Ever since Vince McMahon announced that he will be relaunching the XFL in 2020, it’s safe to say that people have been wondering what impact can this rebooted league bring. We all know that the XFL was initially launched in 2001, but just after one season, the league folded due to a number of reasons. The two most important reason are that the league was losing ratings day by day and all of their media partners and sponsors decided to withdraw and stop dealing with them.
Despite the XFL only having a single season so far, there is no doubt in anybody’s mind that the league did have an impact in the professional football industry for years to come and the league did leave a mark that until now is still seen, heard and felt. It’s safe to say that the original XFL did have a huge impact for the NFL and did play a major role in the changes the NFL has today. We even had XFL players join the NFL and win championships.
So what impact can the new XFL have in the professional football industry? Much like the original XFL, the new XFL could potentially have a huge role in building new talent for the NFL. We could have that one receiver or that one running back or that one quarter back who has been put on the shelves and released by the XFL get picked up by an NFL team. Or we could have that hidden talent who never got a shot but kept grinding and getting better to truly showcase his skills.
We could also see up-and-coming coaches and assistants who took on big roles with an XFL team get that opportunity into a head coaching gig or a high-profile assistant job in the NFL.
There are reportedly anywhere from 2,500–3,500 players eligible for the NFL Draft each year, but only about 255 get drafted, which equates to about 7-10 %. About another 10-20 % get picked up as undrafted free agents. But after final cuts, each team keeps only 53 active players and 10 practice squad players, a total of 63. In its inaugural season, the XFL fielded eight teams and 530 players across the league.
Because of this, an up-and-coming hungry player can have an opportunity to play in the NFL. We all remember Rod “He Hate Me” Smart, who went on to play for the Eagles, Panthers and Raiders. There was also Tommy Maddox, who became the Steelers’ starting quarterback after being named XFL MVP. In the end, nearly 40 players on the XFL roster found their way to the NFL.
If the XFL holds its draft like how the NFL does, that could be great things for both the XFL and the NFL. Of course, McMahon is used to promoting something just like he promotes WrestleMania, which is the biggest show of the year. If McMahon does this right and doesn’t make the same mistakes from the XFL’s first run, when violence and overt sexuality were encouraged, this could be a blessing in disguise.
Aside from players and coaches, there could be a huge potential financial impact in the professional football industry. Jobs could be created on and off the football field. Let’s look away from the original XFL and look towards the future and to the new and upcoming XFL. We should also not forget that the original XFL introduced football viewers back in 2001 to the skycam, which is now omnipresent during NFL broadcasts. What else could the league bring us and what could be the future of American Football? We will be tuning it to find out.