By Nathan Easington
The XFL began its first season over the weekend with fast-paced and high-octane offenses that provided a different overall atmosphere than the one most NFL fans have experienced.
The new professional football league, which was originally pitched and ran for one season in
2001, began its second iteration with all eight teams facing off on Saturday and Sunday.
In addition to the atmosphere, a few rule changes and some familiar faces, the XFL debuted a program that brought football fans something new and simultaneously recognizable to promote consistent viewership.
In 2001, Vince McMahon suggested an alternative pro football league, as a rival to the NFL.
With the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and NBC working together, the XFL ran for
just one season, because of poor ratings.
In 2018, McMahon announced that the XFL would again establish itself as an alternative pro league, this time with the support of the NFL, despite the AFF (American Football Federation) having started its first season that year as well.
Some of the major rule changes are no more extra points after touchdowns. Teams now have the chance to score one, two or three points from the 1, 5 and 10-yard line, respectively. Overtime periods are now closer to a soccer shoot-out style, which gives teams five chances to score from the 10-yard line for max of two points per attempt. And each team is awarded only two timeouts per half.
Most of the rules try to aid the pace of the game — one of the major notable differences between the NFL and XFL.
Un-drafted college players, Canadian Football League players and some former NFL players
make up most of the teams’ rosters. Cardale Jones, Josh Johnson and Matt McGloin are some of the most recognizable names at the QB position.
For players like Johnson, who was drafted to the NFL in 2008, the start of the XFL is his first
chance to totally lead a team since playing in college for the University of San Diego. Johnson played for 13 teams in the NFL, not winning a game in which he started until 2018.
The New York Guardians are playing the D.C. Defenders, and the Tampa Bay Vipers are facing the Seattle Dragons on Saturday. The Dallas Renegades are playing the Los Angeles Wildcats on Sunday, and the St. Louis Battlehawks play the Houston Roughnecks.
Nathan Easington, a senior journalism major from Evanston, Illinois, covers sports and other
stories for 101Magazine.net. He is also a Rhoden Fellow at ESPN for TheUndefeated.com.