“Football–Do We Need This”
We’ve just come thru an electric NFL season, capped by a wild finish to the Super Bowl.
The playoff were spectacular. The TV ratings were excellent. The comebacks, triggered by this new breed of NFL quarterbacks, are changing the landscape.
Here comes the NFL, the Draft Combine, and possibly the most active era of NFL free agency involving big name quarterbacks, named Rivers-Brady-Newton-Brees-Winston and more.
And now we have this on my television…the debut of the XFL spring league.
Will little fanfare, virtually no name talent, the league’s 8-teams debuted this weekend.
Some 17,000 fans flocked to watch games in Washington, DC and football mad Houston. I guess at $15 a ticket, it’s something to do aside from go to the movies.
The quality of play was average to borderline sloppy, but it was the first game of the season, so cut them slack.
We know the coaches who are handling the teams, some respected names like Bob Stoops, Marc Trestman, Kevin Gilbride, Winston Moss. You know some of the assistants too, Norm Chow, Mike Riley, Chuck Long, Jerry Glanville, Dennis McKnight.
It is February, and every NFL team has 90-players under contract. That means the top (2,880) players are already signed. What is on the XFL roster you might watch on these Saturday-Sunday games are the fringe of the fringe. And they are being paid fringe money too, some ($2,200) a game plus winning bonuses, for the next 10-weeks.
We walked down this path a year ago this week. You remember the much ballyhooed Alliance for American Football, the San Diego Fleet, Bill Polian, unpaid bills and salaries. The league that ceased operation after just 8-weeks.
It wasn’t NFL-Europe pitting the Scottish Claymores-vs-London Monarchs. It wasn’t the old World Football League of the Hawaiians and the Memphis Southmen. Surely not the Doug Flutie-Herschel Walker-Donald Trump led New Jersey Generals of the USFL. Maybe a poor imitation of the first XFL with a running back who went by the nickname ‘He Hate Me’. Hell, it’s not even the CFL-where I know names that went to Canada.
There is no Colin Kaeperneck, no Johnny Manziel, no Tim Tebow. Virtually no recognizable names.
When your quarterbacks are Landry Jones, Cardale Jones, Josh Johnson, Connor Cook, Luis Perez, Taylor Heinicke, BJ Daniels, Matt McGloin and Chase Litton, I just wonder if there is a need for all this.
I guess football fans will be fascinated for 15 minutes watching it. And the addicted will take part in the betting Apps they have put together.
But do you think any of these guys interest the Chargers-Rams-Raiders? They already have 90-on the roster, with the draft still to come.
As the carnival barker would say…”A fool and his money-soon part”….
Don’t know if it is really on anyone’s radar, not with the Cactus League-Grapefruit Circuit opening, not with the NBA-NHL playoffs coming, not with the Daytona 500 and the Indy 500 looming, and not with all things NFL-that we all pay attention too.
XFL-RIP…saying it before you cease operation. Another weird idea, don’t you think?