Once the Super Bowl is over, football fans mourn the loss of their favorite sport. They impatiently wait another eight months to be able to watch some football. But now, after a 29 year absence, the XFL is filling that void.
Debuting on Saturday, February 8, the XFL, a post-Super Bowl league, launched its first season since its inauguration in 2001.
The league comprises two conferences: the East and the West, each hosting four teams.
The Eastern Conference includes the New York Guardians, the Tampa Bay Vipers, the St. Louis Battlehawks and the D.C. Defenders.
The Western Conference includes the Dallas Renegades, the Houston Roughnecks, the Los Angeles Wildcats and the Seattle Dragons.
Significant market research indicated that football fans felt let down after the Super Bowl and wanted more football, which led to the re-launch of the XFL.
This is not the first time in recent history that a spring football league league debuted. The Alliance of American Football (AAF) tried a spring football league before running out of money. The XFL hopes to make a big splash and entertain football fans across the globe.
WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon, who has an estimated net worth of 2.2 billion dollars according to Forbes, finances the XFL.
The league hired Oliver Luck as commissioner. Luck was the athletic director at West Virginia University for four years, the first president and general manager of the Major League Soccer team the Houston Dynamo and the father of former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck.
The league had a one-year trial back in 2001 but was not continued after that season.
The XFL aims to play a more entertaining, faster game than the NFL does, while delivering fans the same traditional game of football.
Luck and the XFL changed the rules of traditional NFL football to change the pace of the game. Coaches will also have two timeouts per half, rather than three, and halftime is cut to ten minutes.
Instead of a coin toss, the home team will choose whether to kick off or defer at the start of the game.
There are also three post-touchdown options that give teams more opportunities to win.
Rather than following the NFL policy of kicking an extra point or going for two, teams will have the option to go for one point from the two-yard line, two points from the five-yard line or three points from the 10-yard line.
XFL kickoffs move most players down the field so that they are not hitting each other at full speed.
In an effort to limit touchbacks, the kicker kicks off from the 30-yard line, five yards further back from the NFL.
Players will line up across from each other between the other 30- and 35-yard line, unable to move until the returner catches the ball.
To connect the fans to the game, players and coaches will wear microphones so their audio can be heard from the broadcast.
Games are broadcasted on ESPN, ABC and Fox Sports. All teams will play every weekend, giving fans four games to watch each weekend.
With weekend wins from the D.C. Defenders, Houston Roughnecks, New York Guardians and the St. Louis Battlehawks, the XFL hopes to continue building on its positive momentum.
After a promising start, the XFL is set to grab the attention of football fans and create a long-standing, well-respected new football league.