Would You Support a New Football League? And Other Bullets
At the end of a ESPN’s “30 for 30” documentary on the defunct XFL, Vince McMahon — who spearheaded the one-year wonder — was asked if he ever wondered about bringing it back. McMahon, best known for being one of the greatest promoters in professional wrestling history, said he would consider it, and, well …
ESPN’s Darren Rovell reports McMahon’s dream is one step closer to reality:
“McMahon is chairman and CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, which filed details with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission about McMahon’s sale of 3.34 million shares of WWE, equaling about $100 million.
He did so, the filing noted, ‘primarily to fund a separate entity from the Company, Alpha Entertainment LLC, which Mr. McMahon established to explore investment opportunities across the sports and entertainment landscapes, including professional football.’”
The Chicago Enforcers were one of the XFL’s teams back in 2001 and featured a handful of ex-NFL players. The team played its games at Soldier Field and finished 5-5 as it won its final four games to sneak into the playoffs.
Playoff football in Chicago, even at a semi-pro level, sounds like a dream right now. How would you feel about the XFL coming back?
- Pro Football Weekly’s Hub Arkush writes about the Bears’ painful week. On the field, we saw Pernell McPhee land on injured reserve, Kyle Long announce he had successful surgery, and the team share an injury report that includes two starting offensive linemen. Off it, some bruised egos after a handful of deserving players (or, at minimum, players with compelling arguments) were left off the Pro Bowl roster.
- Safety Adrian Amos is one of the biggest Pro Bowl snubs. Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus lists Amos among the 12 most deserving players who were left off the Pro Bowl roster. Amos is PFF’s second-highest-graded safety because he has taken his play to another level in multiple facets. The third-year safety, who was part of GM Ryan Pace’s first draft class, has improved his pass defense skills while maintain his solid play against the run. He has forced two fumbles, recovered another, and came away with his first interception — which he turned into a TD. Yep. That’s a snub.
- On the injury front, Dan Wiederer paints a picture of Long’s recovery process. Get well soon, good sir. The Bears miss your presence on the line, in the huddle and as a leader.
- An interesting statistical nugget from PFF’s Mark Chichester regarding the Cleveland Browns’ starting quarterback: “DeShone Kizer has now thrown six red zone interceptions, the most ever thrown by a rookie quarterback in the PFF era (2006-present). On his 38 red zone attempts, Kizer has posted a passer rating of 43.2, an adjusted completion percentage of 44.1 percent and an interception rate of 15.8 percent, all of which are the lowest marks by a rookie signal-caller in the PFF era.”
- If you’re looking for some kind of storyline where Mitch Trubisky is extra motivated to beat the team he grew up rooting for, keep it moving. Trubisky’s love for the Browns was described by the Bears’ rookie quarterback as moderate, writes ESPN Chicago’s Jeff Dickerson. Ouch.
- In his chat with the media, Browns Head Coach Hue Jackson praised Trubisky and believes he has a bright future. “Over time, all these players, especially these quarterbacks, will prove what they are,” Jackson said. “I don’t doubt that Mitch will prove that he is a franchise quarterback for the Chicago Bears.”
- Hopefully, Trubisky makes the Browns regret passing on him in the draft and leads the Bears out of what has statistically been arguably the darkest era:
Draw your own conclusions: winning percentage from 2008-2012, winning percentage from 2013-2017, and increase. pic.twitter.com/UJYtuutJyH
— Football Perspective (@fbgchase) December 21, 2017
- Over at NBC Sports Chicago, John Mullin offers up some context leading up to Sunday’s game, and boy, the Bears sure could use a win.
- And while Head Coach John Fox is quick to point out there are many ways to skin a cat when it comes to picking up wins, no ordinary win will do. After last week’s setback, there are a handful of things we would like to see. Trubisky needs to play turnover-free ball while successfully pushing it vertically in the passing game, running back Jordan Howard needs to get the running game rolling in the right direction, and the defense must capitalize on any opportunities to create turnovers. Maybe the Bears already had their feel-good moment of the year with their win against the Bengals. But I’m not opposed to re-creating the magic on Christmas Eve.