The Phantom Voice
WWE founder and chairman Vince McMahon has recently announced that he will be launching another professional football league in the year 2020, called the XFL, as he had previously attempted in 2001. In McMahon’s first attempt at the league, he was funding it through the WWE and the league had too many relations tying into the WWE. This included McMahon’s wrestling announcers commentating on XFL games, which did not resonate well with viewers. However, McMahon plans to regulate the league much differently this time, in a way that he believes will bring great success to the brand. He is going to be the sole funding for the league, and this will allow him to eliminate any factors that failed in the previous attempt at the league.
McMahon has already set some standards/features for the league that he believes will drive the brand to success. The new XFL will include 40-man roster teams, which is slightly less than the NFL’s number of 53. It will also include 8 teams, a 10 game season, a 4 team semi-final playoff round, and one championship game. He also wants to cut down on the length of football games, as he believes the NFL’s games of sometimes 3 to 4 hours are far too taxing for viewers. He hopes to cut the game length down to about 2 hours, so that viewers can focus for the entirety of the game. The league is set to begin in January of 2020. This will allow those interested to develop strong teams that will lead to high quality games. Teams will be formed in 2019, giving plenty of time to bring together a group of talented players. This will hopefully lead to a high viewership.
The new XFL also plans to be strict on the quality of player joining the league. McMahon has stated that any player with a criminal record is not allowed to play in the league. This shows how McMahon believes that the quality and overall nature of his players is very important. In addition, players will not receive forum to take personal stances on social issues on the field. This allows for viewers not to be burdened by social and political issues being brought up, such as the case is for kneeling during the national anthem in the NFL. It allows viewers to simply enjoy the game of football. McMahon is intent on making the XFL an issue-free institution, and this lack of “drama” should lead to success for the brand.
The XFL has the potential to gain an extremely large following, as former NFL players will look to resume their football careers through this outlet. Former NFL players playing in the league will create a large viewership right off the bat. There are some former players that carry an extremely great amount of publicity, and would also be a perfect fit to resurrect their careers in the XFL. For example, Tim Tebow has received many requests by fans to join the new XFL. He has been pursuing a career in minor league baseball, but through his years electrifying the National Football League, it is evident he is meant to be playing football. He also carries a circus of attention with his name, and the league could benefit from that. A player who has shown interest in playing is Johnny Manziel. Manziel would bring great publicity to the league also, but his criminal record disqualifies him from playing in the XFL. They could make a lot of money off of Manziel, though, so it remains to be seen if he will be allowed to play. Former NFL players playing in addition to Vince McMahon’s newfound principles for the league should drive the brand to success in 2020.