Everything Old Is New Again

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XFL and WWE owner Vincent K. McMahon.

As some of you football fans have no doubt heard by now, the XFL, which lasted one season back in the spring of 2001, is being relaunched in 2020. Much like its 2001 counterpart, eight teams will play ten games in the regular season, and up to two postseason games in a four-team playoff.

I can’t be the only person out there who at least appreciated the XFL and the contributions it eventually made to pro football in the years that proceeded it, can I? I thought the league had potential (though it did have a lot of unnecessary gimmicks borrowed from wrestling), and had it kept going for at least another season, it might have not been the “flop” most remember it being.

At the press conference this week, WWE and XFL head honcho Vince McMahon said he was looking for ideas from fans as to how to make the 2020 version of the XFL as good as an experience as possible. Well Mr. McMahon, I have a few ideas, if you’d indulge me:

  • I always thought the NFL got it ass backwards moving a kicked PAT back to the 15 yard line, making teams faking a kicked extra point and going for two on a trick PAT a thing of the past. How about narrowing the goal posts for PAT’s and field goals a bit, maybe down to 15 feet wide as opposed to 18?
  • In the 2001 XFL, I liked the rule where a punt became a “free ball” for either team to take possession of once the punt traveled 25 yards. Brought back the lost art of a “quick kick” if the offense faced a 3rd and long, and directional punting. Hope that returns in 2020.
  • Lastly, another thing the NFL got wrong was the induction of each team getting a possession in overtime, unless the first team who got the ball scored a touchdown. I’d love to see the rule the UFL had in 2011 be instituted where each team was guaranteed one possession. Perhaps add the wrinkle of allowing each team just one possession of the ball, but from anywhere on the field and not a set location (i.e. 25 yards from the goal line), unlike what the NCAA has as an overtime system. (Kind of a blend between the NFL and NCAA overtime rules.) If neither team scores or scores a duplicate number of points in a regular season game, call it a tie. In the postseason, keep playing. I’d think it would make for some interesting strategies. If you’re the first team with the ball on your own side of the field on a fourth down, do you punt and play for a tie, or do you go for it and give the other team the chance at good field position?

Anyway, those are my ideas. I hope Alpha Entertainment and Vinnie hear them at least.

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