The Loop

8 things the XFL's opening weekend taught us about the game of football (and ourselves)

February 10, 2020

After 19 long, cold, dark, XFL-less years, the Xtreme Football League's second-ever inaugural weekend is officially in the books. There were triple-reverses and Instagram model QBs. Bob Stoops prowled the sidelines while guys like this prowled Twitter . . .

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Just like those Spider-Man movies, it was a reboot no one asked for, but when the final whistle blew on Sunday, there was no denying its success. The games were fun! The officials officiated! A few million folks tuned in! So what did we learn about the world's next best football league? What did the world's next best football league teach us about ourselves? We broke down the weekend's weirdest, wildest highlights of Week 1.2 in an attempt to get to the bottom of this new, old thing we call XFL football.

Two headsets are better than one

Shut down opposing offenses and pay your cable bill at the same time. Jer-bear Glanville is TCB.

Hard seltzers are the new Bud Light

Remember when Peyton Manning said he was going to drink some Budweiser following Super Bowl 50? That was 300 years ago.

Greg Olsen is already better at this than Jason Witten

Points docked for not wearing a LEGO man toupee though.


Kickoffs can still be fun

Especially when inspired by Civil War battle reenactments.

Cardale Jones is a low-key legend

Remember the third-string quarterback who led Ohio State to the 2014 National Championship, absolutely destroying Alabama in the process? Well he was getting “MVP” chants midway through his first drive on Saturday. This dude has had one of the weirdest career arcs in professional football and that 30 For 30 is going to be really interesting (and really niche) someday.

Jimmy G is no longer the dreamiest quarterback on earth

That’s Philip Nelson. Philip started at quarterback for the Dallas Renegades this weekend. Your girlfriend is now a fan of the Dallas Renegades.

The commish is Andrew Luck’s dad

Luck to the Roughnecks. You heard it here first.

People will watch football no matter what . . . for fifteen seconds

The XFL’s second-ever very first game, a 31-19 win for the DC Defenders, pulled in a cool 3.3 million viewers. The already defunct AAF attracted 2.9 million eyeballs for its inaugural tip while the original XFL earned an impressive 9.5 Nielsen rating for its opening weekend. The moral of the story? People LOVE football . . . until, suddenly, they don’t.