The XFL is back — and it will NOT be the social justice warrior football league the NFL allowed itself to become over the last year.
According to McMahon, the XFL will be a “re-imagined” football game with eight teams, with the locations still undecided. He added that the league will differ from the NFL with safety issues, fewer rules, including a sped-up game, and the emphasis on getting back to football.
McMahon told reporters in a live stream on Periscope that the league will have “nothing” to do with politics or social issues.
The periscope link for Vince McMahon's new football league announcement, which is scheduled to begin at 3pm ET. https://t.co/mmxLHrKfRC
— Dan Rovell (@darrenrovell) January 25, 2018
“We’re here to play football,” McMahon stated.
WWE founder and chairman Vince McMahon declared on Thursday that he’s going to reboot the league that he co-founded in 2001, only to see it crash and burn in a single season.
The new and improved XFL, explained McMahon, will be less showy than its previous iteration, and a whole lot less social justice warrior-ish than its main competitor.
“Quite frankly,” McMahon said in his initial announcement, “we’re going to give the game of football back to the fans.” The new league, which is set to launch in 2020, will be “fan-centric”: a “shorter, faster-paced, family-friendly and easier to understand game.”
“People don’t want social and political issues coming into play when they are trying to be entertained,” McMahon told reporters in a press conference after the announcement Thursday. “We want someone who wants to take a knee to do their version of that on their personal time.”
In other words, the still unemployed Colin Kaepernick need not apply.
Other would-be-players who should not apply: criminals.
“If you have any sort of criminal record or commit a crime you aren’t playing in this league,” said McMahon.
Asked specifically about Kaepernick, Johnny Manzel and Tim Tebow, McMahon replied, “You want someone who does not have any criminality associated whatsoever with them. Even if you have a DUI you will not play in the XFL. So that will probably eliminate some of them. Not all of them. If Tim Tebow wants to play, he can very well play.”
While ESPN and others were clearly worried that President Donald Trump might have something to do with the new league, McMahon dismissed the notion, saying he had “no idea” if Trump would back the league or not.
While he’s sticking with the same name as the flamed-out 2001 league, McMahon offered a slightly different vision for the new league: more focus on football than all the flashy sideline antics. This time around, he’s also taking full ownership of the league, literally. Instead of a partnership, McMahon is funding the whole thing through a new company he created, Alpha Entertainment. ESPN reports that the initial bill will be around $100 million.
The entertainment mogul told ESPN that he’s been itching to relaunch the XFL on his own “since the day we stopped the other one.” This time, whether it succeeds or fails, will be entirely on him, allowing him “to look in the mirror and say, ‘You were the one who screwed this up,’ or ‘You made this thing a success.'”
McMahon plans to launch the league in 2020 with 8 teams consisting of 40-man rosters. The season will begin in January and initially feature a ten-game season. Like the season, the games will be shorter than the NFL’s. McMahon said that he’s shooting for a 2-hour running time.
Which cities will have XFL franchises?
Vince McMahon said they are looking at both large and medium-sized markets. As for which media companies the XFL will partner with, well, McMahon told interviewers he hasn’t had any real talks with anyone quite yet, but he described a more creative approach to broadcast formats and options. Probably insinuating streaming of some sort.
Partial transcript via ESPN.
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