Written by: Nicholas Palomba
The XFL has just finished its third week and is still riding high as the newly declared “Xtra Fun League.”
The XFL is surpassing many viewers expectations compared to its original launch in 2001 which was a complete failure resulting in multiple injuries in its first week, the use of sideline interviews of hurt players, and the crashing of the infamous XFL blimp.
Now, the league seems to have erased the shine and fake acting of Vince McMahon and replaced it with actually football and some interesting new rules. While it has only been three weeks of the 10 week season plus playoffs, the XFL has done a good job at maintaining the spotlight on Saturdays and Sundays.
With the first season going well so far, let’s take a look at what the XFL expansion should look like if they keep up the pace.
Expand to Other Cities
The XFL was smart when it decided that St. Louis needs a team. The city was a passionate place when the Rams were playing there but since the move back to LA, St. Louis has been a town without a football team to cheer for on Sunday. The city has wholeheartedly embraced the team by packing the stadium with an attendance of close to 30,000.
If the XFL wants to expand they need to find cities with passionate markets who want and need a team. One area that comes to mind is Portland who has been asking for an NFL team for years.
Portland has been asking for a team for a while and has the population to fill a stadium. Another city could also be Oakland who after having a team for many years has just lost the Raiders to Las Vegas. Oakland is again very passionate and has a rich football history dating back to Jon Madden. The same could also be said for San Diego who has not had a team since the Chargers left.
Of course these are not areas that are definitely good areas for football as it could be considered untested. That’s why other cities should be Philadelphia, Chicago and San Francisco should be in the conversation.
Keep the Big Names and Sign Some Too
PJ Walker has been the biggest name to come out of the XFL and he’s lighting up the league.
In the past three weeks, Walker has thrown 748 yards for 10 touchdowns with a 64 percent completion rate.
They also have wide receivers like Cam Phillips who has caught for 324 yard, 194 of which were earned just last week. While these men had some NFL experience they were not extremely well known going into the season.
The XFL definitely has to keeps these guys in the light but need some big names like Johnny Manziel or Colin Kaepernick. Both of these players are controversial for different reasons yet still have talent that can help some of the struggling teams.
While the XFL has expressed that they will not accept people who have been controversial in politics and in their personal life, they should look towards them as they have the talent and the personality to be the faces of the XFL’s growing edgy reputation.
Stick with the Gambling Market
This month, the XFL partnered with DraftKings who became the official fantasy sports provider for the league.
The XFL realized that fantasy sports are huge and want to make it part of their own market rather than have other outlets put out these types of services. They’ve also worked with the Las Vegas sportsbook to give accurate information.
Gambling in sports is legal in 20 of the 50 states with more to follow so the XFL is trying to make sure that it can regulate it and it can be controlled if needed. The XFL is off to a great start but to succeed into another season they need to be smart in their expansion and follow some of these basic guidelines.