One of the main side effects of COVID-19 is the loss of smell.
This is particularly worrying for football fans, who are unable to smell what ‘The Rock is Cooking.’
In this case, it’s a burnt melange of the XFL and the CFL.
The potential marriage is now dead, after the XFL announced it would not be moving ahead with merger plans.
The CFXL is dead.
Cracks in the Foundation
The coming together of the XFL and CFL was a lofty exercise to begin with.
Firstly there is the obvious lack of a league for the XFL, they went bankrupt, sold all off of their stuff, then the Rock and his VC firms swooped in to grab the bits and bobs left over.
The XFL isn’t really bringing anything to the table except The Rock, who won’t be playing in any games.
The CFL however has an actual league, with stadiums, team names, and a fan base going back over 100 years.
The CFL doesn’t need the XFL.
Canadians have long been pestered by Americans to the south ‘showing us how it’s done’, so negotiations would have stalled on any ‘demands’, as they really had no position to stand on.
Even if the CFL and XFL did merge, what rules would they play?
The CFL is a 3 down game, with a wider and longer field than the NFL, would American fans accept such football treachery?
Canadian football has struggled on American TV, and these ‘new rules’ (even though they are older than the NFL) are a bugaboo for US fans.
The whole ‘how do we play’ would have been an obvious issue that pitted America vs Canada.
The XFL wants to be a feeder league for the NFL and tap into its heat, whereas the CFL is like a honey-badger, and they don’t care about nothing.
The CFL has The Saskatchewan Roughriders, the Winnipeg Bluebombers, and the Hamilton Tiger Cats.
The XFL has teams in Seattle, Houston, St. Louis, New York, LA & Tampa Bay. You know who else has teams in those cities? Everyone!
While the Canadian cities don’t exude a sense of sporting legacy, these teams are older than loads of actual leagues, and boast fans that are willing to come out in even the coldest conditions.
Competing with not only the NFL, but the NBA, MLB, MLS, NHL, and even new sports like e-Gaming and cornhole in major cities is a logistical and scheduling nightmare.
The CFL already has its identity, supporters and Canadian-ness, no American business is going to threaten that.
The XFL really needs to define what it is, and when it will be played to forge ahead.
Loads of new leagues are lining up to take pot shots at the NFL, but none have ever really threatened the king’s dominance.
Sure, The Rock is the biggest movie star in the world right now, but that’s not enough to put bums in seats week after week.
Fans do want more football during the offseason, but not the kind of crap that has been peddled out the past few years.
Releasing a league to be able to ‘tinker’ with it in progress only hurts the league and the fans, and stymies any chance of future leagues developing.
The CFL will keep rolling on.
Ratings in Canada are enough to keep the lights on, and solidify its status as ‘Canada’s league to watch just before the NFL starts.’
The XFL however has one last shot before it joins the monorail as a foolish endeavour.
Dwayne Johnson is going to need put a lot of energy (and money) into it if he wants to see results.
The XFL might be positive about their future, but after this deal fell apart, it’s tough to see how they will be able to go it alone without a massive commitment NO MATTER WHAT.
Does The Rock have the mettle?