By CCN.com: The XFL just announced their team names and logos for the upcoming 2020 season. The names all have a tough, battle-ready theme. The Renegades, the Guardians, the BattleHawks; they’re all ready for war. Unfortunately, they are all going to lose.
The XFL will fail again just like they did almost 20 years ago. Yes, time has gone by and yes, they have a chance to fix their mistakes. It doesn’t matter. It’s like if we attempted to cure death 20 years ago, failed, then tried again today. Death would still win. And to the XFL, death is that other football league.
As much as we love a victorious underdog story, this is not it. The NFL (National Football League) is the biggest sports league in America. The average attendance for an NFL game in 2018 was 67,042. Yes, it was down slightly from 67,405 the previous year, but it’s so far ahead of the competition that it doesn’t matter. The average attendance for NBA games reached an all-time high in 2018 with 17,987. The MLB dropped to an average of 28,830 in 2018. And hockey, well, who cares.
What the NFL lost in attendance, they gained in TV viewers. The average viewership in 2018 rose 5% from the previous year to 15.76 million viewers. In fact, NFL games comprised seven of the top 10 telecasts of 2018. They’ve also had overwhelming success in the video game sector. In 2001, the XFL hit a low point by producing the lowest rating by a prime-time show on a major network. In fact, after producing a respectable 9.5 rating for their inaugural telecast in 2001, the network sputtered down to a 2.1 rating by their championship game.
The main reason the XFL will fail again is that they haven’t fixed their main problem: talent. The top talent will always go to the highest bidder. Despite using hundreds of millions of his own dollars, XFL owner Vince McMahon can’t compete. The average NFL team is worth $2.57 billion.
Yes, NFL players have been griping about their salaries compared to their counterparts in other sports, but if the XFL somehow does manage to give them a scare, the NFL will simply pay more. At best, the XFL will land cast-off names like Johnny Manziel or Tim Tebow. Their main attractions will be the players who weren’t good enough for the NFL. That is not going to shift the tides.
McMahon told NBC,
“I think the most important thing that we learned with the older XFL and now the new XFL is the quality of play. We have two years now to really get it right.”
Unless they learn how to make billions of dollars in two years, they won’t be able to secure the talent to get it right.
One of the few things that set apart the original XFL was that they were run by the founder of the WWE. The games were violent and filled with drama. This time around, McMahon has decided to take a backseat and let a football guy run the show. Oliver Luck, former executive vice president of the NCAA, will be commissioner and CEO of the XFL.
Also, the league says they will not accept any players with a criminal background. If they’re trying to beat the NFL by sacrificing their one asset to play “pure” football, they have no chance. The best they can hope for is outlasting the pathetic run of the NFL’s most recent competition, the AAF. Let’s hope they can pull off the ultimate hail mary.
Last modified: June 23, 2020 2:36 PM UTC