The XFL: First Impressions after Week One

With week one of the inaugural XFL season in the books, there are quite a few takeaways from the action this past weekend.

After two years of waiting with anticipation, the XFL kicked off this past weekend with their first four games. There were several aspects that differentiated itself from the NFL (National Football League) like the rules, kickoffs and media access. 

Many people were hesitant with the XFL knowing the stigma the original XFL brought back in 2001. It is fair to say that stigma is officially gone.  The football played in the XFL is much better to watch, the players have NFL level talent and the access with the teams is more than ever.

The football on the field was fast paced, hard hitting and all in all entertaining. The rules of the XFL help showcase tons of opportunity and promise for the future of football. For example, the kickoff rule in the XFL. The two teams stand five yards apart on the opposing team’s side of the field. The two teams are not allowed to move until the returner has the ball. The rule eliminated chances of massive, high-speed collisions and better opportunities to make returns for touchdowns possible.

Another rule that played a role in the game was punting. If the ball bounces into the endzone or out of bounds, the ball automatically comes out to the 35-yard line or wherever the ball bounced out of bounds. Also, the punting team is not allowed to move until the ball is kicked, which creates more opportunity to return instead of fair catches.

With all of those rules getting massive exposure to the game, there was one more rule that was showcased and led to lots of entertainment, the point after touchdown. In the NFL, teams usually kick an extra point or go for two after scoring a touchdown. In the XFL it is massively different.

First off, there is no kicker needed for an extra point. Instead, the scoring team has three different options for points after touchdown. The first being a one-point option from the two-yard line. The second being a two-point option from the five-yard line. The third being a three-point option from the ten-yard line. Also, if there is a turnover and the opposing team scores, then the opposing team gets the same amount of points as the conversion. No lead in the XFL is truly safe. There are tons of chances for comebacks and momentum swings. 

The new rules will take some getting used to, but with time, this will certainly be a game-changer for not only the XFL but the future of football.  Some of the rules the XFL implements should be looked at in changing the NFL according to many football analytics.

In 2001, the players of the XFL were by many looked at as lousy, washed up and awful football players. However, in this new era of football, these players have the talent and the ability to make big things happen. Some of the names are familiar and some of the names are fairly new, but over time there is a chance for these players to be big names in the sport.

The XFL has a lot of tremendous talent with some showing NFL level ability. But, many feel that the XFL needs superstar talents that are going to bring in crowds to grow the league’s future.

Time will only tell where the talent ends up during the season. This is only week one of the brand new league. However, as time goes on, the audience and fans are going to get to know these names.

During the games this past weekend, fans got more access to a football game live than ever before. The audience got to hear interactions through live mics on coaches and players. The audience got to hear interactions between referees and replay officials. There were also live interviews between players and sideline reporters during the game. Things that the NFL does not bring during broadcasts of games.

Sometimes the live mic was a bad decision due to words slipping from players, but getting up close and personal, to an extent, with players is refreshing because the audience gets that first-hand view of how the player is doing during the game. If a negative play happens, there were reporters who got the instant reaction from the players and ways they can bounce back to help their team.

More communication and connection with the teams bring the game to life. It eliminates any possible shenanigans that could be officiated during the games. Every play is reviewed in the XFL. Meaning if something seems to be a bad call, there will most likely be a review because there are no challenges in the XFL.

Live crowds do not get to see or hear the interactions, but for someone watching at home gets to feel the connection to the game without watching two commentators talk during a three in a half-hour game. 

The future is bright for the XFL. There are some things that the XFL can change to build its future. It was the first weekend of the XFL. There is time to see where the XFL goes, hopefully trending up and possibly to a season two. 

David Jacobus
Staff Writer

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