In the world of professional football, the XFL has been seen as an underdog, a league that despite its potential, has struggled to find its footing. But now, under the stewardship of Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia, the XFL is being reborn, with a fresh, fan-focused approach that’s shaking up the sports landscape. The pair sat down for a detailed interview with GQ prior to Saturday night’s XFL Championship Game, providing some insights into their journey and their plans for the future.
In the first of many revelations, Johnson, also known as The Rock, admitted his initial concerns about the XFL’s reception, given the league’s new players and teams, and the traditionally difficult spring slot for football. “You’re coming a week after the Super Bowl. Is there football fatigue?” he said. However, he noted that the response was overwhelmingly positive, “And brother, from that first game…I was at the first game, and I remember sitting on the sidelines going, ‘Holy shit, this feels like there are 100,000 people here.'”
The Rock also spoke about the now-infamous ‘beer snake,’ a fan-made phenomenon that has come to symbolize the unique, fun-focused atmosphere of XFL games. He expressed his love for the beer snake, saying, “I may or may not have contributed to the DC beer snake when I was first there on my very first outing at Audi Field, which made it a little bit more challenging for me to get up the next morning super early for live interviews. But that’s for another story.”
Johnson’s business partner, Dany Garcia, spoke about her joy in watching the league’s growth and the dynamic play on the field. She highlighted the importance of social media and digital relevance in building a modern sports league, “My great, great joy was just to see social media—the fact that you could go Twitter search ‘XFL’ and see that chatter and the plays and see how activated our fandom and our consumer was.”
The interview ended with the duo expressing their excitement about the future of the XFL. They hinted at the development of distinct cultures and identities for XFL cities, with Johnson saying, “I love the beer snake. I want to create the Teremana Snake. But it always comes down to the fan experience and what those fans can create.”
This revealing interview provides a unique glimpse into the minds of the XFL’s new leaders, who are driving a resurgence of the league with a unique, fan-first approach. It’s clear that Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia are bringing their unique brand of passion, energy, and savvy to the XFL, and it’s paying off. For anyone interested in the future of football, this interview is a must-read. From exploring the origins of the beer snake to discussing the philosophy behind their fan-forward approach, Johnson and Garcia offer a deep dive into their vision for the XFL. As they gear up for another season, it’s evident that the league is on the brink of an exciting new era.
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