After more than twenty years in the making, a successful XFL finally looks to be on the horizon. Since Vince McMahon launched the original league back in 2001, the XFL has hit major hardships—which culminated in 2020’s restart and abrupt failure.
Since Dany Garcia and Dwayne Johnson’s RedBird Capital Partners took the reins in 2020, the league has seen incremental restructuring. Recently, the duo announced a multi-year exclusive contract with The Walt Disney Company and ESPN, hinting that the league has found a way to endear North America’s biggest broadcasting groups to its 2023 restart.
The developments are promising, especially considering sports betting markets is now active in many states nationwide. At the moment, offers like the PointsBet promo code are but an example of the many deals hosted on quality sportsbooks, and while historically few oddsmakers have focused on the XFL, that’s looking likely to change.
While the NFL focuses on stats to set odds and make predictions, the XFL’s entertainment-first attitude could see an interesting twist on standard bets, like over/unders. But there’s one caveat for a sports betting angle in the XLF: a need for experienced commentators and analysts.
Lucky for XFL diehards, the league’s partners at ABC and ESPN just released their official XFL commentator teams for Saturday and Sunday games. Keep reading for profiles on each of the analysts from the broadcasting groups.
Saturday Game Coverage: Steve Levy, Greg McElroy, Tom Luginbill, and Dianna Russini
Steve Levy: As a signature and iconic voice for ESPN play-by-plays, commentator and host Levy will bring his expertise and experience from Monday Night Football and ESPN’s NHL Studio to the XFL. Many will recognize him from the years he spent as an anchor on SportsCenter—or from his early work commentating for the XFL back in 2020.
Greg McElroy: Back in 2014, McElroy got his start with ESPN as an analyst for college football, specifically the SEC Network. He was also one of the original commentators assigned to the XFL back in 2020, alongside Levy, Luginbill, and Russini. Like Tom Hart (of the Sunday game coverage crew), McElroy also brings personal experience to the table. He was an Alabama quarterback with a BCS title under his belt.
Tom Luginbill: With a background in recruitment analysis for top NFL prospects, Luginbill will bring a unique perspective to the XFL. His ability to scrutinize players makes him an indispensable to talent evaluation thanks to his ample experience with ESPN and SiriusXM—as well through playing in the NCAA himself.
Diana Russini: Since 2015, Russini has served as part of ESPN’s year-round football coverage team. She’ll bring her ability to news-break and host to the XFL commentator team, which has made her a popular addition on shows from NFL Live to Get Up and SportsCenter. Russini will also likely be an important interviewer for post-game press and sideline reporting.
Sunday Game Coverage: Tom Hart, Joey Galloway, and Pat McAfee
Tom Hart: For the last five years, Hart has served as the play-by-play commentator for ESPN’s SEC Network. Like the Saturday coverage team, Hart also spent time on ABC and ESPN’s original commentating team for the XFL launch back in 2020. Some may also recognize his voice from his guest appearances on The Paul Finebaum Show and College Football Live.
Joey Galloway: With over ten years of experience as a college football analyst, Galloway brings plenty of expertise from his work in-studio at ESPN. He regularly helms the College Football Playoff Top 25 Rankings Show, along with on-site coverage for the NCAAF National Championship.
Pat McAfee: Though McAfee is a relatively new name within the ESPN, he has experience appearing on a variety of shows, from Get Up and College GameDay to, of course, the ‘Pat McAfee Show’. Since joining as a college football analyst, he’s shifted to focus on Thursday night primetime games. Like McElroy and Hart, he has plenty of experience on the gridiron himself, with eight seasons in the NFL prior to his 2017 retirement.
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