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What A Rumored XFL Version Of “Hard Knocks” Brings To The League

After the recent purchase of the XFL by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Dany Garcia, and RedBird Capital. The New York Post released an article in which an XFL insider told The Post that the new owners are

“drawing up plans to remake the XFL into an entertainment powerhouse”.

The article mentions that because of The Rock’s connections to HBO through his show “Ballers”, they are exploring the idea of somehow bringing the XFL into the show’s future storylines. They are also seeking the possibility of a “Hard Knocks” style TV series for the league. 

If you are unaware, “Hard Knocks” is an HBO reality style tv series that goes behind the scenes of an NFL team (this year two teams because the LA stadium is shared by both The Rams and The Chargers) throughout their training camp.

The XFL however, rather than focusing on one team and only taking place during training camp, would be looking to span the entire season and would likely cover every team in the league. Plans are still only in the early stages for what this potential “entertainment powerhouse” will become, but a show of that caliber could bring a lot to the table for minor league football.

Personally, I am not the biggest fan of the current NFL “Hard Knocks”. I do enjoy the show. I’m just always rooting for my team to NOT be the one featured on it.

I love the concept of it, but in the NFL I feel it can become too much of a distraction in the locker room. Players turning into a hothead because they’re on camera, or locker room drama being put in the spotlight is the last thing that you want with young teams and young coaches just trying to figure out their Identity.

You do not need distractions like that at the pro level as so much of it is a mental game already. On top of that, it isn’t that necessary in my opinion to highlight NFL players in that way because the NFL already has their big superstars. New stars will be made on the football field, not behind the scenes on camera, at practice, or in the locker room.

While stars will no doubt also be made on the field in the XFL, there will likely be much fewer big-name players that the average person would be aware of. Whenever stars do establish themselves, they will almost certainly be looking to make the jump to the NFL so they also may not be around for too long.

Before the XFL 2.0 halted, we had some stars begin to make names for themselves on the field with PJ Walker, Jordan Ta’amu, Cam Phillips, and some others, but maybe we would have gotten attached to a few more players if we had a deeper look behind the scenes. 

If we had a more behind the scenes look at the league, then we likely would have made some deeper connections with the players that actually will be returning whenever the league starts up again. Not only the players but the coaches and other staff that are around the team and facilities too. It would create just an overall deeper connection to the league as a whole. 

Part of what made the XFL so great was it’s transparency. From reviewing calls on the field and hearing the refs talk it over to sideline and halftime interviews (some of those interviews were poorly timed and intrusive but some of them were great, I loved it either way. See Pat McAfee Interviews man about ruined punt.)

If we can get a deeper look inside the XFL training camps, locker rooms, front offices, off-field stuff, etc. That would be just one more fantastic opportunity to expand that transparency even more and get people invested in more of the storylines of the players/coaches/etc.

Although a show like this has yet to be confirmed, with an XFL insider leaking it to The New York Post and with The Rocks connections to HBO, it would sure make a lot of sense.

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Matt Lyons is a Writer/Contributor for XFL News Hub, USFL News Hub, & CFL News Hub, covering the XFL, USFL, ELF, and TSL since August of 2020.



  1. Adrian Livar

    August 26, 2020 at 11:10 am

    can u guys please find it in your hearts to have a team in San Antonio Texas when u guys expand or move teams? When we had the Commanders (AAF), we had a great profitable turnout, and our fanbase is awesome! Please give San Antonio it’s due. Dallas and Houston have kept us out of the mix pretty much and I know it would be a great and very profitable move having a team in our great city. Thank you and thank you Mr. Johnson (by the way I’m a big fan), Dani Garcia, and red bird capital for bringing back the xfl and more football into our lives. Moreover, I implore you to give my city, that I truly love, San Antonio a chance. thank you for your time.

  2. Richard

    August 27, 2020 at 3:35 pm

    Ballers is no longer an active show. Nice fact checking here.

    • Matt Lyons

      August 27, 2020 at 3:56 pm

      My apologies. I never watched the show but I should have looked that up. I believe I was just citing the NY Post article but I’ll do better to confirm things in the future for sure.

  3. Oleta (Patricia) Hemmerle

    September 6, 2020 at 6:19 pm

    Great article Matt. I will follow your reporting and pass this on to Emily. You have covered a important topic.

    I must say, the “Rock Johnson” is one of my favorite people. He is more than an athlete. He cares about others to a great degree and has a spiritual influence in his life.

    I am thankful for your imformation.

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