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Unread 2017-12-22, 09:53 AM   #1
JDLM
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Default Return of the XFL?

The WWE chairman may have taken the next step in his rumored quest to bring the XFL back to life

Vince McMahon holding a press conference regarding the XFL in 2001. Getty Images If the XFL isn't coming back, Vince McMahon is doing a poor job of convincing the world that's true.
Less than a week after a WWE spokesman issued a statement to Deadspin that left the door open for the return of the defunct professional football league, McMahon and his new, self-funded Alpha Entertainment venture have taken over filings for five different trademarks of "XFL," ESPN's Darren Rovell reported Thursday.
The filings were originally made by the WWE months ago, as Rovell later clarified, but "the records say they did it" on Dec. 16 and the trademark requests have since been relinquished to McMahon and Alpha Entertainment, which WWE previously told Deadspin is an unrelated entity meant "to explore investment opportunities across the sports and entertainment landscapes, including professional football."
A follow-up report by Rovell on ESPN.com said McMahon is also fresh off a sale of 3.34 million WWE shares (or about $100 million worth) to help fund his Alpha Entertainment company amid his pursuit of a new XFL.


The trademarks, which were "abandoned" between 2002 and 2005, also cover merchandise related to a potential league. And they aren't the only ones being used to try to identify a professional football league under Alpha, as McMahon and Co. are also seeking the rights to "URFL," per Rovell.
McMahon himself has yet to address rumors of an XFL comeback, but Brad Shepard had already reported earlier on the day of WWE's statement that McMahon might have an official announcement on a revived XFL as soon as Jan. 25, 2018.
As CBS Sports' Adam Silverstein previously noted, "the original incarnation of the XFL was a joint venture between WWE (then-WWF) and NBC with McMahon and former NBC executive Dick Ebersol spearheading the project." Dubbed an outdoor pro football league with eight teams, added physicality and an infusion of WWE personality, it ceased operations in 2001, the same year it hosted its inaugural season.
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Unread 2018-01-25, 01:02 PM   #2
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This is the XFL, again: Controversial football league set to return in 2020

Nearly two decades after it flamed out, the XFL will be returning to a playing field near you




The XFL is back, 19 years after it was originally announced in 1999. Getty Images As if 2017 was not crazy enough, 2018 has fired its opening salvo as the return of the XFL, a controversial football league originally founded by Vince McMahon in 1999, will be officially announced on Thursday, sources close to the situation confirm to CBS Sports.
While the return of the XFL will be made official Thursday, CBS Sports has also learned that the league is not expected to start up again until 2020. McMahon, who rushed the original XFL into existence without so much as a full slate of offseason practices to prepare for the league's inaugural year, has apparently learned his lesson from one of the XFL's biggest initial mistakes.
An announcement has been set for 3 p.m. ET.
There had been unsubstantiated talk about the XFL making a return late in 2017, but Brad Shepard first reported in mid-December that McMahon, WWE's chairman, was planning to make such an announcement on Jan. 25. That day has indeed arrived.


WWE clarified at that time of the initial reports that it was not going back into the football business but McMahon will rather be doing so on his own. McMahon has created Alpha Entertainment separate from WWE and recently sold 3.34 million shares of WWE stock (about $100 million worth) in order to help fund the company. Alpha Entertainment has also since acquired five XFL trademarks that WWE abandoned between 2002 and 2005.
"Vince McMahon has established and is personally funding a separate entity from WWE, Alpha Entertainment, to explore investment opportunities across the sports and entertainment landscapes, including professional football. Mr. McMahon has nothing further to announce at this time," WWE said in a statement back on Dec. 16, 2017.
Back to the topic at hand. The original incarnation of the XFL was a joint venture between WWE (then-WWF) and NBC with McMahon and former NBC executive Dick Ebersol spearheading the project. ESPN produced a fantastic "30 for 30" documentary on the successes and failures of the XFL that is a must-watch for any sports fan, but the long and short of it is that the league attempted to do too much -- too extreme -- too fast. NBC got uncomfortable, and once it pulled its support, McMahon's baby was dead in the water. (Ironically enough, the end of the doc features McMahon and Ebersol musing about whether the XFL would work today and lessons learned from the venture.)
I've long maintained that the XFL has actually received too much grief from those looking back on its failures years later. It had some ratings successes, the football improved drastically as the season went on (it was rushed into existence and teams did not get an opportunity to truly practice ahead of the season), and some of the game's innovations (sky cam) still used to this day were adopted by the NFL and other networks. The XFL failed in large part due to a confluence of misfortunes including technical difficulties, miscast announcers, changing the rules during the season, and McMahon's decision to go to the extreme by bringing adult themes into the game -- such as overtly sexualizing the cheerleaders.


The XFL of old will be tough for any network to stomach in 2018 and beyond. Aside from the concept surrounding the cheerleaders, the XFL placed a heavy emphasis on old-school, no-holds-barred football. Considering CTE concerns and increasing attention to other health risks players face, that's an obvious issue to centering a league around such an extreme brand of football. Back in the day, the XFL even trashed the opening coin toss for the "opening scramble," which featured players running and diving for a football at midfield. One player famously separated his shoulder on the first scramble of the season and missed the rest of the year.
What one has to expect here is a somewhat toned-down version of the XFL more akin to the NFL and college football but with enough unique elements that will set it apart from the pack. It will be instrumental for McMahon to find a broadcast partner from the get go, and it will be interesting to see if he went straight for a popular streaming service considering the success he's had with the WWE Network.
CBS Sports will update this breaking news story with additional information once McMahon holds his media call Thursday afternoon.
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Unread 2018-01-25, 03:54 PM   #3
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Unread 2018-06-05, 10:54 AM   #4
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Oliver Luck named commissioner and CEO of XFL


Oliver Luck will become the first commissioner and chief executive officer of the XFL, it was announced Tuesday.
"The XFL will be a labor of love as I get to combine my experiences as a player and executive," Luck told ESPN in an email. "I'm thrilled to have this unique opportunity to reimagine the game that has been a constant in my life for 40 years."

Luck will leave his leadership role at the NCAA, where he oversaw the organization's regulatory functions, including eligibility requirements and academic affairs, and the eligibility center.

He will relocate from Indianapolis, where his son Andrew Luck is the quarterback for the Colts, to the XFL's headquarters in Connecticut as he prepares for the league's launch in 2020.

"Oliver and I share the same vision and passion for reimagining the game of football," XFL founder and chairman Vince McMahon said in a statement. "His experience as both an athlete and executive will ensure the long-term success of the XFL."

Luck previously served as the president of NFL Europe and as the chief executive officer of the Houston Sports Authority, which helped bring the Texans to Houston as an NFL expansion team in 2002.

He also played quarterback for the Houston Oilers and at West Virginia University, where he was inducted into the Mountaineers' Hall of Fame and later spent four years as athletic director. He also served on the College Football Playoff selection committee in 2014.
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