The grand return of the XFL

Jotham Israel, Sports Editor

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Alright, let’s get something straight right here, right now. In the NFL, there is absolutely nothing better than January football, and, once again, this winter delivered massive upsets, broken records and jaw-dropping moments.

However, football fans like myself are going to be treated to something that looks promising very soon. Drum roll, please… 

The XFL is coming back! Yes, you heard me right. It is actually happening… Again.

The weekend after Super Bowl LIV, we get to witness another attempt to establish what I like to call, “The NFL’s Little Brother”. This year’s contender for that title is the XFL.

This league has been defunct since its lone season of existence in 2001, when it was controlled by NBC and the World Wrestling Federation, which is now known as the WWE.

Speaking of the WWE, its Chairman, Vince McMahon, also the founder of the original XFL, is back at it again. When he made the announcement that the XFL was coming back on Jan. 25, 2018, I was immediately excited because football is the only sport I’m aware of in America that doesn’t have a legitimate minor league.

The NBA has the G-League, the MLB has multiple minor leagues (most notably the double-A and triple-A leagues), the NHL has the AHL amongst numerous other minor leagues, and even the MLS has minor leagues like the USSF.

Well, all these other major leagues have minor leagues. Where’s the minor league for the NFL? We thought we had something going with the Alliance of American Football, but their days of football didn’t even last two months.

However, there’s a certain vibe that the XFL is bringing that the other football leagues didn’t really give me. This is not a complete replication of the NFL.

Most football fans have been begging for a fast-paced football game with tons of action and less controversy involving the referees. I don’t really care about the pace of the game. As long as I get my action, I’m watching the game.

I went on the XFL’s website to look up some of its rule changes that are supposed to make the game more fun and action-packed, and I must say, I am very impressed.

The larger likelihood of a kick return, the double-forward pass, the option to go for up to three extra points after scoring a touchdown, the short, ten-minute halftime break, the shootout-styled overtime rules: I am extremely excited to see these rules implemented in a real XFL game!

Now, I’m not guaranteeing that the XFL will last more than one season, but I am saying that they’ve done a great job in captivating their potential fans upon its return.

The season starts on Feb. 8, which is usually about the time when football fans go away until the upcoming August, so all eyes in the football universe will be on the XFL. There are two playoff games played on April 18 and 19, and then the season concludes with the championship game on April 26.

Oh, and by the way, these XFL games won’t be under the radar like the AAF’s games that were primarily on CBS Sports Network, B/R Live and NFL Network. The XFL is beefed up with numerous games scheduled on big-time networks like ABC, FOX and even ESPN!

Is the XFL coming to the rescue? They definitely don’t look like slouches right now. We shall see how the season turns out, but once again, football fans should be extremely optimistic about football beyond the NFL.