Today Is The 8th Anniversary Of The XFL

I wouldn't have remembered this at all had it not been for an email tipster, but it's amazing to look back and realize how surreal and fucked up Vince McMahon's "real" football league actually was.

Every NFL fan was pretty much disinterested from the get-go, but the hype surrounding the XFL was ridiculous: Less rules! More injuries! Sluttier cheerleaders! Brian Bosworth! Players pay their own health insurance! It's almost like the XFL was foreshadowing the current economic terrordome in which we now live. Yet, the league was so Mountain Dew-ly absurd that there was a small part of me that thought it would actually work.

The enduring memory of the league for most people turned out to be Las Vegas Outlaw running back Rod Smart's confounding "He Hate Me" nickname. We forget, however, that other players chose to ditch their surnames on the back of their jerseys and opted for more fantastical ones as well like "Chuckwagon" and "Druck". If the league were still around, there would no doubt be a promotional name generating website where America could feel a part of the experience and then forward the message around to all their friends that, in the XFL universe, they go by "Bricks and Bombs".

And Touchdown Tommy Maddox was voted the XFL's inaugural (and only) MVP award. Maddox led the league in all quarterbacking categories and piloted the LA Extreme to victory in the Million Dollar Game. I wonder if Maddox even still owns that historic piece of hardware. He must since he still promotes that in his speaking engagement bio.

It's also a little weird that you actually look at the XFL "Hit of the Year" nominees and they're actually no less violent or "real" than the current NFL. Progress.

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