Arts & Entertainment

SPORT REPORT: Seattle Dragons capture first win of the new XFL season

In Jan. 2018 it was announced that the Xtreme Football League was going to be revived and begin a ten game season in the winter of 2020. 17 years after the original disaster of the league — that is viewed as one of the biggest disappointments in sports history — league officials believe they are much more prepared for success this time around. With new rules that were made to differentiate themselves from the National Football League, the XFL league will hopefully be kept around longer than one season. 

The new rules that were implemented before the season began made the game refreshing and fun to watch compared to a traditional game of football. The two biggest changes were the kickoff and the point after touchdown attempts. Usually kickoff teams will line up on opposite sides of the field and run the full length in order to stop the receiving team. Contrastingly, the XFL teams line up five yards apart from each other and play does not begin until the return man catches the kick. Not only does this make kickoffs more exciting, but this also eliminates the possibility of head injuries from players running full speed at each other down the length of the field.

One thing all football fans can agree on is that one of the most boring plays in the game is the extra point. To combat this the XFL gives the scoring team three options to choose from for points after touchdown attempts. They can set the ball in three different locations and the amount of points they receive is dependent on the spot they choose. The two yard line is one point, five yards is two points, and ten yards is three. Presenting the teams with three choices gives coaches more to consider when making a game plan and provides a variety of scores different than those in the NFL.

The Ledger was able to attend an XFL game last weekend and, for the most part, found the experience to be enjoyable. The Seattle fan base came out in full force to support the Dragons and filled the lower bowl of CenturyLink Field. Even though the top section of the stadium was closed, the atmosphere during the match felt as if it were a Seahawks game. 

Losing their first game of the season to the DC Defenders a week prior, the Dragons had a lot to prove heading into their first home game. The offense is led by quarterback Brandon Silvers — who attended Troy University and has professional experience in both the NFL and Alliance of American Football. Silvers and the rest of the offense struggled for most of the game. Down 3–0 in the third quarter, Silvers threw an interception that Tampa Bay took all the way back for a touchdown. Now losing 9–0, the Dragons desperately needed to recover. Silvers would then find Keenan Reynolds for a 60 yard touchdown which gave the Dragons a much needed boost. 

This boost was the start of 17 unanswered points for the Dragons — who would end up cruising to a 17–9 victory over Tampa Bay — and improved their record to 1–1 with eight games left in the season. 

I see the XFL as a success thus far. Seattle was able to pack the stadium and the teams responded well to it. It will be interesting to see whether the later games will have the same attendance —  which is what will make or break the league for better or worse. With tickets starting under $30, I would recommend any football fan to go check out a future Dragons game.


Sunday, March 15 vs LA Wildcats

Sunday, March 22 vs New York Guardians