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Posted by on Jan 28, 2018 in Blog, Essays | 7 comments

The Worst Idea in Sports History



Seriously — has there ever been a worse idea?

I just read carnival barker and ham-hocked huckster Vince McMahon announced that he intends to bring back the XFL.

He hate me.


For those who took enough time to blink back in 2001 and missed the XFL’s short-lived, disastrous spring season which was wildly entertaining for all the wrong reasons, the McMahon-NBC mutant was an abomination.  It was a twisted hybrid between something labeling itself as “football,” blended with staged-fake wrestling, with a dash of The Jerry Springer Show.  It was a shaken and stirred shit stain.  Fortunately, McMahon’s XFL suffered a well-deserved humiliation and lasted about as long as a bad case of the chicken pox.

We thought the nightmare was over.  But — no.

When I read the XFL plans to relaunch in 2020, I thought this had to be a joke.

This is like the Ford Motor Company bringing back the 1958 Edsel.  It’s the roll out of New Coke again.  It’s like investing in Sony BetaMax machines.  It’s remaking the box office disaster that was Ishtar.  It’s the worst idea in the history of sports.

Some people have more money than brains.  Some people never learn.

Fact:  No one wants to watch this clown’s bullshit football league.  Even those who are temporarily pissed at the NFL right now (dwindling numbers by the way, that by next season can probably fit inside a telephone booth) will not become fans of new football teams based cities with bad airports filled with rejects who can’t make it either in the Canadian Football League (CFL) or even get signed to the practice squads of real pro football teams.  It’s a goddamned sandlot league.  Like the Pottstown Firebirds.

Whether we like it or not, despite its awful rules and terrible owners, and in spite of the major television networks milking the public’s patience with way too many commercials and talking heads, the NFL remains the 800-pound Godzilla of American sports.  Other than the American Football League (AFL) so brillilantly created and managed by Dallas’ Lamar Hunt, which merged with the NFL in 1970, every attempt since then to tap into America’s love affair with football has been a total disaster:

—– [1974-1975] Ever heard of the World Football League (WFL)?  Remember the Hawaii Rainbows and the Shreveport Steamer?  This league signed lots of NFL stars, then ran out of money.  Then, the broke NFL players had to crawl back to the real football league.  Most were never the same again.  Calvin Hill, Larry Czonka, Paul Warfield, John Gilliam, and so many others who jumped leagues never did much after they left their iconic teams in the NFL.

—– [1983-1985] Remember this bomb of a sports league killed off by someone who’s now famous?  The United States Football League (USFL) was ruined when New Jersey Generals owner Donald Trump took over control in the second year and switched games to the Fall to go up directly against the NFL.  Some businessman.  He got slaughtered and bankrupted the entire league.  Here’s a short walk down memory lane:

—– [2009-2012] The short-lived United Football League (UFL), which at one point in 2011 had FOUR teams, lasted just three, mostly invisible years. It even had a team based in Las Vegas called the Outlaws.  I watched one of the UFL games on television with like 2,220 people in the stands.  It looked like a high school game, without the bands.  It was morbidly fascinating to watch.

—– [2001] The XFL was a laughingstock.  They lost billions.  Remember “He Hate Me?”  Cringeworthy.  In their second nationally-televised game from the Los Angeles Coliseum, the live feed went black.  NBC went to a test pattern nationwide because of a local power failure. Apparently, a generator truck supplying the power for the entire broadcast parked outside the stadium powered down and wouldn’t restart because someone working at the XFL FORGOT TO PUT GAS IN THE TANK.  True story.  Here’s a short trailer of this mess of a football league:


Now, the same huckster who ran the XFL into the ground the first time is back for more punishment.  On second thought — perhaps this WILL BE fun to watch……fun to watch as in like a dumpster fire.  The saddest thing is — lots of D-grade players will view the XFL as a real opportunity and will jump on this tinker-toy train running off a cliff, and likely be hurt.

Listen, no one wants to watch a bunch of nobodies wearing weird-colored uniforms playing football in third-rate stadiums in the middle of June.

The XFL is fucking garbage.

It’s the worst idea in the history of sports.


  1. Too many innacurices to count. Why the venom? Let Vince spend his billions anyway he wants. Worst idea in sports? Think not. Negro baseball leagues come to mind not to mention Lions vs. Christians. You know old white guys have it rough enough lately Stop yelling at clouds and maybe take an online course

  2. I won’t watch XFL unless Vince’s buddy Don the Con quits his current gig to be a team owner and and all teams stay in Trump-branded hotels…

    … I’m kidding. I’ll never be interested.

  3. This is certainly one of the worst ideas in the history of sports, but just because I’m on hyperbole patrol today, I feel the need to point out that in order for it to be the very worst idea in the history of sports, it has to be worse than all of the following (the formatting will undoubtedly be mangled by the site software):

    (1) The color barrier.
    (2) Disco Demolition night.
    (3) Banning the slam dunk in college basketball.
    (4) The Chicago White Sox wearing shorts.
    (5) Permanent Seat Licenses.
    (6) San Antonio’s indoor fireworks.
    (7) Jerry Glanville, NFL commentator.
    (8) Gus Frerotte head butting a wall.
    (9) Trading Babe Ruth.
    (10) Everything the Cleveland Browns have done in the last decade.

    So, just checking: the XFL come back is worse then *every* item on this list? I don’t think I can go there. It definitely belongs *on* the list, though. The upside: It will be something else to bet on.

    • Hey, the formatting worked okay! But, I forgot a key one:

      (11) The teaser wheel.

      My apologies for the obvious omission.

    • disco demolition night should replace Christmas

  4. OK, just a few things:

    1) I loved “He Hate Me”!!! (He ended up playing in the NFL for the Eagles one season and Carolina for four more.)

    2) I loved the XFL’s opening possession rule. A player from each team would line up on different sides of the field 20 yards from a ball placed at midfield – at the whistle the players would take off and whichever player gained possession of the ball earned the ball for their team. Loved the idea that opening possession was determined by football skills rather than a coin toss.

    3) If the very first game the XFL televised had not been a boring 19-0 shutout, the league might have been more successful. A lot of viewers (this one included) instantly lost interest.

    4) I do not expect this iteration to be any more successful than the first. They seem to be keenly focused on attracting a politically conservative audience. That is certainly a new strategy, and maybe it will work, but I doubt it.

    • Disrespect to “He Hate Me” really bothered me so props to you for setting the record str8

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