The XFL Kickoff

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The day I have been waiting for since the announcement of the relaunch is finally here, the XFL is back.  The new eight-team league will consist of a ten-week season followed by a four-team playoff ending in late April.  The league is again owned by Vince McMahon, the Chairman of World Wrestling Entertainment, but aside from the name there is nothing in common with the original league.  Rather than razzle-dazzle gimmicks and stunts, the new league is dedicated to football and to change the way the game of football is played.

Photo courtesy of xfl.com
For the XFL to do that they had to reinvent the rule book and they started with kickoffs.  Kickoffs are different in the XFL.  The kicker kicks the ball from his own 25-yard line, but he will be the only player as ten teammates will be lined up 40 yards away at the opposing team’s 35.  The returning team will be at its 30.  Only once the ball is caught by the returner will players on either side be allowed to move.  The new kickoff expects to see more kickoff run backs, exciting plays that have been dying out in football, but without the injuries that are often caused by large men colliding after a 35- to 40-yard sprint.

The league has also added a new twist to PAT attempts.  After a touchdown, teams cannot kick an extra point.  They can go for a single point with a play from scrimmage at the two-yard line, or go for two points from the five-yard line.  They can even go for three with a play from the ten.  Effectively, the rule makes a nine-point game a one-score game.  But should a game go to overtime, it will end much like a hockey shootout.  Each team will get five tries to score from the five-yard line.  Whichever team scores more times wins the game.  These new rules should help put the excitement back in the game of football.
Cardale Jones

For the teams, yes there are zero household names.  But if you are a hard-core football fan like myself, then you might recognize Landry Jones (Dallas Renegades), Cardale Jones (D.C. Defenders), and Shawn Oakman (Los Angeles Wildcats).  As star power was not a major consideration, the league goal was to get the best players who want to play in the XFL, and they think they did.  

Although these players are not household names they will be led by some world-renowned coaches, like Bob Stoops (Dallas), Marc Trestman (Tampa Bay), Kevin Gilbride (New York), and Jim Zorn (Seattle).  These coaches will also act as General Managers and will run the team on and off the field.

There's no telling how the debut season will shake out, but I guarantee this is not going to be a one and done.  I can see spring football as the new norm and the XFL as the main league.  As unlike previous leagues they are not looking for an alliance or to be a rival with the NFL; they want to be there own entity.  With that mindset they are already one step ahead of the previous leagues.

Also the team I will be renting out my loyalty until New England gets a franchise will be the…..the New York Guardians.

2019 NFL Rookie Jerseys

Follow James on Twitter @James_BSS

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Boston Sports Syndicate: The XFL Kickoff
The XFL Kickoff
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