You can’t take your money with you when you die. Whatever you’ve saved up is worthless when you’re in the ground. Sure, you can will it to someone. Kids and such. But screw ’em. Once they’re adults, they can make their own money.
It is with that in mind that I’ve never faulted Vince McMahon for trying crazy stuff with his millions of dollars. Sinking millions of dollars into an ill-advised senate campaign for his wife? Sure! Pumping dollar bills into a mid-town NYC wrestling themed restaurant? Why not?
Start your own football league? That sounds so nice, you should do it twice! And in fact that’s just what Vince McMahon, the unquestioned king of the pro wrestling world, has decided to do. Starting in 2020, the XFL is making a comeback after a small two decade hiatus.
I don’t think it’ll work, but who cares. It ain’t my money.
The games will be held in the Spring where there is a dearth of anything football related, and with 70 Million football fans, you’d think there’d be a market. Much like the first go round, the idea is not without merit.
The first time they tried to unseat the NFL’s monopoly on football it didn’t go well. This time the plan is to do the opposite of that. This time the plan is to do a good job. We’re not exactly sure how, but Vince assured me, during his press conference announcing the XFL’s return, he’s fixing all of the issues.
Unfortunately, Mr. McMahon is not giving a lot of details on the how. He did say that he wants the games to be shorter and hopes that they’ll average about two hours. (No info on the rule changes to accomplish this, but sure.) He will make people stand for the pledge of allegiance, or whatever Trump’s been crowing about. (I suppose they could just do the anthem before coverage starts, like they used to do with the NFL, but I believe he’s making a very specific point here.) No halftime?…Ok.
He’s also not hiring anyone from the WWE to do announcing this time around and will actually hire professional broadcasters. (Solid.) He does not want to hire players who have police records. (It’s for families! Salt of the earth types, I guess? Tim Tebow? You may be going to the show.) Seriously! He said anyone with even a DUI on their record won’t be welcome.
And I can pretty much stop there. Everything else aside, the biggest reason for the failure of the original XFL was that the actual football was pretty bad. Cutting out anyone with a small infraction in their past will limit the already small pool of players and it just may be enough to tip back over to bad football as opposed to just sub par football. At that point it won’t really matter how righteous you are. People will tune out. (Keeping in mind, that I don’t think we should be rewarding criminals or people with a history of assault with well paying jobs in the sporting world. They shouldn’t be playing in the NFL either, frankly. We’ll see how this one plays out, though.)
I get the feeling it’ll be a glorious disaster, but again. It’s not my money and I’ll tune in to watch.
Back to the matter at hand, Vince also stated that there will be eight teams to start, but did not say where those teams were going to be, nor did he mention any team names. But I know Vince. I’ve been watching his TV programs for nigh on thirty years. So for fun, let’s figure out where the teams may land and guess what they’ll be called.
1. The New Jersey Stone Cold Steve Austins. Ok, so not really. Still, in the last iteration of the XFL we had the NY-NJ Hitmen so there’s precedent for wrestling related names. New York is the biggest football market in the U.S. The XFL will put a team here. Vince ain’t building stadiums, however, and renting MetLife ain’t cheap. But you know what might be? Red Bull Stadium in Harrison, NJ, home of the New York Red Bulls. Jersey doesn’t have much that interests me. Mostly it’s ex girlfriends. Even the NFL teams that play in New Jersey hate New Jersey enough to claim they’re from the next state over. I’m guessing it’ll be the “New York” Whatevers regardless of where they play. And now that I think of it, Vince loves reusing ideas. What the hell. I’m changing my answer to The NY-NJ Hitmen.
2. London Cavalry. I’m mixing it up! I think the XFL goes international right away. London always likes the football games we play over there, and I’m guessing if the English can bring the tenacity of spirit and rioting that they bring to soccer games, the XFL will fit right in. I’m going with a military name with this one. What I don’t know is whether or not the players will have to stand for God Save the Queen, though we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.
3. Boston Massacre. We love our sports up in Boston. And we have a weird love of history and the fact that we started the revolution. We also apparently have like…a million sports teams that took all the good names. (The full contact women’s football league took the Militia AND the Rebellion as names.) Another thing we like up in Massachusetts is various killings and general spookiness. Witches and shit. Well there was nothing mystical about the Massacre, but it’s a fun historical footnote filled with dead bodies and importantly, I can’t find any other teams with that name.
4. Philadelphia Wamble Crop’ds. I really would like to branch out to other markets, but given that there’s only going to be eight teams, I don’t know how feasible it is. Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love is one of the top football markets in the country. It’s also the city where fans will chuck D-cell batteries at rival teams, beer bottles at said rivals busses, and bleed all over everything in a brawl, while tailgating, before the game even starts. This place is perfect for an XFL team. I’m not sold on Wamble Cropd’s, but it’s a word which Ben Franklin used for being drunk on his list of 220 words for being drunk, and it fits the Philly lifestyle.
5. San Antonio Rattlesnakes. (“That’s your second Stone Cold reference Phil.” “Shut up,” Phil replied.) Vince would have his choice of top notch high school and college stadiums to play at in Texas. Some of these stadiums cost upwards of 70 Million bucks. For a high school football team! My cheap ass high school couldn’t even get it together to rent ice time for us. That said, Vinnie Mac won’t need to play at a public high school. San Antonio is a big city which already has a big football stadium. The Alamodome! If they don’t go with Rattlesnakes, scorpions are native to the surrounding area and kind of bad ass, so maybe they go with that? Yeah. I’m changing my answer to the San Antonio Scorpions. Go Scorps!
6. Mexico City Los Muertos. I’m keeping things international with this pick. Mexico City is another big market which has hosted American football games with great success. And there’s a lot of skull imagery you can work with for the logo. Additionally, there are a lot of cool color combinations you could utilize for the uniforms. Much like London, I’m not sure if the teams will stand for the Himno Nacional Mexicano, but I have to assume they will. And why not? The himno is great and includes the lyrics, “War, war! Let the national banners be soaked in waves of blood.” That’s awesome.
7. Chicago Riot. Built in name recognition! Sort of. I was thinking it would be clever to call them the Chicago Fire, but it turns out there already is a Chicago Fire playing soccer. So that’s out. My girlfriend Amanda is from Chicago and suggested the Chicago Seven or the Chicago Riot. The Seven makes no sense as a team name. (“It makes a lot of sense!” she replied.) Now, there USED to be an indoor soccer team called the Riot, but nuts to them. Someone should be using the name and while I KNOW Vince said that he wasn’t going to go eXtreme with things, this might work fine.
8. Kansas City Tornadoes. Now hear me out. I know we don’t really have any west coast teams, but I don’t think the west coast needs or cares about an XFL team. California has like…20 pro sports teams. Plus, who needs a bunch of west coast liberals in the XFL? Nobody, that’s who. Meanwhile, Kansas already has a football stadium and a built-in market, not to mention that there’s nothing else to do there. I’ve spent time in Kansas City. It’s beautiful, but outside of the city limits it’s a whole lot of nothing. I think that people will flock in and get swept up by the massive winds of the Tornado!
So there you have it. Phil’s stone cold lock picks for the XFL teams and cities. You can take these to Vegas or the bank! Either way, you’ll have a healthy ROI. (Except for the Philly team name.) Go XFL!