Can the XFL actually sell itself to a reluctant Seattle?
I’m sure by now you’ve heard that there’s a new NHL team coming to Seattle. So, get ready for another 82 games to pay attention to. But do you also have room in your sports brain for 10 more professional football games?
No, the Seahawks have not expanded their schedule. Lost in all the news about the NHL and the burial of President Bush was the announcement that the XFL is coming to Seattle.
In case you missed it last time, the XFL has been around before. Seventeen years ago, for one season only, the XFL suited up and took the field. As Seattle is struggling with what to name the new hockey — my suggestion is still the Seattle Freeze — I have to go through all the teams in the first iteration of the XFL back in 2001.
Representing the East:
- Birmingham Thunderbolts
- Chicago Enforcers
- New York/New Jersey Hitmen
- Orlando Rage
And the Western Division teams:
- Las Vegas Outlaws
- Los Angeles Xtreme
- Memphis Maniax
- San Francisco Demons
The two main things that I remember about the XFL, which was then and now spearheaded by World Wrestling Entertainment, is that it was built on two things: Violence and sex.
There were less stringent rules, and players were encouraged to play rough, hence team names like the Enforcers and the Maniax. The sex part came in the form of cheerleaders that seemed to be recruited straight out of strip clubs. They wore over the top outfits and pandered to the male id. Just check in on the current WWE Vixens to see what I’m talking about.
There are many ironies dripping off this latest incarnation of the XFL, but the two obvious ones to me are the current culture of CTE and #MeToo.
The NFL is actively trying to take the violence out of the game, but will the XFL try and ram it back in? That’s going to be a tough sell.
The XFL turned to former NFL QB and father of current Indianapolis Colts QB, Andrew Luck, Oliver Luck. Oliver just watched his son go through a year-long rehab from a major injury, and has to worry about his brain being scrambled after all the huge hits he’s taken. Now, he’s somehow going to sell a rougher game to the American Public? And to the very well-educated and progressive people of the Pacific Northwest no less?
In the #MeToo era, are they really going to try and sex up the screen again? I guess nothing would surprise me coming from the WWE, but I’m curious: Are the legendary Seahawks faithful going to pony up for another football team?
Let’s see if it lasts longer than one season this time.