The XFL has new owners, this is great news. This means that the league will be returning, but we still don’t know when or how it will look. Will it be in a bubble or will they return to play at their home stadiums like the NFL? For now, we wanted to focus on some of the things we want to see when the XFL does return to the gridiron.
The Beer Snake
The DC Defenders hosted the first game of the 2020 XFL season when they took on (and defeated) the Seattle Dragons. It could be argued that one of the many things that made attending DC Defenders games so exciting was the beer snake. The XFL tradition initially started off as a joke by the fans, but by Week 5 became a viral sensation.
If you’re not an XFL fan you’re probably asking yourself “what is a beer snake?” Well, a beer snake is put together by fans stacking a bunch of finished beer cups on top of each other to make a vertical snake. Defenders fans made beer snakes during every home game this past season.
With the return of the @xfl2020 becoming official today it is time to remove the "Beer Snake" from the endangered species list. Truly a day to celebrate! pic.twitter.com/4AEz0hZ5b5
When the Defenders returned home to take on the St. Louis BattleHawks, in what would turn out to be their last game of the season, Defenders fans took it to another level. They made this particular snake so long that it ran the length of the end zone seats in Audi Field.
The XFL estimated the huge beer snake consisted of 1,237 cups, totaling 19,792 ounces of beer consumed, and of course, an unbelievable group effort.
When the XFL returns to play, we definitely want to see the rebirth of the ‘beer snake’ when the DC Defenders head back home to Audi Field.
The reason that the XFL’s return in 2020 was a success is 100% because of the people behind the product. The team put together by former commissioner Oliver Luck put their heart and soul into the product and it showed. We’re not just talking coaches, we’re talking about all of the front-office workers that helped build the league from the ground-up. Everything from communications, social media, ticket sales, marketing, officiating, innovating, etc. You name it, the XFL did a good job of it. Better than a lot of naysayers initially expected.
We’ve seen a good amount of interest from former staff members in regards to returning to their former roles, but we’ve already seen some pivotal people move on. The new owners have a lot of work to do to try and secure as many former employees as possible. The good news is, it seems like that’s the case. Dany Garcia has said already that they don’t want to lose the expertise that the former staff brings to the table.
Churn was expected even if the league wasn’t forced to suspend, so we’re not too concerned. We just want to see as many familiar faces join the team when the XFL readies for it’s triumphant comeback.
Now that we talked about front and back office workers, clearly the next on the list are the guys that showcased their talents in the XFL. As the NFL as crept closer we’ve seen more former XFL players get tryouts and signed by several NFL teams. Some of the XFL’s biggest stars have moved-on, but there is still a huge group of guys ready to return.
Who wouldn’t love to see Taylor Russolino kick another 58-yard field goal in a packed Dome with the BattleHawks fans screaming ‘BOOM’ at the top of their lungs?
How about Josh Johnson putting his coaches in their place again?
"You guys are doing way too much arguing and complaining… Stop it."
Josh Johnson was NOT happy with his OC after scoring his 4th TD of the game 👀
On or off the field, the XFL presentation was entertaining. We saw the players in a different light than we do in the NFL do to the unlimited access the league gave the broadcast partners. Now, with the new ownership team floating the idea of a reality show along the lines of ‘Hard Knocks’, there’s a lot more opportunity for these players that do return. Beyond showcasing your talents on the field, you’ll learn their stories off the field.
We expect and hope to see a lot of familiar faces when the XFL does kickoff again, and also can’t wait to see the new guys that make the move to the XFL this time around as well.
As we mentioned above, rumors have started that the new owners are looking into creating some type of alternate programming for the XFL. With the connections that The Rock has in television and the business prowess that Dany Garcia brings to the table, it’s hard to say that it wouldn’t be a success.
Instead of filming a team during training camp, the New York Post says that Dwayne Johnson might be looking to follow and film a team, or perhaps even the entire league, for the entire season. This would not only bring great exposure to the XFL, but to the players as well. There’s always value in having your brand on TV as much as possible. When you add the fact that the league may be forced to use a ‘bubble’ for it’s return, a reality show is a no-brainer.
We saw the innovative new kickoff, we saw the double forward pass, but… we never saw overtime in the XFL. With the extra-point rules the XFL had in place, it sort of makes sense. With three options, it makes it difficult for a game to end in a tie. There were a few close calls, but clearly all of those match-ups ended decisively.
The XFL’s overtime was set to go five “rounds” with one offensive play per team. It’s similar to NHL shootouts or MLS penalty kicks in extra time. Each team will get the ball at the 5-yard line with one chance to score; a successful score is worth two points. The team that has the most points after each round wins the game. If it’s tied, the rounds will go on until there is a winner.
Unfortunately, arguably the most anticipated XFL innovation never saw the light of day. There were a few games that got close. Notably the Texas Throwdown between the Dallas Renegades and the Houston Roughnecks, as well as the match-up with the Seattle Dragons and Roughnecks a week later. The closest we ever got was during the leagues preseason when all eight teams traveled to Houston. The XFL invited the broadcast partners to TDECU Stadium to do a dry run of all the week 1 games; after which they had each test out the overtime rules.
When the XFL does return to play, not only do we want to see the same rule set… but we want to see at least one game go into overtime.
What are some things that you’d like to see when the XFL returns? Let us know down in the comments below or join the conversation on Discord.