st round quarterback Paxton Lynch (he/him), former Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron (he/him), and more.
The DC Defenders, St. Louis Battlehawks and Houston Roughnecks have 2-0 records in the young XFL season. The Battlehawks have had amazing comebacks against the Brahmas and the Dragons.
The XFL has some unique rules that are different than the NFL, College or High School football games. One’s that’s been getting a lot of attention is that a punt that goes out of bounds will automatically go to the return side 35-yard line. For the extra point, the offensive team could go to the 2-yard line for 1, 5-yard line for 2 and the 10-yard line for 3 points. Also, instead of an onside kick the offensive team could go for a 4th and 15 conversion to keep the ball.
The XFL is the latest league in the attempt to popularize Spring football after the NFL season. Last Spring, the USFL started back up and will play a new season starting in April.