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  #51  
Old 02-11-2020, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by gdave View Post
One thing that I liked, and I think is a major improvement over how the NFL does things, is the live feed from the instant replay booth. Seeing and hearing the replay official walk through his process out loud was nice. Instead of the NFL black box process, which leads to "What the heck was he looking at?!" fan reactions, the XFL open look process made it crystal clear exactly what the replay official was looking at, and how and why he arrived at his decision.
I agree. I also liked the shorter play clock (25 seconds). I could do without the sideline interviews during the game. Let the players and coaches do their job, and not make it look like the whole event was just a made-for-TV drama fest.
  #52  
Old 02-11-2020, 11:40 AM
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I wish they had put teams in places like Portland, Salt Lake City, Albuquerque, San Antonio, Austin, Des Moines, Sacramento, etc. though, rather than these existing NFL cities. It should be about expanding football to places that don't have football yet.
  #53  
Old 02-11-2020, 12:23 PM
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I could do without the sideline interviews during the game. Let the players and coaches do their job, and not make it look like the whole event was just a made-for-TV drama fest.
I disagree, I liked it, but everyone’s MMV.

Last edited by Atamasama; 02-11-2020 at 12:23 PM.
  #54  
Old 02-11-2020, 12:26 PM
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I wish they had put teams in places like Portland, Salt Lake City, Albuquerque, San Antonio, Austin, Des Moines, Sacramento, etc. though, rather than these existing NFL cities. It should be about expanding football to places that don't have football yet.
I can’t blame them though. It’s hard enough getting an upstart football league to succeed as it is, so you put teams where you know there is a strong market for football. I agree with your idea though. I think if this takes off (unlikely but who knows), maybe they can expand into those untapped markets.

I agree that I’d be more excited about the Dragons if we didn’t already have the Seahawks. (Dragons have a cooler logo though.)
  #55  
Old 02-11-2020, 12:49 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.
Yeah, I understand the reasoning - keep the momentum going, develop an audience without a lot of competition from other sports. But I still feel like waiting a month or two would have been better. Wait for people to start missing football, and then the drop in quality isn't so important.

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I could do without the sideline interviews during the game. Let the players and coaches do their job, and not make it look like the whole event was just a made-for-TV drama fest.
I caught about 30 minutes of a game this weekend, and the interviews were cringe-worthy. I felt bad for the players and coaches having to come up with some answer when they were trying to focus on the game, and I felt bad for the interviewers having to interrupt people who didn't want them around, then nod importantly as they got some bland, clichéd answer to a dumb question.

Slate was also not a fan of the interviews.
  #56  
Old 02-11-2020, 01:33 PM
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I caught about 30 minutes of a game this weekend, and the interviews were cringe-worthy. I felt bad for the players and coaches having to come up with some answer when they were trying to focus on the game, and I felt bad for the interviewers having to interrupt people who didn't want them around, then nod importantly as they got some bland, clichéd answer to a dumb question.
The vast majority of interviews with athletes and coaches aren't interesting to begin with, but they're such a staple of sports coverage that broadcasters feel the need to do them, maybe in hopes of the rare interesting comment. Forced in-game interviews are even worse -- as you say, the coaches and players are trying to focus on doing their jobs, and that shows.
  #57  
Old 02-11-2020, 03:44 PM
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...maybe in hopes of the rare interesting comment...
Well, to that end, it was kind of a success when the Dragons lineman commented "we're trying to get our fucking job done" on live TV.
  #58  
Old 02-11-2020, 07:47 PM
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I liked the games and I hope they are successful as a second division league, like soccer does around the world, and not try to compete with the NFL.
About the rules:
1) Kickoff: Due to health/safety consideration, their format is a very good idea and I'm sure the NFL will implement something similar.
2) Punts: Not quite sure, but it's a different flavor and not simply "kick it far"
3) One-foot catch: Definitely yes. Easier to judge and maybe safer.
4) Double-forward pass: The idea of making the half-back pass easier and not having to move further back than the QB is a good idea.
5) Shorter time between plays: Looks good but maybe it's too tiring.
6) Two-minute: I like that we can avoid, mostly, the three-kneels to end the game.
7) Overtime: Really good idea.
  #59  
Old 02-11-2020, 07:58 PM
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The vast majority of interviews with athletes and coaches aren't interesting to begin with, but they're such a staple of sports coverage that broadcasters feel the need to do them, maybe in hopes of the rare interesting comment. Forced in-game interviews are even worse -- as you say, the coaches and players are trying to focus on doing their jobs, and that shows.
Indeed. In the traditional sports leagues it infuriates me and I just want to scream at the TV "LET THEM DO THEIR FUCKING JOBS AND PLAY." It's almost always all the same vapid questions and the same generic contentless answers.
  #60  
Old 02-15-2020, 03:40 PM
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A couple of Native American friends are really enthused about rooting for a DC football team whose name isn't a horrible racial slur.

I'm also pleased that the Defenders don't give off that aura of sour dysfunction that attaches to our regular NFL team.
  #61  
Old 02-15-2020, 05:15 PM
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A couple of Native American friends are really enthused about rooting for a DC football team whose name isn't a horrible racial slur.

I'm also pleased that the Defenders don't give off that aura of sour dysfunction that attaches to our regular NFL team.
At least last week the Defenders looked pretty good.
  #62  
Old 02-15-2020, 05:41 PM
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This Dragons/Vipers game is entertaining. But I’m not liking the instant interviews with players. It’s painful watching someone try to answer questions after he just ran 80 yards and has no breath.
  #63  
Old 02-15-2020, 10:11 PM
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Saw most of today's game. My final assessments of everything. First, the good stuff.

Pacing - Good. Really, really good. I agree, the NFL is just way too slow these days. Fewer reviews, fewer delays, this works. One caveat, though: The reason there are much fewer penalties is that the league has cleaner players. Remember, the original mandate was "no arrest record whatsoever", and even though Vinny Mac eventually relented on that, it's clear that there is no place here for dirtbags and rulebreakers. Unfortunately, this means that it's going to miss out on some potential stars, but that's just the price of keeping it clean.

Overall atmosphere - Fantastic. This is by far the BEST part of this league. No grandstanding, no showboating, no taunting, no trash talking, no bench-clearing brawls, no helmet-to-helmet or punches or crotch stomps, no utterly mortifying end zone celebrations. And the fans! I've never seen such well-behaved spectators in any football league! Cut the BS and just have a good, clean, hard-fought contest. It's great for sport and great for our country.

Conversions/overtime - Don't have a strong opinion, but at this stage anything that has the potential to make the game more fun is a good thing. And if it adds a bit of strategy in a close one, so much the better.

And the...not-good stuff.

Kickoffs - Completely pointless. Receiver makes the catch, runs a few yards, and gets stuffed. If he's really lucky he might almost make it to midfield. This league's not getting Deion Sanders, deal with it. If safety is that much of a concern (and I'd say that it is), just give them the ball on the 35 and be done with it.

Punt OB or in the end zone brought back to 35 - I didn't like it when NFL Blitz did everything in its power to nerf punts, and I don't like it here. I understand the rationale of more offense (greater incentive to go for it and giving the opposition good field position if it messes up a punt), but if a team has a lousy offense...and there seems to be more than a few of them right now...it's not going to help.

Second forward pass permitted - Calling it right now: This will be at most a dumb screwball gimmick play like the swinging gate or fumblerooski that we'll see properly executed maybe once, ever. Given that most of teams don't have one accurate passer, it's hard to imagine this meaningfully affecting the outcome of any game.

Only one foot in bounds required for completion - See previous comment. This league's not getting John Elway either. I've only seen a few throws to the sidelines at all so far, and the results have been pretty dismal. I doubt there are a lot of receivers who can do picture-perfect circus catches, either.

Sideline interviews - Oh god. Enough. It's bad enough hearing this endless boilerplate drivel after the game; don't subject us to "we need to execute" and "taking it one play at a time" during it. Did you learn NOTHING from the first time?

Miked coaches - I guess it's a bit interesting hearing all the jargon and having the announcers hash it out, but again, we don't need this during the game. Put them in a pregame show or behind-the-scenes YouTube videos or whatever.

The thing I noticed these first two televised games was that they had a really "small ball" feel. Dink pass, sweep, off-tackle, quick-out, another sweep, maybe a 10-yard slant or two. It actually seemed more like the high school level than college, and given that we're not going to see the spectacular bombs, the mad-dog rushes, the tricky option routes, the acrobatic catches, the swarming dime coverages, it's going to limit the appeal of this league. Every big gain I've seen has been due to a defensive breakdown of some sort, and the most impressive scoring play in today's was a pick-six. I'm not saying that a game has to be full of fireworks, but there should always be at least the possibility of something truly amazing happening, and that looks like it won't be the case much of the time.

Still, of all the upstart leagues I've seen, this one really does look like it has the best chance of long-term success. All the others, including the first XFL, had extremely glaring flaws. I'm not seeing any here. Problems such as annoying interviews or bad rules are easily fixable. The best part is that unlike the leagues of the past, which had plenty of detractors and outright enemies, pretty much everyone wants the XFL to succeed, and they will fight to keep it afloat if it starts to struggle.

Do I want it to succeed? Eh...not a big sports guy, haven't been for a long time. I think it would be a good thing if it did succeed, but I won't get too choked up if it fails.
  #64  
Old 02-16-2020, 02:01 AM
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I watched the Dragons-Vipers game, and enjoyed it overall. It was interesting hearing the back-and-forth between the referee and the replay judge; and the coach calling the plays, even if I had no idea what was being called. The pacing of the game was good. I could do without the sideline interviews, though.
  #65  
Old 02-16-2020, 05:59 PM
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I dunno. I watched the Dallas-Los Angeles game today, and, man, I was just getting pissed off at the coverage and the stupid interviews and the hot mikes. I really don't need "TACOTACOTACOTACOTACOTACOTACO" being yelled at me before a play, and what I really don't like is when the teams were in the red zone, they often cut to this view where the main game screen was shrunk by about 25% or so and the two coaches were placed in boxes on the side, all with a sports ticker running below and the negative space on top being filled in with an ESPN banner or something like that. When the play is on the 10 yard line, I WANT TO SEE THE ACTION ON THE WHOLE SCREEN! Why the fuck would I want to be looking at coaches wearing headsets yelling playcalls into them? I want to see the action.

And WTF is with the halftime locker room coverage? At some point, I was staring at the back of a bunch of players heads for like one or two minutes huddled up looking over a white board that we couldn't see (and, honestly, shouldn't see anyway.) Just give me normal halftime coverage with the folks in the studio.

Yes, as you can tell, I'm not a fan so far.
  #66  
Old 02-16-2020, 11:52 PM
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Kickoffs - Completely pointless. Receiver makes the catch, runs a few yards, and gets stuffed. If he's really lucky he might almost make it to midfield. This league's not getting Deion Sanders, deal with it. If safety is that much of a concern (and I'd say that it is), just give them the ball on the 35 and be done with it.
Kickoffs are so much better in the XFL. They’re pointless in the NFL. In the XFL they matter. Touchbacks on kickoffs go to the 35 yard line so kickers try to avoid them, and since neither side can move until the ball is caught or hits the ground, the returner has an actual chance to return it. Most of the time they make it to the 30 at least, I saw it get to mid field.

Of course there won’t be any Deion Sanders in the XFL. Someone that good will be in the NFL. But the rules make it so that kickoffs almost always have a return attempt and they’ve done a good job of making it relevant and exciting again. I’d like to see how that kind of kickoff would look in the NFL.
  #67  
Old 02-18-2020, 08:27 AM
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I have to say I watched the Seattle vs Tampa game on Fox, expecting it to be as sloppy as the XFL's first incarnation, but I was pleasantly surprised. I liked the way they interviewed defensive coordinators at breaks, instead of just the head coach. Right after a player caught a long TD pass, they interviewed him. They showed behind-the-scenes footage of the review booth examining the play from various camera angles and communicating with the lead ref. They showed a coach calling a play with code words (something the NFL will NEVER show), then had the color commentator interpret the call before the play was executed. It gave more viewer insight on how the players and coaches communicate strategy to each other and showed how even the best plans can go wrong because they can't account for everything.

The crowd was really getting into it, and they had done away with the types of penalties that slow down the game. Halftime was 10 minutes, and the whole game lasted a little over 2 1/2 hours. I had none of the expectations of "this team always does this" or "this player always does this" because virtually all were unknowns. The commentators remarked how one team led the league in offense last week, even though their team only scored 3 points. That reflects how new the league is, and those wild statistics were definitely not typical NFL metrics. Maybe the players weren't NFL caliber, but they were good enough.
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Old 02-18-2020, 10:47 AM
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I saw some of the LA - Dallas game on Sunday and it wasn't bad. Agree that the sideline interviews are horrible, and the journalists in the locker room at halftime was awkward. But the shots of the offensive coordinators calling plays were mildly interesting. Also like the new kickoff format - it seems safer than the NFL setup. And there were a couple of decent returns.
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Old 02-18-2020, 10:50 AM
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Is all the broadcasting of communications giving the defense an advantage? You don't have to be Bill Belichick to see the obvious benefit of having somebody on your coaching staff watching the live broadcast and passing the opposing team's radio calls to your sideline. I'm sure a competent coaching staff could do a pretty good job of breaking the codewords that are being used.
  #70  
Old 02-18-2020, 11:02 AM
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Is all the broadcasting of communications giving the defense an advantage? You don't have to be Bill Belichick to see the obvious benefit of having somebody on your coaching staff watching the live broadcast and passing the opposing team's radio calls to your sideline. I'm sure a competent coaching staff could do a pretty good job of breaking the codewords that are being used.
Have you been hearing anyone hitting a bucket on the sideline to send in signals to the defense?
  #71  
Old 02-18-2020, 11:30 AM
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I am about to abandon the XFL


And it has nothing to do with quality of football. It's fine. I am not expecting NFL quality. And I realize they are brand new. It seems fun.


BUT.......

The TV coverage sucks and blows at the same time. Allow me to rant.

1. I do not need to hear the plays the coaches are calling. Especially since I have no
way of knowing what they are saying. Neither do the broadcasters.
- Offense - "Good Renegade, Slot left, Lemon! Lemon! Lemon!"
- Defense - " FREEZE. FREEZE. FREEZE."
- I do not know what these mean. And I do not give a shit.

2. I do not need to see the coaches.
- I have big ass TV. Plenty big enough to see the action. But wait! They have
shrunken it! The shrunken the screen so that they can put up pictures of the
coaches on both sides of the screen!
- The coaches are far more visible than the quarterback! Like I need to see their fat
asses or their reactions to plays in real time. Mostly, their reactions are as exciting
as my reactions to opening up my mail.

3. I do not need the hear players interviewed directly after a play.
- Reporter "What do you need to do get some points on the board?"
- Player "We need to keep executing, take it one play at a time, believe in
ourselves"
- Reporter "Thanks, Back to you in the booth. Tell them about the play they
just missed."
- The questions are horrible. "How are you going to get the momentum back? What
was going through your mind when....How did it feel when....." The answers are
all standard cliche.

So Dear ESPN on ABC. I just want to watch the game. Stop trying to make yourselves the story. I don't care that you have the coaches wired up. I don't care that you have reporters on the sideline. I could not care less about how a player feels about the play he just made. I just want to watch the action on the field.
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  #72  
Old 02-18-2020, 11:41 AM
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Somewhat startling news from St. Louis, where the Battle Hawks TV ratings for week #2 were more than twice as high as the St. Louis Blues game that was on at the same time.

For those of you who don't follow hockey, the Blues won the Stanley Cup last season. And while they're currently going through a world-class slump, they have an incredibly loyal fan base.
  #73  
Old 02-18-2020, 11:52 AM
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Have you been hearing anyone hitting a bucket on the sideline to send in signals to the defense?
Isn't the defense also wired up for communications with the sideline? Even if they're only able to give information as basic as whether it's going to be a running play or a passing play, that's a big help to the defense.

And it can be a lot more than that. I watched a game this weekend where the offense was down next to the goal line. They ran a play, which the defense stopped. And then the coach told his offense to run the same play again; no codewords, he openly told them over the radio to run the same play again.

That meant millions of us knew exactly what play they were about to run. I can't think of any reason why the other team wouldn't have wanted to listen in. And then quickly pass it on to their players on the field.

Last edited by Little Nemo; 02-18-2020 at 11:53 AM.
  #74  
Old 02-18-2020, 11:57 AM
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So Dear ESPN on ABC. I just want to watch the game. Stop trying to make yourselves the story. I don't care that you have the coaches wired up. I don't care that you have reporters on the sideline. I could not care less about how a player feels about the play he just made. I just want to watch the action on the field.
I completely agree. I want to watch a football game. I don't want to watch players and coaches reacting to a football game. This isn't a reality show. What people are doing is the draw; not what they're feeling.
  #75  
Old 02-18-2020, 02:17 PM
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Isn't the defense also wired up for communications with the sideline?
In the NFL, they are (though that's a relatively recent addition). It wouldn't surprise me if they are in the XFL, as well (I haven't watched more than a few minutes of a game).

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And it can be a lot more than that. I watched a game this weekend where the offense was down next to the goal line. They ran a play, which the defense stopped. And then the coach told his offense to run the same play again; no codewords, he openly told them over the radio to run the same play again.

That meant millions of us knew exactly what play they were about to run. I can't think of any reason why the other team wouldn't have wanted to listen in. And then quickly pass it on to their players on the field.
It becomes a question of whether the teams have access to the network's live broadcast of the game in real time. If so, then, yeah, it strikes me as pretty foolish.

Last edited by kenobi 65; 02-18-2020 at 02:18 PM.
  #76  
Old 02-18-2020, 02:59 PM
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I do not need the hear players interviewed directly after a play.
- Reporter "What do you need to do get some points on the board?"
- Player "We need to keep executing, take it one play at a time, believe in
ourselves"
- Reporter "Thanks, Back to you in the booth. Tell them about the play they
just missed."
- The questions are horrible. "How are you going to get the momentum back? What
was going through your mind when....How did it feel when....." The answers are
all standard cliche.
“If you could be a tree, what kind of tree would you be?”
“A tree that scores touchdowns!”

Though the F-bomb dropped in the first Dragons game, live on air and uncensored, that wasn’t cliche.
  #77  
Old 02-18-2020, 05:33 PM
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“If you could be a tree, what kind of tree would you be?”
“A tree that scores touchdowns!”

Though the F-bomb dropped in the first Dragons game, live on air and uncensored, that wasn’t cliche.
"Yeah, we were in the game.....till Jesus made me fumble!!


He hates our team. "



5 bonus points to anyone who recognizes the reference
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  #78  
Old 02-20-2020, 07:35 AM
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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.
If the XFL can attract players to play for them instead of go to a college where the NCAA limits their ability to earn money, I could see the XFL having some legs.

And the DC XFL team the DC Defenders have been more fun to watch than the Redskins.
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Old 02-20-2020, 11:32 AM
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And the DC XFL team the DC Defenders have been more fun to watch than the Redskins.
That's a pretty low hurdle to clear.
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Old 02-20-2020, 02:39 PM
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Doubt letting high school kids go straight to the XFL is much of a solution. If we're being honest, even a lot of college juniors and seniors need more development before the draft, much less smaller, weaker, less experienced players.

At best, the XFL would be a development league to help those marginal upperclassmen (who are still better than the vast, vast majority of high schoolers) who aren't quite ready for the next level. Better players can go straight to the NFL.

As I mentioned above, a lot of the USFL guys who did end up working out were kickers or Arena league stars or guys at the marginal practice squad end. Or, in a few cases, a stud college QB you wanted to take reps for a season without taking up an active roster spot until later. That's likely the same thing that will happen with the XFL at best.
  #81  
Old 02-20-2020, 08:31 PM
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Yeah, I understand the reasoning - keep the momentum going, develop an audience without a lot of competition from other sports. But I still feel like waiting a month or two would have been better. Wait for people to start missing football, and then the drop in quality isn't so important.


I caught about 30 minutes of a game this weekend, and the interviews were cringe-worthy. I felt bad for the players and coaches having to come up with some answer when they were trying to focus on the game, and I felt bad for the interviewers having to interrupt people who didn't want them around, then nod importantly as they got some bland, clichéd answer to a dumb question.

Slate was also not a fan of the interviews.
That's why I always liked to see Michelle Tafoya. She would ask real, pertinent questions, and then press the coaches to get substantive answers.
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  #82  
Old 02-23-2020, 07:59 PM
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In the interest of fairness, here's the first ever kickoff returned for a touchdown. Even if he hadn't made it, it would've still qualified as the first kickoff return that anyone had any reason to be the least bit excited about. I'm sorry, but I'm still not sold on this. My problem is that it's so drearily predictable, and whenever something exciting happens, it's this bizarre fluke mostly the result of a big breakdown on the other end.

You could say it's like...the old extra point kick.

If returns, returns, returns are so damn important, it's an easy fix: If the kickoff goes out of bounds or into the end zone, the kick is redone from 5 yards back. What the hey, being super draconian about touchbacks is one of the "fixes" I regularly hear about punts, so why not go the whole 35 yards, as it were?

One thing I've noticed (and I'm not going to judge whether this is a "good" thing or not) is that not only are we getting a lot more low-scoring games, it seems really hard for most of the offenses to get going. There isn't anyone you can really call a "deep threat" or "playmaker", which shrinks the field and makes it easier for the defense. More than that, however, is that the offensive execution just isn't as crisp as in the NFL. Quarterbacks are a bit too early, or too late, or too long, or too short, receivers can't quite pull in the tough ones, running backs can't quite turn the corner or zig when they should've zagged. Pretty much every time I've seen a shot down the field or to the back of the end zone, it's been an incompletion. In the last game, a receiver caught the ball about two feet out of bounds, something no NFL quarterback would ever get away with. I think the most telling sign is all the scores that are multiples of 3, which means that a lot of conversion attempts are failing. Stopping these offenses for one down just isn't much of a challenge.

For three weeks something's been nagging at me about this league, and I'm finally able to articulate it. This is one of those phenomena where I'd rather watch a documentary series about it. It's interesting. It's compelling. It's noteworthy. It has lots of facts and figures and calculations and angles and jargon to delve into. But as a sport, as an event, it's wanting. There's no big hook, nothing to get excited about, nothing grand or colorful or fun or crazy. If you don't live in one of those eight cities, what's your reason to watch?

Oh, uh, there was another double pass...first pass batted back to the QB, he threw it again. Whichever.
  #83  
Old 02-23-2020, 08:44 PM
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The QBs aren’t good. Even mediocre QBs get jobs in the NFL. There aren’t enough to go around, so the ones in the XFL are bad. To me that’s the biggest problem.

I still enjoy the games. I find myself cheering for them, almost as much as the NFL. You still see great plays, mostly offense and running. Good passing plays are rare.

PJ Walker is an exception. He’s the QB for the Houston Roughnecks. In the last game he had 304 yards passing, including 3 passing TDs and one he ran in himself after snatching up the ball on a bad snap and improvising. He had 34 yards total rushing and had a QB rating of 120.8. In 3 games, he has 748 passing yards, a 64-percent completion rate, 7.1 yards per attempt, 10 touchdown passes, one interception, and a rating of 112.7.

If you want to watch the XFL and have no team to root for, watch Houston. He is entertaining.
  #84  
Old 02-23-2020, 09:41 PM
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I've been pondering which teams are likely to develop a rivalry in this league. So far I think it'll be Dallas-Houston and D.C.-New York, due to geographical proximity and intra-state/regional pride.
  #85  
Old 02-23-2020, 10:11 PM
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After taking Week 2 off, I decided to look in on Week 3 to see if the level of play had improved.

I'll confess I was expecting the XFL to be full of teams playing sloppy but fast, leading to shootouts with scores like 42-38, where the winner is the team that scores last. And the 1-2-3 extra point idea doesn't seem to be working well at all.
  #86  
Old 02-23-2020, 11:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKW View Post
In the interest of fairness, here's the first ever kickoff returned for a touchdown. Even if he hadn't made it, it would've still qualified as the first kickoff return that anyone had any reason to be the least bit excited about. I'm sorry, but I'm still not sold on this. My problem is that it's so drearily predictable, and whenever something exciting happens, it's this bizarre fluke mostly the result of a big breakdown on the other end.

You could say it's like...the old extra point kick.

If returns, returns, returns are so damn important, it's an easy fix: If the kickoff goes out of bounds or into the end zone, the kick is redone from 5 yards back. What the hey, being super draconian about touchbacks is one of the "fixes" I regularly hear about punts, so why not go the whole 35 yards, as it were?

One thing I've noticed (and I'm not going to judge whether this is a "good" thing or not) is that not only are we getting a lot more low-scoring games, it seems really hard for most of the offenses to get going. There isn't anyone you can really call a "deep threat" or "playmaker", which shrinks the field and makes it easier for the defense. More than that, however, is that the offensive execution just isn't as crisp as in the NFL. Quarterbacks are a bit too early, or too late, or too long, or too short, receivers can't quite pull in the tough ones, running backs can't quite turn the corner or zig when they should've zagged. Pretty much every time I've seen a shot down the field or to the back of the end zone, it's been an incompletion. In the last game, a receiver caught the ball about two feet out of bounds, something no NFL quarterback would ever get away with. I think the most telling sign is all the scores that are multiples of 3, which means that a lot of conversion attempts are failing. Stopping these offenses for one down just isn't much of a challenge.

For three weeks something's been nagging at me about this league, and I'm finally able to articulate it. This is one of those phenomena where I'd rather watch a documentary series about it. It's interesting. It's compelling. It's noteworthy. It has lots of facts and figures and calculations and angles and jargon to delve into. But as a sport, as an event, it's wanting. There's no big hook, nothing to get excited about, nothing grand or colorful or fun or crazy. If you don't live in one of those eight cities, what's your reason to watch?

Oh, uh, there was another double pass...first pass batted back to the QB, he threw it again. Whichever.
I’ve never seen a full game, but the parts I’ve watched have screamed out to me to be watching two ok college teams.

It totally reminds of my late night Saturdays in the 1990s and coming home at 2 am and there’d be replays of college football on, not the top teams but say something like Oregon State vs Utah, it’s fine for what it is but you can clearly tell you’re watching a bunch of guys who’s football careers aren’t going any further.
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  #87  
Old 03-01-2020, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by bernadette1977 View Post
I think is a major improvement over how the NFL does things, is the live feed from the instant replay booth. Seeing and hearing the replay official walk through his process out loud was nice. Instead of the NFL black box process, which leads to "What the heck was he looking at?!" fan reactions, the XFL open look process made it crystal clear exactly what the replay official was looking at, and how and why he arrived at his decision.
The NFL would be stupid not to adopt this.

And because the NFL is stupid they won’t adopt this.
  #88  
Old 03-05-2020, 04:52 PM
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After one sellout and one near sellout, the St. Louis Battlehawks (Ca-CAW!) will officially open the upper level of The Dome for ticket sales.
  #89  
Old 03-08-2020, 04:12 PM
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So I'm curious:

We often entertain the question: "if the best college team played the worst NFL team, who would win?" and the consensus was almost always, the NFL team wins.

So what if the best college team plays the worst (or even best) XFL team?
  #90  
Old 03-08-2020, 07:26 PM
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My son is home for spring break this week, so we went to the Defenders-Battlehawks game. It was definitely worth the twenty something dollars we paid for each ticket. The defense looked pretty good for both teams. As someone mentioned above, the quarterbacks were not very good. The DC quarterback had 13 passing yards at halftime, and didn't seem capable of completing a pass of more than 10 yards.

I don't know how many fans they need to draw to make a go of it. They drew around 16K fans to Audi Field. It didn't look empty, but the stadium wasn't exactly rocking. The score was 15-6 Defenders, and the Battlehawks had a drive going late that could have tied the game. They stalled in Defenders territory, and had a 4th and 1 run stuffed.

I went to University of Tennessee for grad school, so I've seen good Division 1 football. I don't know that either team we saw today could beat a top 10 college team. I haven't watched a huge amount of college football for the last 20 or so years, though, so I could be wrong about that.
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