The first few weeks of February are usually used by yours truly to plan my spring and summertime travels. But because the Bears have trips to Nashville, Atlanta, and Los Angeles (again) on their schedule, I might kick the can down the road and see if I can create a lane for what could be some warm-weather trips in fall and winter. Here’s hoping the NFL schedule makers are on the same line of thinking as me.
- Vince McMahon’s XFL re-boot is back today, and it has a lot of things going for it this time around. There are television partnerships with ESPN and FOX, a talent pool features fringe NFL prospects. a collection of coaches with name-brand appeal (Bob Stoops! June Jones!), and a bunch of unique tweaks that promise to make games interesting. I’m curious to see how it plays out.
- The potential to have multiple forward passes on one play? Yep. Check it out:
- An overtime wrinkle? Neat. OT is a bit like hockey-style shootouts where teams have five rounds to score from the 5-yard line. The team with the most points at the end of those rounds wins. Simple enough.
- No extra points? Cool. Fewer kicks is better for football, says this Bears fan. Instead, teams have an option to run an offensive play from the 2, 5, or 10-yard line, which are worth 1, 2, or 3 points respectively.
- Pace of play stands to be better in the XFL as the league implements a t25-second play clock that starts when the ball is spotted.
- Speaking of clock management, the XFL promises teams cannot run out the clock (at least until the opponent has no timeouts And there is also something called the “comeback period” which happens at the two-minute warning of each half. In an attempt to maximize scoring potential for a team on the comeback trail, plays that end in the field of play will be met with clock stoppage until the ball has been spotted and five seconds have run off the play clock.
- Who’s your rooting interest?
Today is the last day you can claim an XFL team without becoming a bandwagon fan.
Which team are you rooting for? pic.twitter.com/05sp4n1ldm
— Sporting News XFL (@sn_xfl) February 7, 2020
- Still unsure who to cheer for based on logos and team nicknames similar to what you could find in the old Madden NFL create-a-team option? Every team has an ex-Bear connection.
- Dallas Renegades (OL Willie Beavers)
- D.C. Defenders (Head Coach Pep Hamilton, Personnel Director Greg Gabriel, CB Doran Grant, TE Khari Lee, WR Rashad Ross, LB Jameer Thurman)
- Houston Roughnecks (OL Marquez Tucker)
- L.A. Wildcats (WR Tre McBride, S Ahmad Dixon, WR Nelson Spruce)
- N.Y. Guardians (WR Mekale McKay, DL Bunmi Rotimi)
- St. Louis Battlehawks (OL Dejon Allen, LS Tanner Carew, Tanner Carew, DL Dewayne Hendrix, LB Ro’Derrick Hoskins, OL Matt McCants)
- Seattle Dragons (OL Cyril Richardson, TE Evan Rodriguez, DL Will Sutton)
- Tampa Bay Vipers (Head Coach Marc Trestman, CB Demontre Hurst, OL Jordan McCray, TE Colin Thompson)
- When I was a young boy, I was introduced to the “Ex-Cubs Factor,” which was a theory popularized by the late, great Mike Royko. The gist: In a World Series showdown, the team with more ex-Cubs on it was destined to lose. I have no idea if there is an ex-Bears factor to be had in the new XFL. But if you want to apply that theory to ex-Bears, then be my guest.
- You better believe you can bet on the XFL in 2020:
The #XFL is starting up on Saturday.
Here is primer for betting on the league: https://t.co/iA3pNiljGf
— Ben Fawkes (@BFawkesESPN) February 7, 2020
The XFL is back for its 2nd try, 19 years after making it through just 1 season.
The pro football league brings with it several rule changes that point to more scoring.@Covers_Vegas checks in with multiple sportsbooks for insight on the XFL odds:https://t.co/TEC1jSfgKF pic.twitter.com/A9RYYZXsus
— Covers (@Covers) February 8, 2020
- As for my predictions for how long the league will last, I won’t go there. I’ll check in as part of my duties as a football fan and writer. But to be completely honest, my hope is for this league to give the NFL some perspective on how to better the highest level of the game. And if it means taking broadcast components, game rules, or other aspects of the XFL and applying them to the NFL to make that league more entertaining, then I am on board!
- I like the way this guy thinks:
- Allen Robinson is elite:
- I need Michael to teach me the ways of
the ForceTik Tok:
- Get it together, Bulls:
The Bulls Say They Want to Help Markkanen, But Are They Willing? Capable? https://t.co/gcnEFssOHT
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) February 7, 2020