On February 8th at 2PM ET, the new XFL will premiere, with the DC Defenders host the Seattle Dragons on ABC. Later that day, The Houston Roughnecks face the LA Wildcats at 5PM ET on Fox.
The XFL is a professional football league owned by Vince McMahon’s Alpha Entertainment, which is based in Stamford, Connecticut. It is the successor to the original XFL, which was controlled by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE) and NBC, for its single season which aired in 2001.
To go along with the launch of the XFL, I will be launching my new podcast “eXamining the XFL” where we will talk to players every single week and get inside looks into the teams in the XFL and why the players are where they are today. The podcast will launch on February 7th and will continue weekly with highlights, interviews and analysis of the week’s events and previews of the week ahead. I will be hosting the podcast and will bring in players every week to give their recounts and opinions of everything happening in the XFL.
The XFL will feature eight teams:
New York Guardians
St. Louis BattleHawks
Tampa Bay Vipers
Notable players include: Cardale Jones(DC Defenders), Landry Jones(Dallas Renegades), and Josh Johnson(LA Wildcats) who are all QBs that have either played for NFL teams or prominent college programs.
Although the XFL failed in it’s short time in 2001, there seems to be more social media presence behind their new launch, and the player base is stronger than before. While time will ultimately tell, I am very excited for this opportunity to cover a sport I love.
Now this is the first time I have written since the death of Kobe Bryant. It would be remiss of me to write without mentioning this legend. Obviously, I never met Kobe. I only started following basketball in 2014, during his twilight years. But I have two comments on his death. First, it is ok to mourn the death of someone you did not personally know. Kobe Bryant was more than a basketball player. He was an artist, he was a God fearing man, he was a husband, father, son and brother. He was a role model to millions around the world, and Kobe Bryant had the work ethic we all wished we had. Even though I never personally idolized Bryant, I was speechless on Sunday morning, and throughout the day. As Elle Duncan pointed out in a touching tribute on ESPN, Kobe died doing what he loved best: being a girl dad. The way he lived his life is truly admirable, and because of the whole his passing leaves in the world, anyone can be sad over that and have compassion. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Secondly and finally. Follow Kobe’s example. Kobe Bryant did what no one else dared to do. When Lebron wanted to be different but better than Michael Jordan, Kobe said,” No, I am going to do what Jordan did, but I am going to do it better.” He was able to dominate the NBA in a time where there were stars galore, and he did it with Shaq and without Shaq. The man who would be in the Staples Center at 5:30AM for a 9PM game, showed the entire world how you achieved your goals. Work your butt off and don’t stop working until you are at the top. Whether it was basketball, his movie business, or being a dad, Kobe worked and worked. So go achieve your dreams. Go work for them, and even if you never idolized Kobe or really knew about him, look at his work ethic. We could all learn something from Kobe.
MJ Hurley is an all-sports writer for the Philadelphia Chronicle.
Follow MJ on Twitter and Instagram at @mjhurley47.