It took a worldwide pandemic to stop the XFL’s first season. First, on March 23rd, the league canceled the remainder of its first season due to the Coronavirus. Not long after that, it was announced that the XFL had let go of all its employees. The end of the XFL had arrived. It was a sad end to a very promising first year. But what the XFL did, however, leave behind was a possible blueprint on how the next spring professional football league can succeed.
XFL Created a Blueprint for the Next Spring Professional Football League
While the XFL only lasted five games, those five games brought a lot of excitement to football fans. A lot of that excitement had to do with the quality of football that was played. For the next spring professional football league, making sure that the on the field product is a high-standard one will be key.
The XFL gave players like PJ Walker, Cam Phillips and Cavon Walker an opportunity and they took advantage of it. All three, along with others, helped create must-see football on the field, which is what commissioner Oliver Luck and his staff wanted when creating the XFL. Luck knew that if the XFL was going to succeed, the most important thing would be the showing on the field.
For the most part, Luck and the XFL succeeded in that part. So for the next spring professional football league–which there will be another–they will know that premier play on the field is needed. They should also understand that excellent leadership at the top will be needed as well.
The Oliver Luck Factor
When it came to the XFL 2.0, the best decision that league founder Vince McMahon made was the hiring of Luck as the league’s commissioner.
In McMahon’s first try with the XFL, he was the frontman for the league. That turned out to be a mistake. McMahon couldn’t put aside his pro wrestling persona and it turned out to hurt the league’s chance of being taken seriously. That is why the hiring of Luck to run XFL 2.0 was so crucial.
Luck, an educated lawyer, brought with him an impressive resume. The former NFL quarterback was once in charge of NFL Europe, athletic director for the University of West Virginia, an executive with an MLS team, and before joining the XFL, an executive with the NCAA. When he was named the commissioner of the XFL, people knew that the football would be serious.
The partnership between Luck and McMahon might have ended badly, but for the next spring professional football league, Luck should be the first person they speak to. Even in just five games, under Luck’s leadership, the XFL impressed people, even critics.
The NFL Just Makes Too Much Sense
Even if McMahon is successful selling the XFL, there is one owner, or in this case, owners that could make the next spring professional football league successful. We are thinking 31 owners to be exact (the Green Bay Packers are a publically-owned NFL team).
The NCAA isn’t a minor league system for the NFL. That argument is old and tiresome. It is time for the NFL to have a true feeder league. With the billions that the NFL has produced, they should be reinvesting back into the most important part of their league: the football product.
Luck once ran NFL Europe for the owners of the NFL. To bring the owners and Luck back together for a new spring professional football league just makes too much sense. The owners would get a true developmental league and it would be run by a person they already have a relationship with. It is a win-win proposition.
The possible partnership of Luck and the NFL owners would be the dream team. If they couldn’t get a spring professional football league, played in the United States, to succeed, then the chances of one ever succeeding are minimal.
Fans will need to be Patient
Unless something dramatic changes, the book on the XFL is now closed (at least the one owned by Vince McMahon). Still, it’s likely another spring professional football league will try to start up. But don’t expect it to happen anytime soon.
With the failure of the Alliance of American Football and now with the Coronavirus knocking out the XFL, it will be some time for the next league to pop up. But it’s not a matter of will it happen, but rather when it will happen.
Hopefully, it will be one led by Luck and backed by NFL ownership.
Embed from Getty Images