It was the opening night of the XFL, the football brain child of pro wrestling dignitary Vince McMahon and the suits at NBC, a network desperate to host pigskin action after they lost TV the rights to show NFL games.
The story of the league is well-documented: strong ratings in the league’s opening weeks provided a boost to the upstart. 14 million people watched the opener between the Las Vegas Outlaws and New York/New Jersey Hitmen.
But then came the not-so-good times. Play on the field straddled the line between uninteresting and just plain awful. More penalties were called in games than points scored. Vegas bookmakers set the over-under totals in the 20s, something that is unheard of in pro football. After one season of operation, the league folded and faded into obscurity.
However, thanks to the miracle of the internet, XFL games are available for everyone to watch. A simple Google search will provide plenty of viewing opportunities to see what the XFL was all about. The on-field action wasn’t pretty, but it’s interesting to look back and see what innovations used in the XFL are still employed in the NFL today. Plus, where else can you see a three-man booth consisting of Matt Vasgersian, Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura and Mike Adamle?
And, honestly, is there such thing as too much football?