XFL to imitate its failure from 2001

After a massive failure with the XFL (X Football League) in 2001 due to low television ratings and little fan interest, owner Vince McMahon has decided to revive the American football league yet again.

Featuring a 10-week regular season after the NFL season and eight teams in major cities throughout the country, the addition of another football league to cater to football fans who can’t wait for the NFL season to begin is a good idea.

Although the XFL offers a new kickoff rule and a variety of options for points after touchdown, the league lacks many certain aspects that the NFL offers, which led to their downfall in 2001 and will ultimately lead to their downfall again.

One of the biggest differences of the XFL is the severe gap in talent compared to the NFL. While the league features many ex-NFL players such as Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Landry Jones and one-time Lions quarterback Matt McGloin, a majority of the XFL players are former undrafted college athletes who failed to earn a job on an NFL roster.

As a result, the new league will be unable to attract a big dedicated fan base to begin with, and it will struggle to maintain viewership and stadium attendance as weeks go on.

Another obstacle the XFL will face are the college conference games and annual sports tournaments that take place during the season.

Some big name events that the XFL will be competing for viewership with include the ever-so popular March Madness basketball tournament and the NBA All-Star game that happened this past weekend. Although watching the XFL might be interesting for the first few minutes, secondary talent does not provide more entertainment than the best competing with the best, and viewers would probably switch to other channels.

Despite franchising XFL teams (Los Angeles, New York and Dallas) in populated cities with major sports interest, the placement of these teams are a double-edged sword. Though this may encourage more curious fans to buy tickets and experience the XFL games live, football will be competing with other sports, such as basketball and hockey, to fill up the stands in the stadium during the weekends.

If the XFL hopes to outlive its previous one-season duration, the league will need to present reasons for new watchers and fans to continue supporting the league, rather than attracting fans for curiosity and intrigue.