… And you thought football season was over.
If you put all your football jerseys and gear away after the Kansas City Chiefs’ 31-20 win in Sunday’s Super Bowl LIV … well, go get ‘em out of the closet!
The gridiron is back open today because …
This is … THE XFL!
World Wrestling Entertainment head honcho Vince McMahon is making another go at a spring professional football league, after the original XFL lasted just the 2001 season because of losing its television partner and, frankly, the product wasn’t very good – although our area had one of the more successful teams, the Orlando Rage, who lost “The Big Game At The End.”
You can check out the new league at 2 p.m., when the D.C. Defenders host the Seattle Dragons on ABC. At 5 p.m. it’s the L.A. Wildcats and Houston Roughnecks.
Florida’s team, the Tampa Bay Vipers, play the New York Guardians on Sunday at 2 on FOX. The Dallas Renegades and St. Louis Battlehawks play at 5 on ESPN.
The league will also carry another full team, called “Team 9”, based in Dallas. The other eight teams will fill open spots due to injuries or releases before they’re all dispersed to teams in Week 5, when rosters go from 52 to 57.
The coaching roster is full of those with NFL or big-time college experience, like Bob Stoops (Dallas), Kevin Gilbride (New York), Marc Trestman (Tampa Bay), Jim Zorn (Seattle) and June Jones (Houston).
Like the old XFL, this new league has its own special rules, wrinkles and oddities with rules and presentation. Kickoffs will be from the 25-yard line; touchbacks on balls that roll into the endzone with be placed at the 15. The PAT kick is replaced by a scrimmage play for one (from the 2), two (the 5) or three (the 10) points. Overtime games will be decided by a five-round shootout of two-point conversions. And, in the hopes of playing faster games, the clock will not stop for incompletions or out of bounds plays until the two-minute warning, when standard NFL timing rules go back into play.
So the question is … are you ready for some MORE football? Here comes the XFL. Again.