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The Dartmouth
June 16, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

XFL spells great idea

I have to admit that when I first heard about WWF owner Vince McMahon deciding to start his own football league, I thought that the idea was too crazy to believe. But that was before I realized how popular the WWF has become on this campus alone. I can name at least a dozen people who schedule their Monday nights around WWF Raw. Is that a little extreme? Probably.

However, it goes to show that the WWF has successfully recruited a loyal following. And it's not only guys that watch this stuff, I know girls around here that like it too. I honestly think that the WWF can appeal to both young men and women because, in reality it is little more than a big soap opera with people being thrown through tables. Who could possibly resist?

So now McMahon is seeking to expand his empire by creating the XFL. What does the X stands for? Well, according to www.xfl.com, the X doesn't stand for anything. This is probably because the XFL powers that be don't want to be locked into anything.

The X could stand for eXtreme, eXhilarating, eXplosive, or eXotic. I'm sure that McMahon will endeavor to make the league all those things and morewith as little eXcrement as possible.

The XFL season kicks off on February 3, 2001 and there will be a championship game on April 21, 2001. The logic here is that the XFL does not want to be competing with the NFL in any way. Trying to compete with the NFL would be crazy, and McMahon is too shrewd a businessman to attempt that. However, there is a possibility that the XFL will suck fans from the NHL since the XFL is bound to have lots of bone-crunching hits.

The exciting quality of the XFL is that it doesn't want to be the NFL. In my opinion, the XFL will be great because it will try things that the NFL is afraid to try. Let's face it, everyone loved to see players dance in the endzone after a touchdown; it made the game fun. Nowadays, scoring celebrations are banned under the NFL's taunting rule.

One thing you can be sure of is that the XFL will have all the endzone dances and throat slashing gestures that you can handle. Plus, they can experiment with helmet cameras, microphones on coaches and players, and other cool stuff (no glowing ball please).

Furthermore, the XFL will be faster-paced. The league hasn't set all the rules but has already eliminated the fair-catch, requires only one foot inbounds on pass receptions, and is instituting a 35-second play clock.

But to the disappointment of WWF fans everywhere, popular WWF personalities such as Stone Cold Steve Austin and the Rock will not be playing on teams in the XFL. Believe it or not, being a wrestler in the WWF is pretty-time consuming. The WWF has two televised shows a week, "Raw" on Monday and "Smackdown" on Thursday, and has countless live events on the side that aren't televised.

If wrestlers had to work double duty, when would they find the time to study their scripts? So the chance of seeing the Rock give use the "People's Elbow" on a referee after a bad call is pretty small, but WWF characters will probably hang out in the stands from time to time. I could definitely see the Rock coming onto the field just before the coin toss and saying, "Finally, the Rock has come back to" just to psych the crowd up.

The teams slated for the 2001 inaugural season so far are Chicago, Memphis, Orlando, San Jose, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Two more teams will be announced to form an eight-team league. You can bet that if the XFL is a huge moneymaker in its first year there will be immediate expansion for the 2002 season.

In my mind, the XFL is the perfect opportunity to try and tap some markets that are usually ignored by the other professional sports leagues. Maybe South Dakota was destined never to have a pro sports team but that doesn't leave out places like New Hampshire.

Maybe Hanover will never make a bid for a team in McMahon's new football league (although the Hanover Marauders is the name of an XFL team if I ever heard one), but how about Manchester? New Hampshire residents seem to have a lot of loyalty for the Red Sox and the Patriots, why not give them a team of their very own?

If there is one thing I know about business ventures, it's that you want to get in as close to the ground floor as possible. Right now, the WWF is more popular that ever before and has already found network partners in NBC, who will air a Saturday night game of the week, and UPN (surprise, surprise). Anyone that doesn't think the XFL will be eXtremely profitable just can't smell what Vince McMahon is cooking.