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Unread 2017-12-22, 09:53 AM   #1
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Default Return of the XFL?

The WWE chairman may have taken the next step in his rumored quest to bring the XFL back to life

Vince McMahon holding a press conference regarding the XFL in 2001. Getty Images If the XFL isn't coming back, Vince McMahon is doing a poor job of convincing the world that's true.
Less than a week after a WWE spokesman issued a statement to Deadspin that left the door open for the return of the defunct professional football league, McMahon and his new, self-funded Alpha Entertainment venture have taken over filings for five different trademarks of "XFL," ESPN's Darren Rovell reported Thursday.
The filings were originally made by the WWE months ago, as Rovell later clarified, but "the records say they did it" on Dec. 16 and the trademark requests have since been relinquished to McMahon and Alpha Entertainment, which WWE previously told Deadspin is an unrelated entity meant "to explore investment opportunities across the sports and entertainment landscapes, including professional football."
A follow-up report by Rovell on ESPN.com said McMahon is also fresh off a sale of 3.34 million WWE shares (or about $100 million worth) to help fund his Alpha Entertainment company amid his pursuit of a new XFL.


The trademarks, which were "abandoned" between 2002 and 2005, also cover merchandise related to a potential league. And they aren't the only ones being used to try to identify a professional football league under Alpha, as McMahon and Co. are also seeking the rights to "URFL," per Rovell.
McMahon himself has yet to address rumors of an XFL comeback, but Brad Shepard had already reported earlier on the day of WWE's statement that McMahon might have an official announcement on a revived XFL as soon as Jan. 25, 2018.
As CBS Sports' Adam Silverstein previously noted, "the original incarnation of the XFL was a joint venture between WWE (then-WWF) and NBC with McMahon and former NBC executive Dick Ebersol spearheading the project." Dubbed an outdoor pro football league with eight teams, added physicality and an infusion of WWE personality, it ceased operations in 2001, the same year it hosted its inaugural season.
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Unread 2018-01-25, 01:02 PM   #2
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This is the XFL, again: Controversial football league set to return in 2020

Nearly two decades after it flamed out, the XFL will be returning to a playing field near you




The XFL is back, 19 years after it was originally announced in 1999. Getty Images As if 2017 was not crazy enough, 2018 has fired its opening salvo as the return of the XFL, a controversial football league originally founded by Vince McMahon in 1999, will be officially announced on Thursday, sources close to the situation confirm to CBS Sports.
While the return of the XFL will be made official Thursday, CBS Sports has also learned that the league is not expected to start up again until 2020. McMahon, who rushed the original XFL into existence without so much as a full slate of offseason practices to prepare for the league's inaugural year, has apparently learned his lesson from one of the XFL's biggest initial mistakes.
An announcement has been set for 3 p.m. ET.
There had been unsubstantiated talk about the XFL making a return late in 2017, but Brad Shepard first reported in mid-December that McMahon, WWE's chairman, was planning to make such an announcement on Jan. 25. That day has indeed arrived.


WWE clarified at that time of the initial reports that it was not going back into the football business but McMahon will rather be doing so on his own. McMahon has created Alpha Entertainment separate from WWE and recently sold 3.34 million shares of WWE stock (about $100 million worth) in order to help fund the company. Alpha Entertainment has also since acquired five XFL trademarks that WWE abandoned between 2002 and 2005.
"Vince McMahon has established and is personally funding a separate entity from WWE, Alpha Entertainment, to explore investment opportunities across the sports and entertainment landscapes, including professional football. Mr. McMahon has nothing further to announce at this time," WWE said in a statement back on Dec. 16, 2017.
Back to the topic at hand. The original incarnation of the XFL was a joint venture between WWE (then-WWF) and NBC with McMahon and former NBC executive Dick Ebersol spearheading the project. ESPN produced a fantastic "30 for 30" documentary on the successes and failures of the XFL that is a must-watch for any sports fan, but the long and short of it is that the league attempted to do too much -- too extreme -- too fast. NBC got uncomfortable, and once it pulled its support, McMahon's baby was dead in the water. (Ironically enough, the end of the doc features McMahon and Ebersol musing about whether the XFL would work today and lessons learned from the venture.)
I've long maintained that the XFL has actually received too much grief from those looking back on its failures years later. It had some ratings successes, the football improved drastically as the season went on (it was rushed into existence and teams did not get an opportunity to truly practice ahead of the season), and some of the game's innovations (sky cam) still used to this day were adopted by the NFL and other networks. The XFL failed in large part due to a confluence of misfortunes including technical difficulties, miscast announcers, changing the rules during the season, and McMahon's decision to go to the extreme by bringing adult themes into the game -- such as overtly sexualizing the cheerleaders.


The XFL of old will be tough for any network to stomach in 2018 and beyond. Aside from the concept surrounding the cheerleaders, the XFL placed a heavy emphasis on old-school, no-holds-barred football. Considering CTE concerns and increasing attention to other health risks players face, that's an obvious issue to centering a league around such an extreme brand of football. Back in the day, the XFL even trashed the opening coin toss for the "opening scramble," which featured players running and diving for a football at midfield. One player famously separated his shoulder on the first scramble of the season and missed the rest of the year.
What one has to expect here is a somewhat toned-down version of the XFL more akin to the NFL and college football but with enough unique elements that will set it apart from the pack. It will be instrumental for McMahon to find a broadcast partner from the get go, and it will be interesting to see if he went straight for a popular streaming service considering the success he's had with the WWE Network.
CBS Sports will update this breaking news story with additional information once McMahon holds his media call Thursday afternoon.
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Unread 2018-01-25, 03:54 PM   #3
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Unread 2018-06-05, 10:54 AM   #4
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Oliver Luck named commissioner and CEO of XFL


Oliver Luck will become the first commissioner and chief executive officer of the XFL, it was announced Tuesday.
"The XFL will be a labor of love as I get to combine my experiences as a player and executive," Luck told ESPN in an email. "I'm thrilled to have this unique opportunity to reimagine the game that has been a constant in my life for 40 years."

Luck will leave his leadership role at the NCAA, where he oversaw the organization's regulatory functions, including eligibility requirements and academic affairs, and the eligibility center.

He will relocate from Indianapolis, where his son Andrew Luck is the quarterback for the Colts, to the XFL's headquarters in Connecticut as he prepares for the league's launch in 2020.

"Oliver and I share the same vision and passion for reimagining the game of football," XFL founder and chairman Vince McMahon said in a statement. "His experience as both an athlete and executive will ensure the long-term success of the XFL."

Luck previously served as the president of NFL Europe and as the chief executive officer of the Houston Sports Authority, which helped bring the Texans to Houston as an NFL expansion team in 2002.

He also played quarterback for the Houston Oilers and at West Virginia University, where he was inducted into the Mountaineers' Hall of Fame and later spent four years as athletic director. He also served on the College Football Playoff selection committee in 2014.
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Unread 2018-11-28, 02:18 PM   #5
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St. Louis Reportedly First to Get XFL Team





The XFL will officially return from the grave in 2020 and the first of its eight hosting cities have reportedly been confirmed.
According to KSDK, St., Louis will be home to an XFL team once Vince McMahon's professional football league reboots in two years. Per the report, the new team will play in the Dome in America's Center—former home of the St. Louis Rams. KDSK also says that more XFL cities will be announced next week.


The XFL's inaugural season came in 2001. However, the league shut down that offseason and instantly became one of pop culture's favorite punchlines. However, in January of 2018, Vince McMahon announced that by way of Alpha Entertainment, the XFL would return in 2020. McMahon sold around $100 million of WWE stock in order to help fund the XFL's second chapter.
"I wanted to do this since the day we stopped the other one," McMahon told ESPN in an exclusive interview. "A chance to do it with no partners, strictly funded by me, which would allow me to look in the mirror and say, 'You were the one who screwed this up,' or 'You made this thing a success.'"

McMahon has already added football minds like Oliver Luck who was an executive in the NCAA and Doug Whaley a former General Manager of the Buffalo Bills.
While speaking with ESPN's Daren Rovell, Luck revealed that McMahon's $100 million stake was only a fraction of what it will cost to get the league up and running again.


"People were focused on the $100 million, but the truth is that doesn't even get us to the 20-yard line," said luck.
Rovell was able to expand on where exactly this lucrative amount of money needed to go.
“Luck said the biggest cost will be the salaries to pay players and coaches. Luck, for the first time, said the average salary for the 40-man rosters will hover around $75,000, with players that are more in demand making much more than that. Players in the first iteration of the XFL, co-owned by McMahon and NBC, paid players an average of $45,000 for a 10-week schedule”
"I've been at all levels of football, and the importance of a broad-based insurance program cannot be understated," Luck said continued. "There are very few participants who underwrite for this market anymore and it is obviously costly," he said.

At this moment, little is known about the XFL's future, but we do know there will be eight teams with 40-man rosters playing a 10-game schedule. However, it sounds like more news will be coming out shortly and we'll have the updates as they come.
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Unread 2018-12-06, 07:21 PM   #6
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The XFL Goes PG

Once again, wrestling kingpin Vince McMahon launches a football league. But this one feels kinder and gentler.





East Rutherford, N.J.
There he was, Vince McMahon, talking once more about big plans for Vince McMahon football.
At least he said he was Vince McMahon. I am still not 100% convinced. He was no more than 30 feet away from me, in a cozy club area of MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, and he sure looked like Vince McMahon—barrel chest; slicked-back hair, now with a distinguished stripe of gray; the type of suntan it can take a St. Barts winter to achieve. Yes: he still looked like he could flip me over a top rope if he wanted to. He looked like he could flip pretty much anyone over a top rope if he wanted to.
But this Vince McMahon-looking fellow, he didn’t sound so much like Vince McMahon. At least not the McMahon the public knows—the combative, devilish, I-can-say-it-‘cause-I’m-the-boss McMahon who revolutionized professional wrestling and made billions with a canny and sometimes ruthless radar for knowing exactly what the public wants.
No, this McMahon sounded different. Deliberate, but a little decaffeinated.
The WWE boss was here in the swamp to hype the return of the XFL, his self-styled football league that went one-and-done at the century’s dawn. Remember XFL 1.0? McMahon positioned that start-up as a gladiatorial wedgie upon an allegedly effete NFL. “Where’s my smash mouth wide-opened football?” he asked at the first XFL news conference, in 2000. And memorably: “This will not be a league for pantywaists or sissies.”

Oliver Luck, XFL commissioner, stands with team representatives from the eight XFL teams. Photo: Mike Marques/XFL


That version of McMahon was nowhere to be found Wednesday. Instead, he was measured. He talked about how much things have changed since the first time he launched an XFL. He talked about financial commitment. About innovation. He talked about digital and social media and the “clamoring for live sports entertainment events” in the content landscape. It started to sound like a panel at TechCrunch.


Earlier in the year, McMahon had made some noise when he pledged his reborn XFL would have an anthem-standing policy and a ban on players with criminal records—red meat for NFL critics—but he didn’t go near either topic in Jersey. He was corporate. Calm.
It was weird. Un-Vince. A known barracuda, suddenly talking about healthy salad.
I’m not saying I was disappointed (people are allowed to change!)—it was just odd. You witness Vince McMahon in the flesh—streamed live around the world, no less—and you want to see him do Vince McMahon things. You don’t expect him to break a table over someone’s head—McMahon is 73 now, for crying out loud. He’s long had a quiet, contemplative side. But it’s a jarring to watch one of the brashest godfathers in the history of showbiz walk out at a football promotion and sound…Goodellian. That’s right: The boss of the XFL strutted out and resembled the boss of the NFL.
This is where we are now as a species, of course. McMahon, a generations-spanning entrepreneur, has correctly read the room. You cannot rumble out in 2018 with explosions and wrecking balls and pledge No Fair Catches and Cheerleaders Gone Wild. All the new science about impacts and concussions has dampened the appetite for smash-mouth tough talk. Instead of promising violence, it’s far better to discuss safety. Instead of titillation, you lean into innovation.
This is good. He-Man culture had to go. We have evolved…allegedly.
To this end, McMahon introduced Oliver Luck, Andrew’s dad, an ex-NFL QB and former boss of the NFL Europe League, who will serve as the XFL’s CEO/commissioner. Luck is polished, smooth and conscientious and exactly what you want to project in 2018. He introduced the car wash of XFL cities: NY/NJ, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa and Washington, D.C. He talked about the rule-tweaking and time-crunching the XFL will do to make it a faster, more vibrant game. He talked very progressively about safety. The league will launch in 2020—like its predecessor, a week after the Super Bowl.

Los Angeles Xtreme quarterback and XFL Player of the Year Tommy Maddox holds the league championship trophy in 2001. Photo: Jill Connelly/ASSOCIATED PRESS


The XFL in 2020 is a different beast. From the outside, it looks very much like a media play—as McMahon alluded to, this is a wildly competitive time in media, and live sports is a desirable product, none more than NFL football. Sticking to a budget and slicing off a healthy rights fee can potentially be a business, but who knows. The XFL talks about a football-loving audience starved for action after a Super Bowl, but the NFL has built its off-season into a monster distraction with its combine, draft and endless soap-opera speculation about signings and trades. The XFL appears to view its first version as born at the wrong time, snakebit by bad luck, but that may be the fog of nostalgia. There’s also the unexplained drama behind the scenes as Charlie Ebersol—the son of McMahon’s former XFL partner and pal, NBC sports legend Dick Ebersol—launches his own football start-up, the American Alliance of Football. The Ebersol AAF kicks off in 2019, setting up a showdown the following season with the Vince XFL.
What the heck happened there? Feels juicy. I asked Luck, but Luck could not say.
I wanted to ask McMahon about these things, too, but by the time the cities unveiling was over, he’d vamoosed from MetLife, taking no questions. A league rep said he’d already departed, to parts unknown. Here in New Jersey, there were free hats, sandwiches and public officials proclaiming optimism about a fresh serving of pro football. The XFL was back. But Vince McMahon had left the building.
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Unread 2018-12-07, 02:38 PM   #7
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Video URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oysm8l9LhIE
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Unread 2019-01-23, 06:40 PM   #8
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XFL Reportedly on Verge of Landing TV Deal With Major Network

A year away from its reboot, it looks like the XFL is garnering significant momentum. Vince McMahon's professional football league is negotiating a TV deal with major networks.
According to the Sports Business Journal, the XFL is in serious discussion with both FOX and ESPN for the broadcast rights to the 2020 season.
Per the report, if ESPN lands the rights, then the XFL games will also air on ABC, but not ESPN+, the sport's conglomerate streaming service. A FOX deal would also put the XFL on FS1. The report stated that current expectations have two-thirds of the XFL games airing on television.
An announcement for the XFL's broadcast rights could be made as soon as next week.


The XFL will officially restart on the weekend of February 8, 2020 — the weekend following the Super Bowl. The XFL announced its eight hosting cities a few weeks ago and the football league's reboot will take place in New York City, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Seattle, Tampa Bay and Washington, DC.


The XFL was believed to be dead and gone after its first and only season in 2001 failed. However, about a year ago, Vince McMahon announced that he would exhume his football league for another go. McMahon sold $100 million of WWE stock to help kickstart the league but Oliver Luck, an XFL administrator told Darren Rovell of ESPN that McMahon could be on the hook for $500 million.

“Luck said the biggest cost will be the salaries to pay players and coaches. Luck, for the first time, said the average salary for the 40-man rosters will hover around $75,000, with players that are more in demand making much more than that. Players in the first iteration of the XFL, co-owned by McMahon and NBC, paid players an average of $45,000 for a 10-week schedule," wrote Rovell.


It's worth underlining that WWE and FOX have gotten cozy as of late, to the tune of $1 billion. In the fall of 2018, FOX bought the rights to SmackDown Live and will air WWE's Blue Brand later this fall. Per this report, it looks like FOX could be doubling down on the mind of Vine McMahon and make another hefty purchase.
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Unread 2019-03-07, 08:39 PM   #9
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Trestman hired as coach of Tampa Bay XFL team



The Tampa Bay XFL franchise named Marc Trestman as its coach and general manager on Tuesday.


He becomes the fourth coach hired by the XFL, which will begin play in 2020, joining Bob Stoops (Dallas), Jim Zorn (Seattle) and Pep Hamilton (Washington, D.C.).


Trestman, who was the Chicago Bears' head coach in 2013-14, was most recently the head coach of the CFL's Toronto Argonauts in 2017-18.


Trestman, 63, led the Argonauts to the Grey Cup title in his first season but was fired last year after Toronto finished 4-14. He was 13-23 overall in two seasons.


He was 13-19 in two seasons as the Bears' coach. Before coaching the Bears, he was the Montreal Alouettes' head coach from 2008 to 2012, winning two Grey Cup titles (2009, '10) during his five seasons. He was 59-31 overall in the regular season.


Trestman has extensive experience as an offensive coordinator in the NFL, serving in the role with the Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers, Arizona Cardinals, Oakland Raiders and Baltimore Ravens.
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Unread 2019-05-06, 04:25 PM   #10
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BREAKING: XFL Reaches Multi-Year Broadcast Deals With ESPN and FOX; Schedule Released

We are less than a year out from the XFL returning for our viewing pleasure with Vince McMahon learning from his past mistakes and making sure the league succeeds this time around.
On Monday, the league took another step in securing their future by inking a multi-year deal with FOX Sports and the ESPN to be seen by millions around the country every week.
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