XFL Using Lessons Learned From League Failures to Aid Its Success

The reboot of Vince McMahon's league is less than nine months away from kicking off

A view of the XFL's SkyCam. (Stephen Dunn /Allsport)
A view of the XFL's SkyCam. (Stephen Dunn /Allsport)
By Evan Bleier / May 10, 2019 11:03 am

Kicking off on February 8, 2020, the Vince McMahon-backed XFL will attempt to avoid the pitfalls that have claimed other spring football leagues that have come before it, most recently the AAF.

Speaking to The Associated Press, XFL Commissioner Oliver Luck said a huge way in which the XFL will differentiate itself from the AAF is by putting a priority on having talented quarterbacks — any paying them more accordingly.

“When I looked at their strategy of paying everybody the same they underpaid at the top of their roster and overpaid at the bottom quite honestly,” he said. “They had mediocre, I would say pedestrian quarterbacks at best and part of it was not willing to put more on the table. There are very good, young quarterbacks available. We can do a more selective job at the top of our roster and get better players.”

The league, which will also have kickoffs unlike the AAF, will have teams in St. Louis, Los Angeles, New York, Dallas, Houston, Seattle, Tampa Bay and Washington.

One quarterback-related route the XFL has reportedly been considering in order to ensure its popularity is recruiting Tim Tebow away from baseball to play quarterback in the reincarnated startup league.

When he bumped into Tebow at the Clemson-Alabama NCAA national championship game, Luck “informally gauged” the former Heisman winner’s interest in playing football again. At the time, Tebow — who is really scuffling at Triple-A in the minors for the Mets — made it clear he’s still committed to baseball.

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