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WLAF. XFL and the USFL

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Just wondering why people feel these leagues failed?

Quality of play?

Time of year?

or ________ ?

I have read many takes on why these leagues failed, but what is the real reason. Even the NFL has failed in their attempts to bring about a "spring" league..

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I don't know about USFL -- I'm assuming it's because it ran out of money.

I think the XFL failed for a couple of reasons. The first is that Vince McMahon -- for the first couple of weeks -- gave into his worst excesses. The cheerleader thing, he and the Rock screaming in the middle of Las Vegas for the inaugural game, and other over-the-topness made it easy to question the integrity of the league. However, what killed it, was the perpetual lack of respect it got in mainstream media and ESPN. I'm fairly certain that if XFL had debuted on ESPN or ABC, it would have been treated far better on SportsCenter. However, given that it wasn't a Disney product, it was laughed off the air -- completely unfairly in my opinion. ESPN is the bully pulpit for sports; had they wanted the XFL to have a fighting chance, they might have legitimized it a bit more. As it was (and who's the say the NFL wasn't involved?), without ESPN's blessing, it never had a chance.

I always hated that the XFL failed. Sure, it was lower quality than the NFL, but that was the expectation all along. It gave rise to the NFL careers of Rod Smart and Tommy Maddox, and introduced the camera on a cable that we see in modern NFL coverage. The XFL had a lot going for it, but a combination of low ratings exacerbated by terrible press and Vince McMahon hubris sealed its fate.

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It gave rise to the NFL careers of Rod Smart HE HATE ME and Tommy Maddox,

Fixed :D

and introduced the camera on a cable that we see in modern NFL coverage.

It was a great addition to the overall football viewing experience and we should be grateful for that.

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The USFL failed because it tried to directly compete with the NFL by moving to a fall schedule. The reason that it worked for 3 years is because it was football when there was no football.

I'm not even going to touch the XFL topic, as there was a crap load of things wrong with that league.

The WLAF was nothing more than a minor league of the NFL that went away for 2 years because the NFL owners didn't want their backups injured during the season. The league was basically run by the NFl, and it turned into a full fledged minor league when it became NFL Europe (or europa).

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The USFL was a failure because they strayed away from their business plan. They started overspending trying to lure NFL talent to their rosters. A few stars here and there would have been OK, but they didn't have the finances to compete on the scale they did with the NFL.

The WLAF failed because it was marketed as a minor league from the start. Outdoor football in spring is a tough sell. There are better things to do than watch a second-rate product.

The XFL had to compete against indoor football and NFL Europe for talent, but the worst thing about it was Vince McMahon. McMahon's association with pro wrestling diminishes his credibility. To bring the circus-like antics similar to wrestling to a legitimate sport instantly turns people off. He would have been better off investing in the league, but have football people run the show. They needed to act like a pro league to earn respect, and it just wasn't in the cards.

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I always hated that the XFL failed. Sure, it was lower quality than the NFL, but that was the expectation all along. It gave rise to the NFL careers of Rod Smart and Tommy Maddox, and introduced the camera on a cable that we see in modern NFL coverage. The XFL had a lot going for it, but a combination of low ratings exacerbated by terrible press and Vince McMahon hubris sealed its fate.

The "skycam" was around before that but I don't recall if it was in use in any major sports. The XFL may have been the first to use it extensively but they didn't invent the idea or anything.

As a league the XFL suffered from being "half-pregnant." I think WWF fans expected it to be more like wrestling and football fans figured it was going to be too much like wrestling. The XFL was doomed from the start because no one was going to take seriously a league run by Vince McMahon.

The USFL had the TV deals it needed to survive. What it didn't have was the money. Then they committed suicide by moving to the fall. The WLAF in it's many incarnations didn't work because it was based in Europe which was the equivalent of MLS over here; a sport no one cares about competing with sports people are interested in.

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The XFl overestimated its fan interest. It wasn't strictly a spring football league. It was a late winter league. It started in February.

Do fans really want to venture out in the dead of winter in the harshest of conditions to see outdoor football? In cities like New York and Chicago, it was too much to expect a big crowd that time of year to watch glorified minor-league football.

Rules were changed mid-season. Bump-and-run coverage was added and two and three-point conversions were allowed. There might have been more rule changes as well. It's tough to keep credibility if rules are changed on-the-fly like that.

But there was too much emphasis on the WWE ownership in the league. WWE announcers were used for play-by-play. I remember one game where the announcer (might have been Dick Butkus) actually went over the PA system berating the visiting coach for making a bonehead move. Very hard to take a league seriously that allows biased criticism from the commentators to the game personnel while the game is going on.

Could the concept have worked? Sure. If it accepted itself as a minor league, or even a feeder league to the NFL, and moved down the calendar to warmer months, I think there definitely could have been a place for it.

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Which one had helmet-cam? Europe or XFL?

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I think part of the problem with the XFL, was that people were expecting The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin (and other pro wrestlers) to suit up and play. When they saw it was a bunch of scrubs instead, people stopped watching.

For the USFL, they screwed up when they wanted to go directly against the NFL. They wanted to switch from spring to fall, then sue the NFL. They won their case against the NFL, but didn't recieve the money they wanted/needed. They became bankrupt and ceased operations.

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When your "coinflip" is a one-on-one sprint to the 50 to get the ball, do you honestly think they would play more than one season?

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I remember one game where the announcer (might have been Dick Butkus) actually went over the PA system berating the visiting coach for making a bonehead move.

It was Jesse "The Body" Ventura that did that.

Which one had helmet-cam? Europe or XFL?

World League of American Football did that.

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So now that NFLE is gone, is the NFL gonna do something again here in the states?

Sort of. There's a new football league starting up called the All-American Football League during the spring. Currently, the only work they're doing with the NFL is with the referee's, but they are suspecting it becomes another NFL Europe type thing.

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USFL failed because they attempted to play the league in the fall.

I'm not sure why the WLAF flopped in the U.S. (yet became a succes in Europe, where it became NFL Europe, and later NFL Europa, until it folded earlier this year) but I know one thing about why the XFL kicked the bucket... NO ONE WAS WATCHING THE XFL!!!

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I'll tell you why the XFL failed. You ever seen the movie Idiocracy? That league was made for those people.

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They may have failed but they left some interesting logos behind. :blink:

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So now that NFLE is gone, is the NFL gonna do something again here in the states?

Sort of. There's a new football league starting up called the All-American Football League during the spring. Currently, the only work they're doing with the NFL is with the referee's, but they are suspecting it becomes another NFL Europe type thing.

The AAFL looks like they are selling themselves as college football 2.0 and trying for die-hard college football fans instead of trying to compete with the NFL. That angle may work for them.

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