Connect with us


The Best Stories from the XFL’s 2023 Season

They say the third time’s the charm—and the XFL might be the latest proof that this phrase has juice. This is the XFL’s third relaunch following a failed 2001 season and a surprise ending for 2020’s second relaunch. Under Redbird Capital, it looks like the XFL has hit its stride. 

However, this season hasn’t been without its hiccups. First and foremost, the XFL must contend with Fox Sports’ recently launched USFL. Last year, the summer league went off without a hitch. This year, the XFL is sliding into its position as a spring league—but it’ll have a prime-time overlap with the USFL for its final game.

On top of that, the XFL’s TV numbers have been down. Though broadcast across most cable networks, the XFL hasn’t been able to command a meaningful number of remote viewers. Still, despite low ratings and a strong competitor, the XFL looks like it has found its stride.

While TV numbers are down, the XFL’s attendance is not. In places like DC and Saint Louis, fans have been showing up in droves. In DC, audiences have numbered over 51,000. In Saint Louis, fans numbering over 33,000 have packed in to watch live games. And many of them are also betting on the games. 

Despite minimal coverage from analysts compared to the NFL, offers from DraftKings and similar oddsmakers have given fans more content to engage with. This adds even more excitement to the games—and it’s also a strong indicator that the league has a solid fanbase. Otherwise, sportsbooks wouldn’t bother offering XFL markets.

As the season approaches its close, let’s take a look back at some of the most exciting stories from the XFL’s third relaunch.

Magic in Saint Louis

The Saint Louis Battle Hawks have been one of this year’s greatest Cinderella stories. Along with the city’s MLS franchise, its XFL squad has had an incredible season despite predictions of a slow start. Is it latent rage against Stan Kroenke, the NFL owner who moved the Rams to Los Angeles? Or is it a definite love of pro football?

Regardless, Saint Louis fans have been some of the most active in the league, packing into their stadium to watch live games and helping push their team into second place in the North Division. Though the Battle Hawks aren’t in the clear yet, they’ve had a stellar season in part thanks to their explosive fanbase.

A Comeback from the Sea Dragons

One reason the Saint Louis Battle Hawks have been so rewarding to follow is that they’ve been neck-and-neck with the Seattle Sea Dragons. And while the Battle Hawks have been enjoying a Cinderella-style trajectory in the North Division, the Seattle Sea Dragons have been giving them a run for their money—and nothing bodes better for fans than a bitter rivalry.

While some pundits were eyeing the Battle Hawks to take their place in the playoffs, the Sea Dragons managed to crush the Saint Louis side with a 30-12 victory. And with a winning streak on their side, it looks like the Sea Dragons might manage to crush the Battle Hawks’ playoff hopes.

APRIL 16, 2023: The Seattle Sea Dragons against the St Louis Battlehawks at The Dome at Americas Center on April 16th, 2023 in St. Louis, MO. (© Dilip Vishwanat/XFL)

The Player Pool

The XFL’s ability to deliver tight competition will bode well for the league. After all, too much parity wouldn’t give fans the content they enjoy. Still, undoubtedly one of the most rewarding parts of watching the XFL for fans has been watching players rise to the challenge.

For example, Michael Joseph has been a standout star for the DC Defenders. He currently has a four-game streak where he’s been graded over 70.0. Meanwhile, Delontae Scott of the San Antonio Brahmas has been a consistent edge rusher, tallying 12 quarterback pressures for a 91.0 run-defense grade. 

But one of the biggest stories is former Pro Bowler Philip Lindsay signing with the Seattle Sea Dragons. After playing as a running back for the Indianapolis Colts in 2022, Lindsay will now transition into the XFL. It’s a major coup for the league, hinting that it’s starting to gain traction not only with fans but also with elite pros.

📢 Attention XFL News Hub community! We've got a quick 30-second survey and we need your thoughts. Your feedback will help us to bring you the XFL content you love even better. Just click the link in the description below to get started. Thanks for being a part of our team!
Unleash the Action: Sign up for XFL Insider and Fuel Your Passion for Football!

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

XFL News Alerts

XFL 2023 Season Attendance Recap: The Ups and Downs

Latest Podcast

Subscribe XFL Podcast

Get Alerts & Stay Connected

More in Extra