For the football fans who feel that the offseason lasts too long, that feeling will soon be gone. Starting next winter, the new Xtreme Football League begins its second inaugural season. The league was originally started in 2001, however only lasted one season due to multiple issues — including a large amount of money lost.
Eighteen years later, the league is months away from rebooting, giving football fans everywhere something to watch while the NFL is in its offseason. Seattle was one of the few lucky cities to be given one of the eight new teams.
The team will play their home games at CenturyLink Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks. Since the games will be played in February and March, there will be no conflict with the Seahawks season and other NFL games. This is an open market that the creators of the league wanted to utilize and add different elements to the game that the NFL may be lacking.
“We will present a shorter, faster-paced, family friendly and easier to understand game,” XFL owner Vince McMahon said in a news conference. “Don’t get me wrong, it’s still football, but it’s professional football re-imagined.”
On August 21, it was revealed that this new Seattle football franchise would be named the Seattle Dragons. Why the Dragons? Team president Ryan Gustafson explained the reasoning in a press conference following the reveal.
“We wanted something that was unique but also something that was part of an entire brand representing the community of Seattle,” said Gustafson. “You can see with the imagery of the water, the city, the weather and just the fierceness of the character — that was something we felt was very representative of Seattle and we’re really excited about it.”
The owners and presidents of the league have made it a goal to make sure this league lasts longer than a year like it did in 2001, or like many other leagues have failed to do. The AAF recently ran in the Spring, but did not last a full season. The XFL is hoping it can be the first successful football league to operate during the NFL offseason.
One of the reasons why some of these leagues have not lasted long is that they were too gimmicky. There were too many things that had nothing to do with the game and felt simply out of place. Although management wanted the gimmicks out, they still wanted to create something new and fresh for fans all over the country to watch, but made sure that everyone knew this league is not trying to be a direct competitor of the NFL.
“The start of this league has nothing to do with the NFL’s troubles,” McMahon said. “What has happened there is their business, and I’m not going to knock those guys, but I am going to learn from their mistakes as anyone would if they were tasked with reimagining a new football league.”
We are only four months from the beginning of the season so be on the lookout for tickets being sold. The league will have an eight team, ten game schedule, with four teams eventually making the playoffs. If you need your football fix year round, go support your Seattle Dragons!