XFL Offers More Than Just Football

    A new television experience will be brought to life next week. It will be entertaining. It will be ruthless. It will involve cutthroat tactics. No, I do not mean “”Survivor II.”” I am talking about the Extreme Football League, or XFL.

    The XFL is being brought to us by those fine folks at NBC and Vince McMahon, he of World Wrestling Federation fame. See, NBC got outbid a couple of years ago to air the NFL. Now all the network has is NBA basketball, in addition to the occasional Olympics. So, without the NFL, NBC decided to create a league of its own.

    McMahon was more than happy to get on this. He is, seriously, a marketing and entertainment genius. I am not a wrestling fan by any means, but the industry makes millions of dollars a year, has scores of adoring fans, and even I know who The Rock is.

    The XFL promises to be football at its best. It is supposed to be a purer form of the game. See, the NFL has become somewhat of a sissy league. I am not calling the likes of Junior Seau and Ray Lewis sissies (I’m not that stupid), but there are a number of things in the game that have taken away from its toughness.

    One example is the “”in the grasp”” rule. This means that if a quarterback’s progress is impeded, if a defender has an arm on him and the guy can’t move, then the play is over without the quarterback ever being tackled. Yes, for an “”in the grasp,”” they remove tackling. I think that is ridiculous. If the quarterback is too fragile to get thrown to the turf, then he should take up golf.

    Another rule in the NFL is the fair catch. When a ball is punted, the guy receiving can call a fair catch, meaning he can catch the ball without getting hit, but the play is over. Again, taking the violence out of football. Sorry guys, but football is violent. It isn’t checkers.

    The XFL promises to play real football. Hitting, tackling and some violence will return to a violent sport.

    Also, the XFL will allow celebrations. The NFL, or “”No Fun League”” does not allow touchdown celebrations. Good sportsmanship or something like that. Not in the XFL. If you’re good, you can flaunt it. If you stink, get off the field.

    The XFL will be filled with a lot of gimmicks. Announcers in the stands. Cameras everywhere. God knows what else, we’ll just have to wait and see.

    And the cheerleaders. Have you seen them? They look like strippers. Not to say that’s a bad thing.

    I don’t know if the XFL will be more sports or entertainment. It can’t be all football, or it will go away like the USFL or the World League (which is still around but not stateside). We have football already. We need football and something else.

    I do hope that there is at least some football in the XFL, that the nonfootball entertainment does not take away too much from the game. I will watch a game or two, give it a fair trial. It will be fun, if McMahon has his way. I just hope it isn’t too stupid.

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