The XFL has canceled the rest of the 2020 season.
This was news we got Thursday afternoon as I hesitantly held on to my power rankings article, because I thought that if I released it, I would jinx it and they wouldn’t play week 6, but that didn’t matter as they followed suit with the other professional sports leagues. The seasons over and I could barely get a handle on what the league had to offer.
They were only halfway through the season and the league was actually doing well coming into its own, building up competitive teams, as well as an audience. Now that’s not to say that fans were coming in droves to games like in the NFL and NCAA, but they were getting people interested and bring in fans. That is something that builds up over time by continually putting out a quality product. A key point to that though is time, so unfortunately due to this cancellation, they could lose this momentum and find it harder to grasp that casual football audience. I go back and forth on whether or not I’m overreacting, but not finishing the first season is never good, despite it being caused by an external force.
Of course, financial decisions are not the reason the season ended and since they came in with enough money to be around for 3 seasons, that is still entirely possible. However, losing out on revenue for the first season will be devastating, especially considering how many fans they were getting through the first half and assuming the teams stayed on their trajectory and had the final weeks be meaningful playoff push games for most of them. Now they lose that and like a good well-meaning company continues to pay their players. Using just half the base salary (considering they have already played half a season) and considering the XFL had just bumped up roster sizes to 57 for each team and reloaded their Team 9. A rough estimate could suggest that the XFL will pay players over $6.5 million without getting a return of any sort. Now that is just a little over 1% of the $500 million that McMahon expected to put into the league, but it still is notable since it is an investment that won’t get anything back from this season, not saying it’s bad because it is what they should do, but some of these players their paying will not receive this payment next year
Though the season was short, there were definitely some shining stars. Phillip Walker, Cam Phillips, DeVeon Smith, Donald Parham, Tre McBride, and others that excited fans of their teams on Saturdays as well as Sundays may find themselves working only on Sundays (and sometimes Monday and Thursday). Just like the AAF, or even more so, the NFL will likely try to poach some of the talent that they missed the first time from the XFL. This should have been expected as the NFL is still far above the XFL in possibly the most important aspect of professional anything, and that is money. This is mostly thinking of the likes of PJ Walker as he was becoming the face of the league and became THE player to watch. Knowing the NFL though, a team looking for QB help will scoop up Walker and most likely have him fulfill a backup role. This is detrimental because despite the XFL finding a PJ Walker-type guy this season, it doesn’t guarantee they will be able to draft a PJ Walker-type guy for next season.
Those other stars mentioned earlier could have become that face of the league, but like I said they will probably find their way onto an NFL roster in some way shape or form. So they will have to have a new wave of stars take their place, which is what they would have had to do anyway, but with them still needing to build up fan-bases like it’s still the first season, then it is imperative that these new stars are as good or better as the ones this season. This is going to be even harder since they will not have the same amount of reputability that they would have were they allowed to complete the season, but hopefully what they’ve done so far is good enough to attract players.
and get the fans to remember and tune in
and for those who still care to see, my power rankings for Week 6 were going to be:
- Houston Roughnecks (5-0)
- DC Defenders (3-2)
- St. Louis BattleHawks (3-2)
- Los Angeles Wildcats (2-3)
- New York Guardians (3-2)
- Tampa Bay Vipers (1-4)
- Dallas Renegades (2-3)
- Seattle Dragons (1-4)
Co-host and contributor for the Time Skew Podcast.