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XFL

John Rowland

Posted on February 2, 2020 22:18

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With the NFL season now over (congratulations Chiefs), it's time for the XFL to take the football stage.

True football junkies don't have to mourn the end of the NFL action. The relaunched XFL kicks off just next weekend.

With a website riddled with hip marketing language and slick, artistic images/videos, the XFL aims to produce an "entertaining brand of football"; "faster, with more plays, less stall, fewer interruptions and no gimmicks."

The new football league will feature eight teams along with a slate of televised (on Fox, ABC, and ESPN) games over a 10-week period. The team markets are Seattle, DC, LA, Houston, Tampa Bay, NY, St. Louis and Dallas. There will be one weekend of playoffs, with the top two finishers from each (east and west) division squaring off, with the winners advancing to a championship game on April 26.

Having secured input and advice from "football's most elite minds and luminaries" along with recommendations from "fans, players [and] coaches," XFL Commissioner Oliver Luck has done an excellent job of promoting the league, as well as highlighting/explaining some of their innovative rule contrasts from the NFL.

While there are multiple technical rule variations, some of the more notable differences include:

1. On extra points, no kicking; rather, the team on offense runs a play from scrimmage starting at the 2, 5 or 10-yard line resulting in 1, 2 or 3 points respectively -- if successful. Pretty cool -- a nine-point lead is a one-possession contest.

2. The gunners on the punt team can't release downfield until the ball has been kicked.

3. To enhance the dual-threat trend in today's game, a team is allowed 2 forward passes, provided the first pass is behind the line of scrimmage.

4. Receivers only need to get one foot inbounds for a legal reception.

5. In overtime, there's no coin toss. Each team has up to 5 plays to score from the 5-yard line, with each successful score counting for 2 points; the team with the most points after 5 rounds wins.

6. For kickoffs, no surprise onside kicks. The kicking and return teams are positioned only 5 yards apart, to eliminate "high-speed collisions." Boo.

High-speed collisions are -- or used to be -- a big part of what makes the game special.

Some purists might have preferred a more gladiator-type version of the sport's current brand; for example, one where a player's helmet can be used as an asset/weapon; or where defenders can play bump-and-run with receivers all up and down the field (provided the ball isn't in the air); no limiting of crack-back blocks, etc.

For those squeamish over pain or injuries, this naturally wouldn't be their cup of tea. Of course, given the current environment, none of this will happen.

But it should be interesting (and entertaining) to see how these new adaptations unfold.

So good luck, Oliver.

John Rowland

Posted on February 2, 2020 22:18

Comments

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Source: CBS Sports
3

The new XFL has some interesting behavioral rules and (shocker!) they're a bit polarizing

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