XFL vs. NFL

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WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 08: Cardale Jones #12 of the DC Defenders scrambles against the Seattle Dragons during the first half of the XFL game at Audi Field on February 8, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

The NFL season has ended, and usually, this is the time when the boredom sets in for football fans, but this year, it’s a bit different. A new startup league, called the XFL, is grabbing people’s attention. Founded in 2018, this new league gained considerable amounts of publicity leading up to the season. With 8 teams spread across the continental United States, from Los Angeles to DC to Tampa, the XFL has a very wide market.

The league, runs a 10 game season, with a 2 game postseason. The teams are centrally owned and operated by the XFL, which is different from the NFL’s franchise model, where each team is run by its own ownership group. Unlike the original XFL, which was founded in 2001, the current XFL intends to stray away from off-the-field controversies. Their rule changes are intended to make the pace of play faster and more exciting, but not to the point of being a distraction from the overall game of football.

In terms of quality of play, the XFL is a league bursting with untapped, unrefined talent. Many of the players in the XFL are either fresh out of college, trying to make it into the NFL, or right on the bubble, maybe having been on an NFL roster once or twice. Everyone is eager to show what they can do in hopes of being discovered.

But along with the quicker pace and undisciplined talent comes a much more sloppy style of play. Many of the teams are inconsistent, like the DC Defenders, who went from scoring 27 and shutting out the opposition to scoring only 9 in a blowout loss. The teams have also not had a lot of time to practice together and develop chemistry, which can sometimes be apparent on the field.

Now, the XFL has a few options. Viewership, while still being high enough to generate a big profit, has slowly been declining throughout the first half of the season. The XFL may continue to be successful for years to come, or it may slowly die off. It could also end in a fiery mess, the way that the original XFL did, after just one season. Either way, though, it will be exciting to watch.