Hi readers of Wrestling News Blog!
Let me give you a little background before starting my take on the opening weekend of the reboot of the XFL.
I’m Ed Boston and I am the co-founder of this website. As a veteran of the United States Army, I have chosen to boycott the National Football League for the past 3 seasons due to the league not mandating that all players must stand and be respectful during the Nation Anthem. That said, I’ve been hungry for some professional football and was guardedly optimistic about the all-new XFL kicking off their season.
After week 1, take the word guardedly out of the equation. Leauge owner, Vince McMahon, appears to have found a winning formula and along with league Commissioner Oliver Luck, and they must be beaming with optimism after the first 4 games are in the books.
Here are the results from week 1:
DC DEFENDERS 31, Seattle DRAGONS 19
Houston ROUGHNECKS 37, Los Angeles WILDCATS 17
New York GUARDIANS 23, Tampa Bay VIPERS 3
St Louis BATTLEHAWKS 15, Dallas RENEGADES 9
And here is the schedule for Week 2 of the XFL.
FEB 15: Guardians @ Defenders; FEB 15: Vipers @ Dragons;FEB 16: Renegades @ BattleHawks and FEB 16: Defenders @ Wildcats.
The quality of play in the games was definitely better than I expected. These weren’t future Hall of Famers playing, and there is much room for improved play, but it was good football.
I really enjoyed the XFL’s unique rules. Click here to read the complete set of rules. The rules were put in place with fan interest and player safety as the top priorities. The rules for the pace of place and the extra point opportunities of 1 pt with the play started at the 2-yard line; 2 points started at the 5-yard line, and 3 points started at the 10-yard line make for interesting decisions from the teams after each score.
Commissioner Luck and the league pulled off a great PR move and gave the league legitimacy by hiring well-known coaches to lead the teams.
Look at this line-up:
DALLAS RENEGADES – Head coach: Bob Stoops
DC DEFENDERS – Head coach: Pep Hamilton
HOUSTON ROUGHNECKS – Head coach: June Jones
LOS ANGELES WILDCATS – Head coach: Winston Moss
NEW YORK GUARDIANS – Head coach: Kevin Gilbride
ST. LOUIS BATTLEHAWKS – Head coach: Jonathan Hayes
SEATTLE DRAGONS – Head coach: Jim Zorn
TAMPA BAY VIPERS – Head coach: Marc Trestman
When you look at the list of Offensive and Defensive Coordinators that were hired, you can see that the league is bound to be taken seriously. Here is a full list of all head coaches and coordinators.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention all of the praise being handed out over the weekend with little to no negative reaction. Troy Aiken was interviewed on the sideline by Pat McAfee. Both respected NFL greats had totally positive things to say about the start of the league. Twitter exploded and XFL trended for most of the weekend, and factor in Sunday night was The Oscars.
One concern I have had from when the announcement was made that the XFL was going to start up again was that they would give the impression that they were too gimmicky, like XFL round 1 was.
This was real football, played by players who have something to prove, coached by coaches who know the game, and the entire package is fan-friendly.
My very favorite part of the fan experience watching from home was the transparency with letting us see what goes on with the play calling and replay decisions. Watching Chuck long calling plays from the booth and seeing the team execute the calls to near perfection late in the St. Louis game was awesome.
Watching and listening to the replay officials in the booth interact with the head referee on the field was must-see if you are a fan of the game. The fact that they did their jobs quickly and effectively along with the fans getting to watch the process was described by one announcer as this needs to be implemented everywhere -STAT!
I know I’m looking forward to week 2. If you didn’t see week 1, you missed some good football.