Late in NBC’s coverage of Thursday Night Football, cameras were panning the crowd for famous cutouts, when they spotted Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s placed next to the Queen of England in Arrowhead Stadium. Afterwhich, Michaels made reference to the recent purchase of the XFL made by Johnson:
Until Thursday night, the last major professional football league to play a game was the XFL, back in March. The LA Wildcats welcomed the Tampa Bay Vipers to southern California for what no one at the time could know would be the last time the teams would suit up for the 2020 season.
We got five weeks of amazing football from the XFL before COVID-19 decided to take all of that from us. The league ended up filing for bankruptcy, which led to the purchase by Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia, and Gerry Cardinale of RedBird Capital.
The next time professional football would be live was to be almost 6 months later, and even then, the league was important enough that a cardboard cutout of one of the new owners sparked the XFL reference from Al Michaels.
If you really think this league is dead, or wasn’t important, first, ask the 17 guys currently on NFL rosters. And then ask how Week 1, a simple reference to Johnson inspired Michaels to mention the XFL.
It’s all right there. The XFL has a place in the football landscape, that has been proven. And we are getting noticed on a national level from the NFL.
XFL Twitter blew up after that. It was a mention in passing, but it must be noted, it goes to show the reach the league has, and how much further that can and will go.
Stay tuned for more updates in the progress towards a 2021 season proceeds.
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