Vince McMahon is bringing back the ‘XFL’, an alternative professional football league. Before you praise or damn it, I wanted to prompt a discussion at to its potential merits, because there are certain things fans dislike about the NFL’s current arrangements. Let’s get started.
Eligibility – What standards should there be preventing young men from working in professional sports? Would open tryouts preclude a player from receiving an athletic scholarship (NCAA)? Would the new league be willing to guarantee college education should they sign out of high school. Would the new league be willing to host ‘reserve teams’ to develop athletes foregoing college football? These are all questions I have and think should be considered.
Players First – How will the new league’s owner-player relationship differ from that of the NFL? Would McMahon be open to the idea of player ownership? How to do this is a separate question, but I like the idea of players having ownership in the new league and it would likely help them compete for talent and market share.
Recruitment – How the league plans to bring in talent is also an interesting question. It’s my opinion that the new league should allow franchises to recruit talent, as opposed to drafting talent. Granted, certain limitations will be needed to promote parity, but allow players to choose. This owes to the previous point of ‘players first’. How about a yearly team captain/coach selection process, like in the schoolyard? That would be pretty cool (IMO). Your team would change every year and that player that crushed your dreams the year prior could play for your team next season, crazy!
Full Access – Football fans love ‘Hard Knocks’, but how would you like to view games in real-time while also listening to some on-field and sideline conversations? Fans would be able to follow ‘their team’ or others via league ‘app’. Also, open up some of the game communications to the audience, players trash-talking and or coach-official arguments. From there, in typical McMahon fashion, league rivalries can take on a character of their own.
Rules – Player safety is important. However, where do you draw the line. For instance, some players don’t like some of the relatively new safety-oriented rules. What can be done here is definitely up for debate. This is likely to take you down of path of heated discussion. On another note, a more open game can be instituted, one that allows for more varied styles of play (personnel and formations), similar to older high school rules. Also, the college game can be more closely modeled, from the field to the catch rules.
There are so many ways this league can differ from ‘Big Daddy NFL’. The idea here is to tightrope walk on the absurd while delivering a continually compelling product. These are some questions I thought up at a moment’s notice. Feel free to include your own ideas in the comments, I’d love to read them. Lastly, you’re likely a fan of football as I am. More football, especially in the professional and college off-season would be great. In my opinion, it’s not important for the new league to compete with the NFL head-on, only to be more interesting. Y’all tell me!