From the very beginning, the XFL was quite a bizarre concept. Intentionally trying to go against the grain of what NFL fans view American football to look like, Vince McMahon sought out to create a league that was extreme and over-the-top.
Here were some rules that the XFL enforced to distinguish them from the NFL:
- Instead of a coin toss, players were placed on the 50-yard line to recover the ball. Whoever recovers had the choice whether they wanted to kick or receive.
- The receiving team had to run kickoffs out of the endzone, unless the ball was kicked through the endzone.
- Defensive players can use bump-and-run tactics down the entire field.
- There was no kicker for the point after touchdown (PAT). It had to be either via pass or run.
- There was no fair catch rule.
While the initial hype of the XFL generated a strong audience, diehard fans of the NFL began to heavily criticize the league, and numbers started to reflect the dissatisfaction. As a result, the XFL lasted only one season, and never returned again. On the ESPN 30 for 30 "This Was the XFL" documentary, the conclusion saw Vince McMahon discuss the ups and downs of the league with former NBC Sports Chairman Dick Ebersol. Interestingly, during the discussion, the idea of revitalizing the company after a 15-year absence was suggested. In fact, the idea was not adamantly rejected by either party.
According to right-wing blogger Brad Shepard, the XFL could be returning. On Wednesday, June 28, 2017, the XFL trademark was filed by WWE under the category of "Education and Entertainment Services." WWE has until 12/28 before the foreign filing deadline is expired.
Here is the description provided to the United States Patent and Trademark Office for the filing.
"Entertainment services, namely, an ongoing series featuring wrestling exhibitions and performances by professional wrestlers and entertainers provided through broadcast media, namely, television and radio, and via the Internet or online service; Entertainment services, namely, production of sports and sports related programs provided through broadcast media, namely, television and radio, cable, satellite and via the Internet or online service; Sports entertainment, namely, conducting of sports competitions; Providing information in the fields of sports and entertainment via an online community portal; Providing a website featuring information in the fields of sports and entertainment."
Deadspin reached out to WWE regarding the resurrection of XFL. Although the spokesperson did not confirm or deny, it was revealed that Vince McMahon has started Alpha Entertainment, which will personally be funded by him to "explore investment opportunities across the sports and entertainment landscapes, including football."