ESPN – “While Vince McMahon promises to bring back a revamped XFL in 2020, a son of McMahon’s partner in the original short-lived XFL venture said his football league will come first. And some big NFL names will be involved. Charlie Ebersol, who directed a documentary on the XFL that aired last year as part of ESPN’s 30 for 30 series, announced Tuesday that his league, the Alliance of American Football, plans to debut Feb. 9, 2019, the week after Super Bowl LIII. The season will run 10 weeks and will have 50-man teams.”
Look at Charlie Ebersol go! Dude just got the jump on Vince McMahon and the WWE commish must be furious. Vince made the mistake of announcing a brand new football league and then buried the lede that it wouldn’t begin play until 2020. Ebersol on the other hand just came out and announced his new league, the Alliance of American Football, will begin play in February 2019.
AND he’s already got games lined up to be aired on CBS with legitimate NFL names like Bill Polian, Troy Polamalu, Jared Allen, and Hines Ward behind it. Ebersol also has Barstool Sports parent company, The Chernin Group, already on board. You know Portnoy is just salivating at the potential for content with a brand new football league that won’t shun him like the NFL has done for years. That my friends sounds like a goddamn plan.
If you didn’t watch the XFL announcement press conference, Vince basically did a one man conference call to announce the league and then refused to really answer any actual questions about how the league would operate, how it would be different from the NFL, where players would come from, or where we could watch games. Not exactly ideal for building excitement. I think its safe to say Charlie Ebersol one upped Mr. McMahon here.
To be totally honest, what I’m about to say, I say a lot so take this with a grain of salt. I am a junkie for football and will watch just about any football game you put on TV. I’ve watched DII college football, Arena Football, the United Football League, the CFL, NFL Europe, the FXFL. Hell I even texted my buddy last night saying that we have to go check out a Massachusetts Pirates game out of the world famous National Arena League.
BUT, I can’t recall really watching more than a handful of these games. It was awesome watching an out of the NFL Daunte Culpepper run around in the UFL in cities like HARTFORD.
After realizing he was playing against guys that couldn’t start on my high school team though the novelty wore off. So as usual this sounds like a great idea, but it will come down to the quality of play. The NFL has been a monopoly for a long time and its not because there haven’t been challengers. Remember the USFL? The goddamn President of the United States owned a team.
But without the talent people won’t care enough to watch. So I know there are tons of D1 players that don’t make the NFL; what happens to them? I guess if you cut all the fat from the NFL like Ebersol plans to do (no TV timeouts, shorter broadcasts, no kickoffs etc.) then you could create a supplementary product that I will likely watch with a 6 pack of beer on a cold March night. Because I’ll tell you, I am dying for some football right now and Madden can only satiate that appetite for so long. Give me all the football leagues.