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TheOldRoman last won the day on January 27 2016

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  1. The XFL may be making a comeback

    They're taking money, but it's on a micro level. We assume there will be teams in big markets like Chicago, LA and New York. And those cities are big enough that it should be no issue at all to draw 35,000+ five times a year if the product is respectable. There are enough people in those cities that it shouldn't be a problem of discretionary income being split too many ways. The other places they'll put teams are cities which don't have pro franchises, and I would guess most of those aren't already supporting top level college teams. The ticket prices will obviously be a fraction of NFL prices, and they won't have the issue teams like the Jaguars have of needing corporate sponsorship in the form of shelling out over $100,000 a year for luxury boxes, because nobody's paying that to the XFL for a really long time. Most of us don't go to NFL games, and the only money we give to the NFL is through advertising revenue generated by us watching. Ratings will obviously be a fraction of what the NFL pulls, but so will payroll, so the threshold is much lower. If they can get a decent TV contract, they have a puncher's chance of surviving. Like I said, I believe a lot of this hinges on ESPN. There's a good chance they will be dropping their NFL package in 2020, along with possibly NCAA football and NBA eventually. They don't have the subscriber base anymore to pay these astronomical deals to top leagues. So maybe they pick up the XFL dirt cheap to fill time in the spring and give it another pro league to justify it being the "worldwide leader." Put on the XFL and hype it up with even a quarter of the blowjobbing they give to the NFL, If that happens, I think ESPN is plenty powerful enough to get people to care about the product. The XFL is already decently high profile based on the notoriety and infamy which comes with McMahon. Everybody knew about the previous XFL and its failure. I'd guess fewer than 5% of NFL fans have even heard of the UFL. I wouldn't have if one of my high school teammates wasn't playing in it. So obviously, ESPN's interest in buying in/building up a league like that would have been much lower. It's a lot easier for them to make headway with a league like that than the UFL. Also, if Vince is this driven to atone for his past failures, maybe he can draw in ESPN as an investor and give them part of the league. But of course, they have to take the league seriously this time around and put out a decent product.
  2. The XFL may be making a comeback

    But the difference here is, they don't have to steal a percent of the market away from NFL (or NCAA) teams. They can theoretically have 100% overlap in fanbases for big market teams. There are certainly fans who stopped following the NFL who may enthusiastically view the XFL as a replacement, but in order to succeed, the league has to pull primarily from people who still follow the NFL. Also, the XFL would be operating at a much lower budget than the NFL with a much lower bar for being profitable. I personally wouldn't invest any money in this league or bet on its success, but if they know their role and treat it like a sport instead of wrestling, I believe it could succeed.
  3. The XFL may be making a comeback

    I think the XFL has a slight opening here, for issues mentioned previously. NFL viewership is down significantly. And cord-cutting isn't to blame, because only MNF and a few weeks of TNF are on cable. The NFL is still a juggernaut which far outpaces anything else in ratings, but it has lost (I believe) 10-15% of its viewers over the last two years. People are sick of the Patriots cheating and winning. People are sick of the arbitrary rules and blown calls. That's not to say that they'll never come back to the NFL, but right now, they are fed up. So that's a slight opening for the XFL. Offer a football alternative which fixes the issues people have problem with, and maybe they'll give it a chance. If the product is decent and it gets good exposure, maybe other football or casual sports fans will buy in. And this brings me to the biggest deciding factor - the TV deal. Last time around, they had a Saturday night spot on NBC (great!), but the other games were on crap channels. Who would take them now? NBC-CBS-Fox have the NFL, and ABC doesn't want it anymore. Sunday afternoons are not big for TV outside of NFL football, and those networks would probably rather show reruns or movies than paying decent money for a new football product in the Spring. Which brings me to the dark horse - ESPN. As it's widely reported, ESPN is in a world of trouble now due to massive revenue losses from cord cutting, along with insane contracts it gave out to sports leagues (not anticipating the subscribers falling heavily). So there's a really good chance ESPN will let go of the NFL when the MNF contract expires in 2021. Even with revenues and subscribers falling rapidly, it's still an institution with a lot of power in the sports world. So maybe in anticipation of letting major sports leagues go (and to justify their existence if they lose the NFL and maybe NBA and NCAA football), maybe they take on the XFL on a deal that reimburses Vince based heavily on viewership. That could be huge. ESPN has basically been a 24/7/365 NFL infomercial the last 20 years, and that's a huge part of making the NFL what it has become. The XFL isn't going to be anything close to the NFL in terms of talent or social impact, but if ESPN hypes the hell out of it, talks about it on every SportsCenter, and tells people they should care about it, they might make the league succeed.
  4. The XFL may be making a comeback

    Here's my line of thinking - the XFL was a joke. It became a punchline. It's up there with New Coke as an "insert awful failed product" that people still recall several years later. I think having the XFL exist as a profitable league, even if it's explicitly a minor league, washes that away. I mean, would it be less impressive if his obit were to read "in addition to the WWE, he owned a regional chain of fast foot restaurants and 25 dry cleaners?" Would people say he failed because his fast food chain didn't take on McDonald's? Would he have failed at the dry cleaning business because he only had 25 locations and didn't take it nationally? No. I think those would just be additional feathers in his cap. I understand what you're saying about Vince, and you're not wrong about his personality. But he's built an entertainment juggernaut almost entirely on his own. Outside of becoming president or being outed as another Harvey Weinstein, nothing he does will overshadow that as his legacy. He knows that. He's a wrestling guy. But if he can be a wrestling tycoon who started a mildly successful football league, that would replace him being a wrestling tycoon who started a bombastic failure of a football league.
  5. The XFL may be making a comeback

    Him taking on the territories is totally different than him taking on the NFL. The territories were... territories, and he was the first company to establish a national footprint. Him taking on the NFL would be more like 5 or so year ago when TNA decided it was going to take on WWE, which lasted all of a few months. Also, the NFL is the most powerful sports league in America and the most powerful entertainment company outside of Disney. That's way different than taking on mom-and-pop wrestling companies. Furthermore, I don't remember necessarily that the XFL "took on" the NFL last time. They played in the Spring. They had a lot of bluster about being a different brand, tougher than the NFL, more fun, etc. But there was no reason Bears fans couldn't have been fans of the Enforcers. I was in high school at the time, and most of my friends didn't follow wrestling. We were all excited for the league and watched at the start of the season. The problem was the league was not run as a legitimate league, but as a combination of WWF and the NFL Blitz video games. They had kayfabe heel announcers! Nobody other than wrestling fans could take it seriously, so nearly everybody tuned out shortly thereafter. I think their problem last time was buying too much into the Attitude Era of wrestling and not that they tried to take on the NFL. Had the league been a wild success, maybe Vince would have moved the games to the fall five or so years later, but we'll never know. Like I said, if it takes a decade to go toe-to-toe with the NFL, Vince would be 85 at that time. I don't think he needs to beat the NFL here to prove that he's a success. I think he just needs to prove that he can form his own league and have it make money. If his goal is to take on the NFL, he's going to fail within his own lifetime. But if he "settles" for a league which makes a profit without being the top dog, he can be fine. Plus, unlike Lamar Hunt and the pioneers of the AFL, he would own all the teams. I think it would be a huge notch on his belt if he could pull it off. Will he? I wouldn't bet on it, but it's not out of the realm of possibility if he treats it like a legitimate league and doesn't make the same mistakes as last time.
  6. The XFL may be making a comeback

    I don't know about that. It would take at least 2-3 years for the XFL to get a solid footing. By the friendliest estimates, it would probably be a decade before the league would be in any position to compete with the NFL, and even then it would take a huge amount of good fortune and NFL blunders. Vince is going to be 73 soon. He may be crazy at times, but he's not dumb. As you know, four years ago when the WWE network started, it was considered a failure and Vince supposedly lost half his net worth. People thought he was a senile and had lost it. Within a year, WWEN was in Canada and Europe, and he may have doubled his original wealth. He built the company, then the network. He's done what people said couldn't be done. I believe that the failure of the XFL has eaten away at him since 2001. That's why he's restarting it. He has nothing left to prove outside of succeeding at football. Topping the NFL is a pipedream, but if he can start a Spring league that takes footing and establishes itself as a minor league, eventually getting bought out by the NFL (and getting him back his investment many times over), I think it would be considered a success. Having a successful mid-level pro football league will rewrite the line in his obituary about swinging for the fences and striking out the first time around.
  7. The XFL may be making a comeback

    I'm not saying they should try to steal fans from college football. Their seasons won't overlap, so they don't have to steal fans from college or the NFL. If they get loyalty from CFB fans who don't really care about the NFL, get a casual following among football fans who would watch anything, and distinguish the league as pro talent (obviously lesser) with a different kind of game, they could make it work.
  8. The XFL may be making a comeback

    Possibly, but 1) tNCAA fandom is still a huge market they could make a lot of money on; and 2) it looks like they're going to play in the Spring, so they wouldn't even need to steal the fans away from college football. The fans could follow both at different times of the year. Also, I think there's a sizeable group of people who don't watch college sports because it's not pro talent. If they do things right (which remains to be seen), they can gain a following among people who are fed up with the NFL, get viewership from NFL/NCAA fans who desire even more football/gambling, and maybe establish themselves as a minor league for the NFL a few years down the road. I have to imagine that's their endgame, because they aren't coming close to competing with the NFL for at least a decade barring some kind of catastrophe from Goodell and co.
  9. MLB changes 2018?

    I agree. I don't particularly like the Tigers' home uniforms (or the Yankees' homes). But both are perfect for them and shouldn't have ever been changed. Since the Tigers' home set isn't sacred anymore, then they might as well make it about 1000x better by adding orange outlines to everything.
  10. The XFL may be making a comeback

    The players weren't expressing their constitutional rights. The NFL granted them the right to demonstrate on national TV while wearing their emblem, but the league would be entirely within their rights to fine or fire the players for doing so (as determined by the CBA). As for the rest of your post, the safety is the biggest thing. People might want to see "hard nosed football," but there's not really a way to do that without risking concussions at a much higher rate than the NFL. They can't have scrums for possessions and they can't glorify safeties destroying receivers in this day and age. Some fans would dislike it and the media would rightfully destroy them for it. There's a lot of room to clean up the crap of not knowing what a catch is, not knowing what holding is, replays taking 5 minutes, replays reversing calls when there's no evidence to justify it, and so forth. The officiating is getting worse, and there are more and more games each year that leave you infuriated because they end on some arbitrary rule or a blown call. And we can only watch the Patriots benefit from pro-wrestling style officiating so many times. There's a market for "different than the NFL" which has nothing to do with politics. But I don't know how they could make it safer outside of going with padded leather helmets. Maybe they could focus on offense in an arena-type game. No kick-offs, teams get the ball at the 30, maybe replace the punt and come up with something penalizing teams for not going for it on 4th down (not saying it's a good idea). Come up with something different than anything that's done in high school/NCAA/NFL and brand it as "not your daddy's football." Vince has had 17 years to think this over. I have to imagine things are going to be much more thought-out than the last time around. I don't think it's going to be a live action NFL Blitz.
  11. Cincinnati Reds: Time For A Change?

    Yes. They need to change. The black needs to go from the uniforms, and at very least, they need to lose the black-brimmed cap (which is only seen in the bottom half of innings on the road). Their number/name font is awful and too "olde tyme baseball" like some crappy independent minor league team calling itself the Mudville Nine would wear. They should bring back the 70s-90s font, which is unique despite being a block font.
  12. Jacksonville Jaguars rumored for new uniforms in 2018

    ^Obviously, both of those Bengals looks were good and far superior to the current crap. They need to bring back some combo of the '80s/90s. Numbers on the sleeves. Block numbers with an outline. No leaping tiger, tiger head or awful B logo - you're using freaking tiger stripes all over. Nobody is going to confuse you for the Ravens. I think the striping pattern was better on the '90s set. Undecided if the orange or black socks would work better.
  13. Jacksonville Jaguars rumored for new uniforms in 2018

    Just dropping I to say that the 80's Bengals jerseys were better than the '90s ones. Simpler is better with numbers on the sleeves. The helmets have tiger stripes. The shoulders and pants have tiger stripes. They made the jerseys worse putting a tiger on the sleeves. It's like the old crappy kids' Halloween costumes that had a picture of the character on the chest.
  14. Super Bowl LII Field

    Hopefully the team facing the Patriots isn't worn out by the 4th quarter again, too.
  15. Cleveland Browns re-do in the works for 2020?

    Guys, stop. The B football is one of the worst logos in pro sports. It looks like a half-assed logo Nike designed 15 years ago for Nike-exclusive hats, using parts of the team's identity in a unique but uninspiring way. Like the NE logo with the logo stripes coming off it. Among the reasons it's terrible: It's a B, and it their logo should be a C; The stripes don't extend behind the B (as seen in the loops), but they fill in the triangle on the right side; The football lines curve slightly from the corners, where as the striped lines are a sharp angle. This is inexcusable with these being so close to one another. The stripes should truncate at the same angle as the football. It always drove me nuts; There is much more white space between the football and stripe corners than there is outlining the B. The spacing of white should be the same in both spots; The stripes are of no significance to the Browns. Yes, the current awful uniforms use brown-orange-brown stripes on the pants, and they wore those stripes when they originally messed up the uniforms circa 2003. But that's not the Browns. Their stripes should always be orange-brown-orange. Alternatively, an orange football with B-W-B stripes would have made sense; Seriously, stripes inside a football? It's terrible. A "B" looked bad inside a football surrounded by dead white space, so they crudely threw in the stripes. They're saying "we have to put something in this spot to make this logo interesting. The other oval logos in football fill up the space with letters. But they just had a B, so they had to throw in random crap. A single letter can't fill up a football. It's just bad design. A dog, an elf, or an entirely new logo that isn't a bad attempt at an olde tyme-y football logo would be fine. Just not leave it off the helmets.