I haven’t already forgotten about XFL 2.0, which is the highest compliment for a football league that isn’t the national one. There’s so much to remember from the first edition aside from He Hate Me such as Tommy Maddox, the insane raging guy Memphis logo, and, um, other pending examples.
Check out the junior varsity while waiting for the game you came to see. Getting through each week without a Buffalo Bills game is a challenge on par with the Sabres making the playoffs once per decade. Presently having six hours of football each weekend day helps, even if it’s the de facto minor league.
The biggest challenge now that the XFL has survived a few weeks is figuring out who to support. Look for players you like from your alma mater or favorite pro team. We don’t have any beef with Cardale Jones, right?
I presumed I’d be a natural New York fan until I learned erstwhile Bills coordinator and excessive pass enthusiast Kevin Gilbride is their coach. That troubled club won what’s a crucial game by expansion league standards last weekend, as they were already literally throwing away their chances. It’s almost like coaches exhibit patterns.
Being unsure whether to get a Tampa or Seattle tattoo means getting to judge the league objectively. Give a broader overview befitting of a league with a single-ownership setup. The lack of a team closer than New Jersey leaves us free to cheer for football.
The best way to learn a game is by watching without rooting interest. It’s eerily relaxing to observe players without the stress of fretting they might be doing it wrong. Viewers outside the competing cities don’t have to feel tense about whether or not the ball is advancing as wished. Watch defensive ends bite on read options for the vicarous joy of another’s gullibility.
The subversive alternative to traditional football should know UB Stadium craves a tenant this semester. Late-winter tailgating would enhance the culture of everyone involved. They wouldn’t even need to close the upper ring as has been the procedure in most venues.
Avoiding the reflexive tendency to dismiss anything new as gimmicky is as tough as taking Josh Rosen seriously. Yet none of the novel rules in the latest rebel league feel goofy like three-on-three hockey overtime, much less a dang shootout.
For one, eliminating the kicked extra point feels like a public service, especially compared to the established entity attempting to make the game’s dullest play feel thrilling by pushing it a bit farther away.
Even crazy ideas are worth a shot. I’m still pondering if making the kicker feel lonely is the best way to start possessions: the receiving team not being able to see when their teammate fields the ball feels like a disadvantage. But the openminded mentality that pairs inventiveness with the willingness to experiment is worthy of applause even if I’m still trying to figure out when they stop the clock.
As with passing despite having a lead late in the Super Bowl, some notions are odd for a reason. I don’t know if the intended gibberish of play calls translates to television. And there’s only so much an exhausted athlete can say about the touchdown he just scored or conceded.
Maybe degenerate gamblers are the key to ratings. Having a financial stake in results always seems curious to those of us innocent enough to like the game itself and not whether, say, the two teams combine to score more than 51.5 points.
Where are the cheerleaders? I almost wish something run by Vince McMahon could be a little spicier. Like the makers of the Radioactive Man movie eschewing the previous campy version, the football promotion is clearly trying to avoid any notorious connections to the 2001 version. The best worst part of the first attempt was the implication there’d be backstage drama, which turned out to be tough without a script. Matt McGloin tries his hardest.
Presentation has been so conventional that it’s easy to forget the operations connected to that prominent wrestling federation. But the lack of folding chairs left conveniently near the line of scrimmage has allowed the league to focus on actual gameplay. Now, they just need desperate players to seize the chance.
The hoary NFL’s unwillingness to innovate is made more glaring by comparison. As the upstart circuit makes officiating more transparent via microphones, the grandpa league discusses making the playoffs easier to enter. There are apparently 14 teams who deserve a Super Bowl shot. And maybe we’ll get a 17-game schedule with a new CBA in case the problem was not having a prime number.
It’s always good to have competition, especially if the competitors don’t want it. Having to top someone offers motivation not just during games but among rosters and leagues. Mighty Taco tastes even better because it’s not Chipotle.
Being smart enough to not face the NFL directly is the best wrestling football storyline. The entity that brought the world Rowdy Roddy Piper learned from the USFL’s New Coke-style decision to switch from the spring to fall, which was a downer even if it brought Jim Kelly to Buffalo. Ceaseless football is the dream even if we don’t have a local option to break our heart during the traditions operation’s downtime.
Editor’s babble: It has been fun watching the XFL. Games seem to be getting better each week and it is a nice to have spring football, especially when the Sabres keep breaking our hearts. Thanks, as always, to Anthony Bialy for his contributions to our blog. You can find Anthony on Twitter @AnthonyBialy.