THHHHHHHIIIIIIISSSSSS IS NOT THE XFL of old!
As a football (and wrestling fan), I was incredibly excited when Vince McMahon announced the revival of the XFL on January 25th, 2018. I remember slipping out of my senior year theology class with a pair of headphones to watch while I was taking a shit. At the time, McMahon was clearly trying to capitalize on the disdain Middle-America had towards the NFL at the time with the National Anthem nonsense. With the AAF coming as well, I was honestly amazed that McMahon had decided to liquidate an insane amount of his WWE stock to make this happen. Even more amazed that they decided to to wait over two years to plan the league out and launch in 2020. As a wrestling fan, I'm anticipating Vince giving more control to Triple H, and that's what's best for business.
Growing up, the XFL was like a mysterious creature to me, akin to Bigfoot. I'd watched the clips, heard the stories and enjoyed the 30 for 30, but I always thought what could've been. My dad was a fan, attended a few Chicago Enforcers game and even has the original black and red XFL football in the box almost 20 years later. I'd be lying if I wasn't genuinely excited about the revival.
On my old blog, I made my predictions for the franchise locations, and I wasn't even remotely close:
I think you target big cities without an NFL team, or an NFL city where the team has a dwindling fanbase a la Cincinnati. So for the 8 cities, I think you go Chicago (Enforcers were popular here back in '01), San Antonio (untapped market), Cleveland or Cincinnati (I can't see both), Las Vegas considering in the hype video they likened the league to a roulette table, somewhere in the Deep South such as Alabama to play into the league's favor (potentially Birmingham, since it would be a reunion and there is a stadium), St. Louis since there are no longer the Rams (plus, St. Louis is a great wrestling town, so Vince has fans there), another reunion in Orlando and then rounding off with maybe an Oklahoma City.
Whatever. But when the league announced the franchise locations, I was immediately drawn to St. Louis and Tampa Bay. St. Louis because of proximity, but then I realized it's St. Louis and it's one of the most repulsive cities in the entire country. I was sold on Tampa Bay for AWHILE, I thought of the potential trips with buddies to enjoy the Tampa flare, but then the hired Marc Trestman. Yeah, let me cheer for that team. I'm sure his offense dominates the league, but I can't do that. That led me to the Dragons. The Goonery being based in Seattle made this one a no brainer for me.
From this point forward, I'll be riding into battle for Head Coach and General Manager Jim Zorn. Do I care that Zorn hasn't coached since 2012? Not one bit.
I'll be blunt, I legitimately only recognize one name from the Dragons' roster, and that's one of my favorite college football players of all-time:
Keenan FUCKING Reynolds. The NCAA's all-time rushing leader for a Quarterback with 4,559 yards and 88 touchdowns. Dude was lightning in a bottle while at Navy, took the Midshipmen to 4 straight bowl appearances, and is the reason I was rocking a Navy hoodie and pair of sweatpants all the time. He's at receiver now, but we know Jim Zorn loves a guy who can scramble, and Brandon Silvers' 1.8 ypc through 4 years at Troy aren't exactly appealing.
The Dragons' open up the 2020 campaign in DC against the Defenders this Saturday and are facing a challenge with 12 gauge, Cardale Jones on the other sideline, but you better believe I'm loading up on the Dragons +7.5.
Ignite the Fire, Dragons. I just made you a catchphrase and the only form of compensation I need is a shoutout on the official Twitter page.
-The Inn Keeper