XFL – What the Hell?
Vince McMahon is at it again. Vince McMahon, the head of the World Wrestling Federation, is trying to work his marketing wizardry by establishing a new professional football league, the XFL. This extreme football league with all-access media coverage, hard-hitting action, and fast-paced wide-open offense is supposed to be the next great entertainment frenzy. I, for one, think this league will be flop after a season or two for many reasons such as lack of fan interest, poor quality players, and lack of real football.
Vince McMahon’s WWF is a multi-million dollar corporation and has been wildly successful in capturing the sports entertainment market. “Monday Night Raw,” the weekly soap opera on TNN, is one of the three most watched cable shows each week. In addition, the WWF has weekly wrestling shows on UPN and MTV. Personally, I am caught up in the phenomenon. I set aside my Monday evenings to watch Monday Night Football and professional wrestling. I enjoy attempting to figure out the storylines before they unfold and attempt to guess the action that may happen in the next segment.
Surprisingly, many Americans share my point of view and enjoy this sort of entertainment. The WWF’s core market personality is an American male, between the ages of 12-35, very similar to professional football. The WWF provides high flying action, crushing hits, and exciting finishes; not much different than the NFL. Vince McMahon is attempting to extend the short NFL season and capture America’s passion for football while marketing more of his merchandise - not the best business idea in my view.
The XFL is to begin play the week after the Super Bowl, Saturday, February 3, 2001. The league will be comprised of eight teams throughout the United States including the New York/New Jersey Hitmen, Chicago Enforcers, Los Angeles Xtreme, Birmingham Thunderbolts, San Francisco Demons, Las Vegas Outlaws, Memphis Maniax, and Orlando Rage. The season is to consist of 10 regular season games and a playoff to eventually crown the first XFL champion on April 21, 2001.
What makes me wonder if this league can survive is the lack of quality talent. The inaugural XFL draft was held a couple of weeks ago and the best players selected were either washed-up NFL players or young players lacking the skills or size to play NFL football. Quarterbacks like former Florida State All-American Casey Weldon, Scott Milanovich, and Jim Druckenmiller all lacked the necessary quarterbacking skills to play as back-ups in the NFL. In addition, the past two Harlon Hill winners, the Division II player of the year, running back Brian Shay and quarterback Corte McGuffey, both were selected. These men simply lack the necessary superstar skills to overcome their body size limitations to compete in today’s NFL game. Also, Alvin Harper, a wide receiver and past Super Bowl winner with Dallas, and Rashaan Salaam, a running back and past Heisman trophy...