As a fan of the XFL, you know how thrilling watching this supercharged sport can be. After a two-year hiatus, the league returned in 2023 to the delight of fans waiting for a dose of the WWE with their football. It’s an entertaining distraction for football fans during the NFL’s offseason, promising a fan-centered, 360-degree experience. Like the WWE, it’s noteworthy for its entertainment value more than anything else.
After all, entertainment comes in many forms. For example, online casinos have become increasingly popular in recent years, with their realism blurring the line between the virtual and brick-and-mortar gaming worlds. For those seeking an immersive casino experience, websites with live dealers are a popular option. These establishments credibly mimic the in-person experience while allowing people to play their favorite games from the comfort of their homes.
Similarly, the XFL provides fans with an unparalleled form of immersive entertainment; its unique rules and intense competition have earned it fans worldwide. With that in mind, we’ve compiled this list of interesting facts about the XFL that you may not know.
Super Slippery Black Dye
If you watched the XFL in its early years, you’re familiar with its iconic red and black ball. The ball certainly stood out more than its NFL counterpart, and most agreed it looked pretty good. However, there was a problem. The ball’s black dye was water-repellent. While that may sound good in theory, in practice, the ball became extremely slippery anytime water touched it.
As you can imagine, this led to some amusing plays, with players unable to grip the ball well. When the league’s commissioner Basil DeVito came up with a solution, fans were stunned. He decided rubbing the ball with sandpaper would do the trick. It was economical and worked, leaving all parties satisfied.
You won’t have to worry about the ball slipping out of players’ hands in 2023 since the league introduced a new design to usher in the new season.
The Rock Helped Save the XFL
When the XFL filed for bankruptcy in the spring of 2020, many fans believed that was the end of their beloved football league. However, the XFL’s fortunes changed in August of the same year when Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Gerry Cardinale’s RedBird Capital, and Danny Garcia bought it for $15 million.
Today, The Rock is the league’s commissioner and has attended many of the season’s biggest games.
A Scramble and No Coin Toss
Fans of the NFL are used to each game beginning with a coin toss. Well, things are a little different in the XFL. A sprint to the ball, known as a scramble, determines who gets the ball in this league.
While not leaving anything to chance may sound good in theory, the WWE-inspired scramble was a bit more dangerous and risked injury in the first few seconds of the game. As one player from each team ran as quickly toward the ball as possible, there was plenty of room for error. One of the league’s first scrambles left a player with a separated shoulder during a fight for the ball.
Football is a highly physical sport, and injuries are common. However, starting the game this way almost seemed like a recipe for disaster, and there were certainly several mishaps as players learned how to best approach the start of a game.
The Rules Changed Frequently
In the early days of the XFL, one thing was certain: the rules would change often. Unlike the NFL’s consistent rules, what happened on the XFL field seemed to be in a constant state of flux. When the league realized there were no fair catches, it implemented the five-yard halo rule in an effort to keep players safe.
There was also a rule that let defenders make contact with receivers at any point before the ball was thrown. When this didn’t go as planned and killed the passing game, the league reversed itself, implementing the NFL’s rules.
The constant changes were a process of trial and error, and many of the original rules were too risky and could easily lead to players getting injured. There was even an instance where a game went into an extended overtime that resulted in the creation of a rule that limited overtime.
To many fans, it seemed like the league was making rules up as it went along, and that was probably partially true.
The Photographers Wore Hockey Equipment
Given how physical XFL games could get, camerapeople suited up in hockey gear to protect themselves. They wanted to get as close as possible to the action, and wearing protective gear from head to toe allowed them to do so.
There were a few collisions when camerapeople got too close to the action, so we’re sure they were grateful for the hockey gear’s protection.
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