The XFL is back.
WWE president Vince McMahon announced Thursday that the league will make a return in January 2020 after its previous attempt to rival the NFL lasted just one failed season in 2001.
The original XFL distinguished itself from the NFL by having less rules and more violence. This time around, despite McMahon's claim that the timing of this announcement has nothing to do with the NFL's struggles, the league by definition will aim for football fans who have been turned off by the NFL for a number of reasons. Some fans don't like that players protest racial injustice during the national anthem, so the XFL will require players to stand. Some are bothered by many of the players' spotty pasts, so any player with a criminal record will not be eligible. Some think the games are too long, so the XFL will shoot for two-hour contests.
The logic here is that the NFL's very real ratings decline is not a function of football's declining popularity or new methods of consumption, it's because people are boycotting the NFL.
Whether that's true or not, we're just thankful for a new professional football league because more football teams means more opportunities for fringe or washed up players to put on the pads once again. Here are ten players we'd like to see back on the field when the XFL returns.
McMahon said the league won't welcome any players with a criminal past, but we're gonna hold out hope given that Manziel has already (sort of) stated a desire to play.
Manziel is trying to make a comeback to football, and he's been rumored to be in negotiations with the CFL. But Money Manziel is way too hot for Canadian football. The XFL needs a star to serve as the face of the league: Johnny Football, meet XFL. XFL, meet Johnny Football.
Tebow might be a little overstretched with his ESPN duties and that whole professional baseball thing, but we know Tebow truly belongs on a football field. Plus, if there's one guy who will most certainly stand for the national anthem, it's Tebow.
Romo's foray into broadcasting has been very well-received, and I'm not asking him to give that part of his life up. Instead, Romo should broadcast the games while he plays quarterback! "I'm rolling out to my right, I see the tight end open, aahhooooohhhhhaahhhhh bad throw on my part!"
Despite being second all-time in touchdown receptions and third in receiving yards, T.O. isn't in the Hall of Fame because of his off-field antics, so he should stick it to the man by showing out in the XFL. He'll be 46 when the league launches, but he recently claimed he can still run a 4.4 second 40-yard dash at 43 years old, so that must be true.
Sure, Burfict recently signed a deal that will pay him more than $10 million per season and yes, he's still an above average NFL linebacker. But the No Fun League just can't handle Burfict's hard-nosed style. He's been fined more than $2 million for being too mean on the field. Let's get him to the XFL, where can run wild and lead with his helmet all he likes.
Everyone's favorite second-round pick.
Reynolds was an absolute stud in college, posting the most rushing yards ever for a college quarterback (4,559) and an NCAA Division I record 88 touchdowns. More importantly, he did all this in the uniform of the United States Naval Academy. Fans of the XFL will likely be the same people that think the NFL disrespects the military (despite its Salute to Service program), so the XFL should counter with a stud from the military.
Nothing says good old-fashioned football quite like smashing your own head open for no real reason. Let Schmitt demonstrate:
McMahon said that there will be no crossover between WWE talent and the football league, but this is a list of players we want to see. Strowman is an absolute beast of a man who is 6'8'' and 385 pounds of pure muscle. Imagine him as a pulling guard on a screen play.
This is assuming there's not a legitimate rule that bars teams from signing Kaepernick. He'd be booed harder than anyone's ever been booed before, and that certainly would be a sight to see.