Saw most of Saturday’s action. My impressions:
QUALITY OF PLAY
It’s not the same caliber as the top NFL teams, (although any of these squads could take the Cardinals or Bengals easily :)), but to be honest, I don’t think that’s going to be a huge problem. I’m certainly more impressed by this than anything I watched in the old WLAF. Sure, there were dropped passes and missed tackles, but every league has those. The “most exciting down” lived up to its billing, and once the special teams get used to that 5-yard protection area, look out. And don’t forget, it’s a competitive league; expect very few 35-point romps. Again, these are good, hard-working players who love the game…how can I complain?
It’s terrific. Referees reaching decisions, coaches fine-tuning their gameplans, the plays as they’re being called. I’ve never been this close to how a game’s actually run from start to finish.
A little over-the-top, yeah, but this is the XFL…you want straight-up analysis, go watch a John & Pat broadcast. And two words: Dennis Miller. At least I understand what Jesse Ventura’s saying.
A little too WWF-y in the beginning, but they levelled out after that. Remember, this is supposed to be a fan-friendly league; it’s important to show these people that they matter.
INJURIES/LIBERAL TACKLING RULES
Not a concern. I just realized that there’s no “in the grasp” rule or fair catch rule because they’re not needed. The players just aren’t big or fast enough to deliver the serious bone-crunching hits. Likewise, it makes perfect sense to open the game up and let the players play.
NO EXTRA POINT KICK
All good. No freebies in this game. One of these days a game’s going to turn on an extra point attempt, and then you’ll see why not being able to just kick it matters.
Very little. One locker room comment, the obligatory WWF cross-promos, maybe a fan comment or two. The players are real, the game is real, there are rules, there are penalties, and the outcomes are definitely not predetermined.
Eh. Sex appeal.
Nothing else really big Saturday night that I can see. And if you can’t be home then, tape it. C’mon, even I don’t spend three hours watching a game; that’s what the VCR is for. (What, you don’t have a VCR?? For crying out loud, get with the times!)
The only thing that I’m really concerned about right now is the pacing of the game. There’s so much time given to comments, replays, and other fun stuff (that’s the whole point!) that it really streches out the game, especially in the beginning. The fans didn’t seem to mind, however, so I don’t think this’ll become a serious problem. I’m sure they’ll tighten it up if it does.
Remember, this is a low-budget operation with a lot of extremely loyal fans, top-of-the-line production values, and, most importantly, almost no competition. It may not take off, but a lot of things have to go wrong for this to fail. You heard it here first.
Any comments? Anyone care to give me compelling reasons as to why the XFL will go bust, and not just the same 'ol same 'ol about “moral decay” or “showmanship” or ancient fly-by-night leagues who did everything wrong. This is a Straight Dope board; let’s have some objectivity here.