It would be weird if a movie bombed and then the studio invested heavily in a sequel.
The XFL didn’t work. It started very well in 2001 and quickly faded as people tired of watching subpar football. The league lasted just one year.
Maybe going down memory lane for a recent ESPN “30 for 30” documentary on the league made WWE owner and XFL founder Vince McMahon believe he could make a second shot at a football league work. It was one thing for McMahon to establish Alpha Entertainment, which is separate from the WWE and set up for investments in opportunities including professional football, and apply for trademarks like “URFL,” “UrFL,” “UFL,” and “United Football League.” But when McMahon cashed out $100 million in stock from his WWE holdings, his desire to reboot the XFL looks a lot more serious.
ESPN’s Darren Rovell reported that McMahon sold 3.34 million in WWE stock worth about $100 million. He did so to fund Alpha Entertainment LLC, according to filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, ESPN reported.
While the XFL might have a different name, you can imagine it would carry over many of the same ideas. And the XFL did have good ideas. Its use of the SkyCam is becoming a bigger part of the NFL landscape. NFL teams are too paranoid to use mic’ed up players and coaches in game as much as the XFL did, but that was unique and enjoyable. Having two players run head on for the ball as an alternate to the coin toss was dumb, but it appealed to certain fans. And presumably you’ll see more wacky ideas like that in XFL 2.0.
There has been room for a second football league for a while. The NFL does monster television ratings and great attendance. It’s still running laps around every other sports league in those areas. A second football league could do well if it takes the football side of it seriously.
It remains to be seen if McMahon is the one to establish a viable second professional football league in the United States. But after making a major financial move, he seems ready to try. Again.
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