This is the _FL. I checked out the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary on the XFL, and it was motivated by a few different interests. I watched the opener back on 2001, and tried watching the second week, but as was referenced, no game meant surfing the television for something else or getting some shut-eye.
I gave the XFL a chance. I even tuned in for the Million Dollar Game, the league’s finale and final game.
Since that time, we’ve had the UFL, too. Arena football caught fire, and was nearly extinguished. I’ve even dabbled with watching CFL football, too, although that’s vastly different.
Having an alternate or a supplement for the NFL is what these various leagues have done over the years. I was too young to recall the original USFL, and vaguely remember having a shirt of the Michigan Panthers – the last 11-player American professional football championship from my home state. The only thing I know about the World League was through the cards that were part of the NFL Pro Set back in 1991.
As was stated in the documentary, the XFL had hype. A ton of hype. I was a pro wrestling fan then, as the so-called Monday Night Wars waged on. By then, most of those fans were firmly with the then-WWF.
As I said before, I tuned into the UFL games. I was intrigued by just seeing football, perhaps played differently than what the NFL was then, and it has become now. Although its games were in the fall, they fell at times when I may not have been interested in the college game. But that league eventually folded.
I read years ago about a new USFL, but nothing came to fruition. And I never got a chance to see the FXFL.
I’d like to see a minor league for football start up. Exactly how and when would be up for debate. The professional playing life of a football player is short, especially at running back and those of the returners. The lifelong costs of helping a football player are likely substantial, much more than what maybe a minor league could really afford. Plus, with the way college is going, I have doubts a minor league will really come into existence.
Event games. I often watch MLB Network during the day, and a segment on MLB Now struck a chord. One of the hosts, Brian Kenny, proposed bringing back the Hall of Fame Game from Doubleday Field in Cooperstown, N.Y. Some of the ideas tossed around were to have it near the All-Star Game, perhaps the Thursday after the game. Or, the Hall of Fame ceremonies in August could have the game. In both instances, the only game that day would be the Hall of Fame Game.
I’m for it, but here’s my modifiers. Make it June 12. The day the first hall class was inducted was on June 12, 1939. Make the Hall of Fame Game that day. The idea of having the Hall of Fame Game during the All-Star break or a day set aside with the Hall of Fame induction is great. If June 12 is out of the question, go with that Thursday after the All-Star Game.
Plus, let’s make it two games, but the second game could be Civil Rights Game, to be played solely at Birmingham, Ala., at Rickwood Field. If Hamtramck Stadium in Hamtramck, Mich., were to be restored and ready to host an MLB game, that’s another site. Why those two? Those are two of the last three surviving Negro League stadiums left standing. Rickwood appears to be in fine condition. Hamtramck Stadium needs a lot of help, but perhaps not as much as the third of those surviving stadiums, Hinchcliffe Stadium in New Jersey. Going to these venues, and allowing for current players and fans to feel the history around them while the game ensues.
The point of the exercise was for the current players and fans to reconnect and even touch the history of the game. What better way is there than to combine these two outstanding events on one day of baseball?