The XFL: 2020’s Latest Casualty

Alex Edmonds
3 min readApr 19, 2020

There have been a long list of shitty things to happen in 2020. Whether is was the death of Kobe, the boring first half of the Super Bowl, or the global pandemic that we are all experiencing, things haven’t really gone our way this year. And yesterday, we all witnessed another terrible moment. The XFL made a statement, saying that it has fired all of it’s employees due to coronavirus and the league has no plans to return in 2021:

The XFL, the Len Bias of sports leagues. Such a “what if?” situation. It was truly different from other sports start-up projects. And I think it had the best chance to succeed out of any of the minor league sports organizations. Arena football had its moments, I don’t quite remember why it didn’t pan out. But the AAF was terrible. That thing got canceled faster than Kevin Spacey.

For these football leagues, they’ve got quite the uphill battle. The talent level is nowhere near what we see in the NFL. Plus the NBA season is happening at the same time. As a sports fan, it’s hard to justify watching a football development league, when you have the option to watch Lakers vs Clippers.

All that said, the XFL was different. And they did a tremendous job at bringing unique aspects to the sports world. What they might have lacked in on-field performance, they made up for with interesting rules, a great social media presence, and mid-game interviews that served as quality entertainment:

When you have someone like Vince McMahon, who knows how to put on a show, you can make anything interesting. I mean hell, if I had a choice between watching a Cleveland Browns game or an XFL game, I’m picking the XFL every time.

With everything that the XFL did, it’s a damn shame that this league has come to an end. They executed everything perfectly but still couldn’t catch a break.

Aside from all of the illnesses and deaths, the cancelation of the XFL has been the worst outcome of the coronavirus. For all of the fraternity kids who are upset because they want to drink White Claws and listen to EDM together, I have no sympathy. I do, however, feel terrible for everyone who was involved with the XFL. It’s awful to be losing a league that had so much promise, and gave fringe-NFL players the opportunity to play the game they love in front of passionate/intoxicated fans:

Despite how great the XFL is, it certainly has its haters. Darren Rovell made sure to let out a couple tweets once the news broke:

And you can bet your ass Roger Goodell and the NFL will do nothing to help out this league, even though it gives football fans something to be happy about. Goodell has never made a good decision in his life, so I doubt he’ll reach out to try and keep this thing going.

The worst part about all of this is that the XFL didn’t even get a chance to fail on its own merit. It took a global pandemic to shut them down. And I genuinely think they would have succeeded if not for all the bullshit happening with this virus.

I don’t know if there’s a lesson in all of this. Frankly, the whole situation is beyond shitty.

All in all though, major props to Vince McMahon on the effort. He really did his best job at taking a mediocre product and allowing it to reach its full potential. Unfortunately, some things just aren’t meant to be.