Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

The XFL Was Mostly Irrelevant, But Don't Celebrate Its Failure

A blimp in 2001, providing a convenient metaphor
A blimp in 2001, providing a convenient metaphor
Photo: AP

For many football fans, the resurgence of the XFL was simply a way to get their weekend fix of America’s “new pastime.”

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To most casual sports fans, the news of the XFL suspending its operations due to Covid-19 will be a blip on their radar as they hope and pray for bigger leagues like the NBA and MLB to resume.

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But for the XFL’s players, coaches, and personnel, who were informed that they would be laid off because of this virus, they will lose way more than a temporary “fix.”

They lose what many in this country relentlessly try to obtain.

An opportunity.

The XFL was a league that could allow many to flourish and it fostered the discovery of unknown talents that were in the process of providing the league more credibility.

Former Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones, who won a championship with the Buckeyes in 2014, highlighted a list of notable college stars that joined the league in its comeback season and were looking for a platform to showcase their talent.

The league provided these players a chance to make something out of nothing.

And for a few, it worked.

By the end of March, four XFL players had been signed to NFL contracts ahead of the 2020 NFL season.

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P.J. Walker, the former quarterback of the Houston Roughnecks, and Jordan Ta’amu the former quarterback of the St. Louis Battlehawks, will likely both be given the opportunity to serve in backup roles for the Panthers and Chiefs, respectively.

While the probable end of the league will hurt players, its biggest impact will be on the number of sports professionals who never put on shoulder pads but will also lose their jobs.

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Often as sports fans we forget that these games not only affect players and coaches, but also the social media managers, grounds crews, public relations staff, and the many other departments that help these leagues run smoothly.

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The ending of the XFL is sad, not just because it is the end of additional football.

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In many ways, it is the end of an opportunity for many folks whose faces you were unlikely to ever see.

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