WWE founder and chairman Vince McMahon announced Thursday he is giving a professional football league another go.
It will be called the XFL, the same name of the league McMahon and NBC tried for one season in 2001, but it won't rely on flashy cheerleaders and antics as its predecessor did, he said.
McMahon said he is the sole funding source for the league, which is slated to begin in January 2020. Its first season will have eight teams around the country playing a 10-week schedule. The initial outlay of money is expected to be around $100 million, the same amount of WWE stock McMahon sold last month and funneled into Alpha Entertainment, the company he founded for the project.
"I wanted to do this since the day we stopped the other one," McMahon told ESPN in an exclusive interview. "A chance to do it with no partners, strictly funded by me, which would allow me to look in the mirror and say, 'You were the one who screwed this up,' or 'You made this thing a success.'"
McMahon told reporters on Thursday afternoon that he has had no initial talks with media entities.
One mark of the new league, McMahon said, will be faster games. The ideal running time, he said, would be two hours.
As for the timing of the announcement, two years before the league's debut, many might point to McMahon's relationship with President Donald Trump, who this fall criticized the NFL for allowing its players to kneel and sit during the national anthem. McMahon said players in his league will not be given the forum to take a personal stance while on the playing field. McMahon's wife, Linda, heads the Small Business Administration in Trump's Cabinet.
Despite living in West Warwick I'm not white trash, so I never got into pro wrestling. Because of that I don't know too much about Vince McMahon other than the stuff I've absorbed from Barstool and Twitter over the years, but this all seems like a very anti-Vince McMahon move. He's a showman, yet he's neutering the XFL. No gimmicks. What's even the point? What's the X for if it's not going to be extreme?
I don't remember the XFL at all since I was in 4th grade during it's lone season. I'm familiar with what it was all about thanks to being a student of the internet, but by the looks of it Vince McMahon is going about this all wrong. Instead of taking another chance at being the bad boy league in a time where people are dying for old school football where you were allowed to head hunt and play with multiple concussions he's pulling a classic Trump move by going after idiot America with the league's stance of not allowing players to kneel or express their opinions about social issues.
Look I'm a you should stand for the National Anthem guy. I love this country like a battered wife loves her abusive husband. Despite many flaws in our great nation much like a battered wife I'm never leaving but do know there are better options out there.
Despite that I do understand the deeper rooted issues about protesting police brutally and all that fun stuff that I do support. I'm anti-police brutality. Yes I know I'm brave for admitting that. I don't really need to get any deeper into all that right now. This is about football. I'm just saying it's very easy to see the audience McMahon is going after.
I love how in his press conference the first change he posed that would make football better is eliminating half time as if that's the biggest problem with football?
Who the hell is anti-halftime?
You mean the one opportunity during the game where I'm guaranteed to not miss any action when I go take a shit or need to go get more beer?
Yeah we all hate that!
While I think the XFL will fail just like it's predecessor, the one thing I think that will give a legitimate chance to last more than a season is the talent and personalities it showcases. That is where your old friend ole dozo is here to help. For the sake of this list let's just assume Vince comes to his senses and eliminates his idiotic no criminal record rule. You're asking for a second chance with this shitty league but you won't give guys who have made a mistake a second chance? Seems fair! (not)
Since the XFL is going to be an 8 team league here are the 8 quarterbacks that I believe would give the XFL it's best chance at success.
8. Jeff Brohm
Like I said earlier, I don't remember the XFL. I was v young in 2001. However, as a student of the internet streets I know about He Hate Me and this Jeff Brohm quote after being asked about playing after he sustained a head injury. Jeff Brohm is a football guy plain and simple. Despite currently being the head football coach of Purdue and 48 years old you need an veteran XFL guy who was around for the first giddy up. If he still has a pulse I'm sure he'll still be able to sling it. Get this man a helmet and some shoulder pads stat!
7. Jared Lorenzen aka He Ate Me
I get it that Vince McMahon said that this league was going to be gimmick free but that's about as believable as me saying diet starts Monday. Speaking of diet starts Monday, Jared Lorenzen aka the Hefty-Lefty is a must have for the XFL. He's a fat lefty redneck QB with NFL experience (28 career passing yards!)
What more do you need?
Jared Lorenzen is a proven winner. He was the 3rd string QB on the 2007 NY Giants but his ring is just as nice as the one they gave Michael Strahan. The dude is a winner who is hungry to give football another chance with the best self proclaimed nickname of all time #HeAteMe.
6. JaMarcus Russell
JaMarcus Russell may be one of the biggest busts in NFL history, there's no denying that.
Buuut, have you ever seen his arm? He can throw a football like 75 yards while on a knee. I know this league will be anti-kneeling but how can you overlook skills like that? If guys are going to be taking knees might as well have them throwing 75 yard bombs while they're doing it.
Plus we need to follow the Rooney rule. If we're going to be inclusive and have the fattest white QB alive I feel like it's only fair to also have the fattest black QB alive.
You're telling me you wouldn't buy a ticket to watch the biggest bust in NFL history try to comeback at 34 years old? (don't tell me if you wouldn't)
5. Julian Edelman
Did you know Julian Edelman played quarterback at Kent State?
Of course not, nobody knows that, it's a very well kept secret.
In 2020 when the XFL is set to launch Julian Edelman will be 33 years old. There's a great chance he will no longer be a Patriot at that point in time. For one his contract expires after the 2019 season, and we know Belichick likes to move on from guys a year too early rather than a year too late. Considering he tore his ACL this year and has taken many vicious hits as a squirrelly slot receiver for multiple Super Bowl champion teams there's a great chance he'll be looking for a job come 2020.
Edelman is by no means starving, but considering how solid he's been throughout his NFL career he's never had a big money NFL deal. The XFL is going to be looking for starpower and Julian Edelman is a star. For the right price I think the XFL could get him.
We all know how competitive Jules is, as successful as he's been as a WR you know deep down he still thinks of himself as a QB, if given the chance to play quarterback I think he takes it.
When healthy Robert Griffin III was one of the most electric players in the league. The former Heisman Trophy winner was the rookie of the year in 2012. If it wasn't for the horrible field conditions at FedEx Field and Mike Shanahan being arguably dumber than his son's playcalling in Super Bowl LI who knows what happens to RG3 if he doesn't get hurt?
Assuming RGIII doesn't make a league comeback before 2020 it'll be 3 full years since the former Baylor QB played a snap of football. Aka plenty of time to get healthy and give us a glimpse of the star he could've been before tearing his ACL, MCL and PCL within the first half of the halftimeless 2020 season opener.
3. Tim Tebow
If McMahon is for serious about these wholesome rules for the XFL than there is no more appropriate QB for the league than one Timothy Richard Tebow. Everybody in America knew Tim Tebow would be on this list but I bet you're a little surprised he's only at #3. Well that's because it may be a little difficult to convince the starting left fielder for the New York Mets to give up his cushy job in Queens for the lowly XFL. However I'd like to think Tebow's competitive spirit would make him want to give quarterback one more try to shut up the haters (of which there are many).
Plus Tebow puts asses in the fucking seats. If you're trying to convince people to pay to watch this glorified semi-pro bullshit you need a face of the league that is polarizing. If there's one thing Tim Tebow is it's polarizing. Just maybe not as much as the next man on the list.
2. Colin Kaepernick
Wow what seamless transition! I really should get paid to do this.
The one thing I know about wrestling other than it being fake it's that you need a great heel. Enter stage left Colin Kaepernick. If McMahon wants to put even more asses in the seats then the first thing he should do is sign Colin Kaepernick. Solely for the fact that his inbred, white trash, redneck fan base can buy tickets just to boo the shit out of this man in person. Money is green whether they like you or not.
If there's one thing Vince McMahon is it's a great marketer and promoter. Every great story needs a villain. Kaepernick fits the bill perfectly. Plus he's a pretty good quarterback that should have a Super Bowl ring he will light up the league.
1. Johnny Manziel
Johnny Manziel was made to play in the original XFL. It's an absolute shame that he was only 8 when the league started because he could've been the original He Hate Me.
As of now McMahon is trying to protray the new XFL as a clean, family friendly football. Saying nobody with a criminal record including DUIs is allowed to play which would make Johnny Football ineligible. I hate to take this stand because drinking and driving is a very serious thing that people shouldn't do, buuuut it has a lot of different levels. If you didn't hurt anybody IMO it's no harm no foul. Just don't do it again. That shouldn't strip us as fans the opportunity to watch Johnny Football run around like a wild man.
All I'm saying is a lot can change in two years. Once we're getting closer to 2020 and the buzz starts dying down the league is going to need a saving grace to get people talking, to create a buzz if you will. That saving grace will be Johnny Football. This league needs Johnny Manziel. It will have Johnny Manziel. Johnny Manziel to the XFL is something the world needs.
Could you imagine XFL playoffs that faces Tim Tebow vs. Colin Kaepernick in the kneeling bowl? Man this has my blood flowing. Make it happen Vince, make it happen!!!!