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Old 11-29-2019, 10:32 AM
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Are you ready for XFL football?


Do you even care about XFL football?

Here is the 2020 television schedule...but I'm wondering if that entire schedule will get played before the plug is pulled.
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Old 11-29-2019, 11:36 AM
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I bought a Seattle Dragons t-shirt because their logo is pretty cool.

I’ll probably watch some games. On TV. No interest in going to any.
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Old 11-29-2019, 12:08 PM
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Here is a list of confirmed rule changes. Here are some highlights:

-No fair catches
-Extra point kick replaced with a scrimmage play
-Outside of the two-minute warning, the clock will run continuously. During this time, the clock would only stop during a change of possession.
-
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Old 11-29-2019, 12:51 PM
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-No fair catches
While the NFL is at least nominally making changes to increase safety, the XFL is trying to kill their players.
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Old 11-29-2019, 04:17 PM
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While the NFL is at least nominally making changes to increase safety, the XFL is trying to kill their players.
The XFL tried using the "no fair catches" as an advertising gimmick in its first attempt. What they forget to mention is, there's a halo rule, and it's five yards.

I am assuming the reason the best tickets cost $5-10 more on the visiting team's side of the field at LA's stadium is, they're on the west side, so, during afternoon games, the fans don't end up staring into the sun - but why are the tickets in the south end zone $10 more than the ones in the north end zone?
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Old 11-29-2019, 05:03 PM
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The XFL tried using the "no fair catches" as an advertising gimmick in its first attempt. What they forget to mention is, there's a halo rule, and it's five yards.
Which is what the CFL has done for years.
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Old 11-29-2019, 05:13 PM
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I bought a Seattle Dragons t-shirt because their logo is pretty cool.
I especially love how it's nothing like the UAB logo. Nope. Not at all.
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Old 11-29-2019, 07:18 PM
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I especially love how it's nothing like the UAB logo. Nope. Not at all.
It’s so much better though.
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Old 11-30-2019, 09:16 PM
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So from what I've heard, Vinny Mac has actually done his homework this time. Go figure, now that his industry rivals are no longer blind, stumbling imbeciles he can run circles around, he actually has to understand things like optics and public relations and social justice. Some of the new innovations look like they have the potential to be really good. The absolutely critical thing is to make this an alternative to the No Fun League, not an inferior version of it, and it looks like that's exactly where it's headed. Then there are things like no testing for cannabis, which, while they won't make a huge impact, will give the league progressive cred and draw in both players and fans who otherwise wouldn't be interested.

Best of all, he's not only learned from his own mistakes, but also the failure of the AAF. Remember that one? There were a great many people who wanted it to succeed, and there were many dedicated professionals wiling to do what it took to succeed. Slight problem: Reggie Fowler and Tom Dundon weren't among them...which was extremely bad because they were the money men. With mediocre attendance, which was inevitable for a franchise just getting off the ground, it was absolutely imperative to get an absolutely ironclad investment guarantee from someone who wasn't afraid to take a big hit. Fowler backpedaled until he was in the ocean almost immediately, then Dundon went 28% of the way (itself nothing to sneeze at) before saying the hell with it, and the league's death warrant was signed. McMahon knows that this XFL will absolutely be his last chance at a football league and he cannot go any less than 100% on this, and the money will be there no matter how big a drain it is.

Say what you will about the man, he's not a fool, and he's done everything possible to give the new incarnation of the XFL the best possible chance of succeeding.

And then we get to the 9,000 pound tank in the room...the players. There's absolutely no way around this. He will have the dregs of the dregs to put on the field, and it's going to seriously hurt the quality of play. We've already seen him water down the "no arrest record" restriction (now only felonies are grounds for barring), and don't be surprised if he ends up relenting completely. When the crowd sees their quarterback overthrow the receiver by 10 yards for an interception, or their offensive line crumble like a stale muffin, or their strong side cornerback get burned for yet anther 40-yard gain, and then realize that it's probably never going to get any better, how long will they still be willing to pay money for this? Bad players are the #1 obstacle that needs to be overcome for a fledgling league to be viable, and there's been nothing that leads me to believe that McMahon has any answer to this.

We'll find out in a few months.
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Old 11-30-2019, 09:35 PM
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yeah, but why cant the xfl go to the undrafted college guys and run a combine type of thing and run its own draft? I mean there's probably hundreds of "pretty great to solid but not up to nfl godliness" types that wouldn't mind a chance ....

I mean all ya would need to do is get a list of everyone who entered the draft and take out anyone who didn't get picked and say " hey wanna try this ? "
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Old 11-30-2019, 10:13 PM
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yeah, but why cant the xfl go to the undrafted college guys and run a combine type of thing and run its own draft? I mean there's probably hundreds of "pretty great to solid but not up to nfl godliness" types that wouldn't mind a chance ....
That is *exactly* who they do have as players (they allocated players to each team via a draft in October).

The thing to remember is that the NFL has locked up the best 1900 or so players in the US (53 players per roster, plus each team has a 5-man practice squad, and a few more on injured reserve per team). The best quarterback in the XFL is going to be something like the 95th-best U.S. professional quarterback.

And, as we saw in the AAF (which drew from that same player base) last spring, those players aren't necessarily "pretty great to solid," but more like "sometimes solid, sometimes not that great." As DKW noted, what's likely is that play will be pretty inconsistent -- players of that caliber are going to make some good plays, interspersed with some poor play.
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Old 11-30-2019, 10:31 PM
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why are the tickets in the south end zone $10 more than the ones in the north end zone?
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Old 11-30-2019, 10:39 PM
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And, as we saw in the AAF (which drew from that same player base) last spring, those players aren't necessarily "pretty great to solid," but more like "sometimes solid, sometimes not that great." As DKW noted, what's likely is that play will be pretty inconsistent -- players of that caliber are going to make some good plays, interspersed with some poor play.
I think the problem is that football requires a team effort. You can't have one or two stars carrying a team of average players. Even a great football player needs to have other great players on the field with him.
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Old 12-01-2019, 01:12 AM
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Which is what the CFL has done for years.
Exactly. No fair catches, but the halo rule, and the receiver must make an attempt to run the ball back after catching the ball. This is how we played in high school, under CFL rules. If high schoolers can do it, then pros (in whatever league) can. Why the NFL allows fair catches, I'll never know. You catch the ball on a kickoff, you run it back. That's football. No fair catches.

Anyway, I'll watch the XFL, but I'll be critical. If it plays a good honest game, then great; but if it's a reiteration of the trash-talking, badmouthing, smashmouth football that Vince McMahon tried to promote last time, then no. Football is not pro wrestling; it is an honest game played between two honest teams.

At least this time around, the team names are not menacing. Well, they are, but not like they were. Anybody remember the Chicago Enforcers, or the New York/NewJersey Hitmen or the Las Vegas Outlaws? At least the Dallas Renegades, the New York Guardians, and the Seattle Dragons, are reasonable team names.
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Old 12-01-2019, 09:48 AM
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When Vince tried this the first time he had the right time, there was some general dissatisfaction with the NFL and an alternative might have had a chance if it was done right, but it wasn't. I don't see any demand right now for an alternative to the NFL. The brain injury issue is concerning to the fans and they're accepting of changes to the game that address that problem.

The new XFL is better organized, has a real plan to develop interest and make the league legitimate while the old XFL depended entirely on gimmickry. You can't plan demand though.

Last edited by TriPolar; 12-01-2019 at 09:48 AM.
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Old 12-01-2019, 12:06 PM
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Which is what the CFL has done for years.
And the CFL no-yards is 15 yards if the player is catching the ball (ie most vulnerable because he may be jumping), 5 yards if the ball hits the ground before being touched.

You can protect the players without a fair catch rule.
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Old 12-01-2019, 02:15 PM
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When Vince tried this the first time he had the right time, there was some general dissatisfaction with the NFL and an alternative might have had a chance if it was done right, but it wasn't. I don't see any demand right now for an alternative to the NFL. The brain injury issue is concerning to the fans and they're accepting of changes to the game that address that problem.

The new XFL is better organized, has a real plan to develop interest and make the league legitimate while the old XFL depended entirely on gimmickry. You can't plan demand though.
In my case I get to watch football in the NFL’s offseason. I think that’ll be a big part of the demand. As long as the games aren’t forcing me to choose between watching/following the NFL and the XFL, I don’t see how this has to be an alternative league. It seems like it wants to be a supplemental league instead.

If people are sick of football after the Super Bowl and don’t have any interest in watching more of it, being played by inferior players, this will definitely fail. If people say “football is football, this will tide me over until next Fall” it might have a chance.
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Old 12-01-2019, 02:44 PM
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In my case I get to watch football in the NFL’s offseason. I think that’ll be a big part of the demand. As long as the games aren’t forcing me to choose between watching/following the NFL and the XFL, I don’t see how this has to be an alternative league. It seems like it wants to be a supplemental league instead.

If people are sick of football after the Super Bowl and don’t have any interest in watching more of it, being played by inferior players, this will definitely fail. If people say “football is football, this will tide me over until next Fall” it might have a chance.
The spring league concept is the best thing going for it, but one of those just failed rapidly. XFL is better financed to try to for two years without needing any specific attendance or viewership goals. TV coverage is supposed to be limited to local markets for those two years also. A lot can change in two years.
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Old 12-02-2019, 12:13 PM
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That is *exactly* who they do have as players (they allocated players to each team via a draft in October).

The thing to remember is that the NFL has locked up the best 1900 or so players in the US (53 players per roster, plus each team has a 5-man practice squad, and a few more on injured reserve per team). The best quarterback in the XFL is going to be something like the 95th-best U.S. professional quarterback.

And, as we saw in the AAF (which drew from that same player base) last spring, those players aren't necessarily "pretty great to solid," but more like "sometimes solid, sometimes not that great." As DKW noted, what's likely is that play will be pretty inconsistent -- players of that caliber are going to make some good plays, interspersed with some poor play.
Another way to look at it, is that you'll essentially be watching a league made up of the best college players.... who didn't go to the NFL.

Or if you prefer, it'll be a lot like the NFL replacement player teams in the 1987 season, except without the small percentage of real NFL players thrown in.
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Old 12-02-2019, 01:14 PM
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Another way to look at it, is that you'll essentially be watching a league made up of the best college players.... who didn't go to the NFL.
If you look at the list of XFL quarterbacks from that link I shared to their recent player draft, you'll only see three guys who have any significant on-field NFL experience: Landry Jones, Matt McGloin, and Josh Johnson; all three of them were primarily backups, who were occasionally pressed into duty. And, none of them are young, either -- Johnson is 33, Jones and McGloin are 30.

The rest of the QBs are guys who never got on the field in the NFL (most were practice squad players).

So, that's the caliber that the XFL has, at their most important position.
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Old 12-02-2019, 02:39 PM
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If you look at the list of XFL quarterbacks from that link I shared to their recent player draft, you'll only see three guys who have any significant on-field NFL experience: Landry Jones, Matt McGloin, and Josh Johnson; all three of them were primarily backups, who were occasionally pressed into duty. And, none of them are young, either -- Johnson is 33, Jones and McGloin are 30.

The rest of the QBs are guys who never got on the field in the NFL (most were practice squad players).

So, that's the caliber that the XFL has, at their most important position.
I didn't really think about NFL retreads or second/third stringers.

But yeah, I suspect it'll be something of a disaster- just what IS the draw to the XFL? I have yet to hear how they plan to positively differentiate themselves from the NFL and gain fans- it seems to be based on some kind of "common knowledge" that there's this vast legion of fans who will preferentially watch garbage football in the off season instead of watching some other top league sport like major league baseball or NBA basketball during that part of the year.
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Old 12-02-2019, 02:42 PM
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I didn't really think about NFL retreads or second/third stringers.

But yeah, I suspect it'll be something of a disaster- just what IS the draw to the XFL? I have yet to hear how they plan to positively differentiate themselves from the NFL and gain fans- it seems to be based on some kind of "common knowledge" that there's this vast legion of fans who will preferentially watch garbage football in the off season instead of watching some other top league sport like major league baseball or NBA basketball during that part of the year.
I'm not sure why it would be garbage football. College football is pretty exciting, and most teams have only one or two players that will ever be good enough for the NFL.

I'm not sold on the concept yet, but I'll keep an open mind.
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Old 12-02-2019, 04:08 PM
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The spring league concept is the best thing going for it
...and, if you ask me, also the biggest thing going against it. WFL? USFL? XFL 1.0? WALF/NFL Europa? I think all of them made it quite clear that nobody is really interested in spring or summer football, unless you count college "spring football" scrimmages, and even then, pretty much only in the south.

McMahon needs to make two things quite clear from the start:

One - This. Is. Not. Anywhere. Near. NFL. Quality.

Two - This. Is. Not. Professional. Wrestling. He forgot this the first time, and audiences quickly dwindled as the WWE fan base realized there would be no crossover and the football fan base couldn't shake the fact that there might still be a link. IIRC, one game made history as the first nationally broadcast TV show that couldn't draw even a 0.05 rating.
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Old 12-02-2019, 04:28 PM
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I'm not sure why it would be garbage football. College football is pretty exciting, and most teams have only one or two players that will ever be good enough for the NFL.
So much of a sports league is history and legitimacy, though. People show up in droves to see the Buckeyes or the Crimson Tide because they have for generations, and because NCAA football has been a brand for generations. A sports league matters because it matters. This year's championship matters because there was a championship last year, and the years before, and because of the assumption there will be one next year.

The XFL lacks that legitimacy, but even worse, ANY upstart football league now has a sort of anti-legitimacy, because "Upstart New Football League" is becoming a punchline. Footballs fans know about the USFL, the WFL, the AAF, and hell, the XFL. Any upstart league will be instantly put on a death watch; I wonder how long THIS joke will last?, everyone thinks.
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Old 12-02-2019, 04:48 PM
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I thought the AAF was decent. I watched a handful of games and enjoyed them. The talent isn’t at the NFL level honestly, but it doesn’t have to be in order to have good games, as long as the teams that are competing are at similar levels. As was stated before, it’s a big like watching an NCAA team play; that’s not NFL quality but it’s still enjoyable.

The AAF didn’t last an entire season because they clearly had no good business plan from the start. I’m not saying that the XFL is guaranteed to do better but I have a feeling they will. Not that it’s saying much; it’s hard to do worse...
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Old 12-02-2019, 04:59 PM
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...and, if you ask me, also the biggest thing going against it. WFL? USFL? XFL 1.0? WALF/NFL Europa? I think all of them made it quite clear that nobody is really interested in spring or summer football, unless you count college "spring football" scrimmages, and even then, pretty much only in the south.
I don't disagree, but there's no way this would compete with the NFL during their season. The best thing going for it may not be enough to make a difference.

Quote:
McMahon needs to make two things quite clear from the start:

One - This. Is. Not. Anywhere. Near. NFL. Quality.

Two - This. Is. Not. Professional. Wrestling. He forgot this the first time, and audiences quickly dwindled as the WWE fan base realized there would be no crossover and the football fan base couldn't shake the fact that there might still be a link. IIRC, one game made history as the first nationally broadcast TV show that couldn't draw even a 0.05 rating.
One - He means to provide appropriate production quality, something missing from the first go round. As for the quality of the football, no one imagines it could be at that level, he just imagines there's a market for something in the off season. I'm as skeptical as anyone about that.

Two - He intends to make that very clear this time. In the first go round he repeated a mistake he's made before in believing wrestling fans would watch one of his non-wrestling ventures, they didn't, and then on top of that he dissuaded anyone who didn't want to see anything like wrestling. So this time he's going to be serious about the football, no wrestling type gimmickry at all, except it's kind of too late since he's using the same name for the league and people will just associate with the WWE and the XFL 1.0 anyway.

I don't see a good chance for even the first two years supposedly already financed to succeed.
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Old 12-02-2019, 04:59 PM
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Honestly, the only thing IMO, that could save the XFL is if it could somehow get official sanction as the NFL's developmental league, rather than as a competitor. Even then, it's not a done deal.

I do think the NFL could stand an off-season developmental league- quite a few high-caliber players came out of the NFL Europe/World League when it functioned in that capacity. It could also serve as more than a player incubator; it could be a d-league for rules changes, referee training, coach training, etc... And perhaps develop NFL interest in smaller markets- people might follow favorite players once they make it to the big league.
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Old 12-02-2019, 05:00 PM
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I feel like the XFL season starts too soon after the NFL season ends. After the Super Bowl, my first thought is not "I can't wait to watch more football!" This is the equivalent of me just finishing a great steak dinner and someone tries to give me a Big Mac while I'm still sitting at a table.

Plus, they're going to be competing directly with the Final Four.
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Old 12-02-2019, 05:03 PM
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Honestly, the only thing IMO, that could save the XFL is if it could somehow get official sanction as the NFL's developmental league, rather than as a competitor. Even then, it's not a done deal.

I do think the NFL could stand an off-season developmental league- quite a few high-caliber players came out of the NFL Europe/World League when it functioned in that capacity. It could also serve as more than a player incubator; it could be a d-league for rules changes, referee training, coach training, etc... And perhaps develop NFL interest in smaller markets- people might follow favorite players once they make it to the big league.
Eh, I remember there were a bunch of headlines about AAF players being signed to the NFL in the off-season, but did any of them survive the final cuts? Pretty much all of these players already had a chance to get into the NFL.
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Old 12-02-2019, 05:10 PM
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I feel like the XFL season starts too soon after the NFL season ends. After the Super Bowl, my first thought is not "I can't wait to watch more football!" This is the equivalent of me just finishing a great steak dinner and someone tries to give me a Big Mac while I'm still sitting at a table.

Plus, they're going to be competing directly with the Final Four.
They're starting at the same time that the AAF did last year (i.e., the XFL's Week 1 will be the weekend immediately after the Super Bowl); the AAF explictly said that they did, in fact, think that they would be filling a fan desire for more football in that time frame. (Whether that's a real thing, or whether football fans are burned out by then, is another question. )

But, the more obvious truth is that, after the Super Bowl, there aren't any big sports events going on in February -- the NBA and the NHL are just past their halfway points, MLB spring training hasn't started yet, and nor has the NCAA basketball tournament. So, at least they potentially have a few weeks to gain some viewers/fans, which they can hope to hang onto once March and April roll around.

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Old 12-02-2019, 05:24 PM
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MLB is looking to scale down its minor league system. I don't see how going the opposite way and introducing one helps the NFL. It already has a development league - college football.

There certainly are some players who could use a bit more seasoning out of college, but very few are going to make that leap up to the NFL from there. Coaches would rather develop players themselves. It could be a good place for veterans, especially ones cut/sidelined due to injury, to show they still have something to contribute, though.

I have no clue where the idea NFL Europe generated several top quality players comes from. It really didn't. The best it managed were some kickers and 3rd stringers. Oh, and some decent to very good TV announcers cut their teeth there.

The old USFL did produce some top notch NFL talent, but it was not a development league - it was a direct competitor that eventually folded. And it competed and got top veteran and college talent by offering up more money than the NFL. I believe it was something like 30-50% on average, even for rookies (though Steve Young ended up getting a monstrously big contract for the era). As it turns out, the league was unsustainable, but that was a reasonable plan - get top talent to validate the league as a serious competitor.

Last edited by Great Antibob; 12-02-2019 at 05:27 PM.
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Old 12-02-2019, 05:52 PM
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I have no clue where the idea NFL Europe generated several top quality players comes from. It really didn't. The best it managed were some kickers and 3rd stringers. Oh, and some decent to very good TV announcers cut their teeth there.
Actually, I found this article, with the top 10 players to come out of NFL Europe, and it surprised me -- I'd thought it was Kurt Warner and Adam Vinatieri, and a bunch of scrubs. But, to that list, one can add James Harrison, Jake Delhomme, Brad Johnson, David Akers, Dante Hall, and Jon Kitna. Plus Terry Crews.
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Old 12-03-2019, 09:39 AM
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Actually, I found this article, with the top 10 players to come out of NFL Europe, and it surprised me -- I'd thought it was Kurt Warner and Adam Vinatieri, and a bunch of scrubs. But, to that list, one can add James Harrison, Jake Delhomme, Brad Johnson, David Akers, Dante Hall, and Jon Kitna. Plus Terry Crews.
Those are the best 10 too; it wasn't like there weren't others- Jay Fiedler, Shaun Hill, and Fred Jackson are some other notable players who were NFL Europe players.

My point wasn't so much that the NFL needs a d-league, but more that being affiliated with the NFL as a d-league might give the XFL the cachet it needs to succeed, because without it, it's going to be viewed as a second-rate product, and suffer in competition to the entrenched spring sports like baseball and basketball.
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Old 12-03-2019, 12:52 PM
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I remember Shaun Hill when he was a backup on the Rams. And Fred Jackson was a really good running back and teammate of Marshawn Lynch on both the Bills and Seahawks. I didn’t realize those guys played in Europe.
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Old 12-03-2019, 01:20 PM
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I'm ready because I'm sick of a penalty flag on almost every damn play of the game. Couple that with Instant Replay and the commercial breaks, and it takes 3 1/2 hours to watch 60 minutes of football.
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  #36  
Old 12-03-2019, 02:35 PM
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Atamasama is offline
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MNF last night had 4 total flags all game. It was so refreshing. Officiating wasn’t perfect; there were three bad calls that were reversed by challenges and seemed obvious during live play. But that was a very physical game between two of the top NFC teams in prime time and it was beautiful to not see ticky-tack flags tossed around left and right. If only all games could be like that in the NFL.
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