Ryne Oshiro, Staff Writer
Look out Seattle. Another football team is set to take center stage at CenturyLink Field, and it is not the Seahawks. The Seattle Dragons, a planned XFL team, is set to play football in February of 2020. The XFL is a professional football league separate from the NFL. The XFL was originally founded in 2001 and only lasted a single season. Vince McMahon, the founder, is trying to bring the league back in a second attempt. This is an eight-team league, and the other seven teams are the Dallas Renegades, Houston Roughnecks, Los Angeles Wildcats, DC Defenders, New York Guardians, St. Louis Battlehawks, and Tampa Bay Vipers.
This league built around the eight teams had an inaugural draft on Oct. 15, 2019. Players were selected from all over the country and it is almost comparable to a fantasy draft. Players who were selected can choose from either signing one, two, or three year contracts with their respective teams. The length of the contract decides the salary of players. The players can get a higher salary based off of loyalty. If they choose to opt for a one year deal, another team can pick them up the following season. The regular season will be 10 games long, with a two-round playoff. The league is split into two divisions: west and east. Seattle, of course, will be in the west division, along with opponents Dallas, Houston, and Los Angeles. The payout to players and coaches will be significantly lower than the NFL, but the pay will be spread out better than the idealistic “superstar” pay.
Since gambling and sports go hand in hand, McMahon is a minor shareholder in the gambling site “DraftKings.” This means the XFL will be trying to allow fans to have a “fantasy” type payout for this league as well.
In an article written by SB Nation, “the idea was a more exciting, faster-paced brand of football that did not have kickoffs and supported player personality. Players were encouraged to wear nicknames on their jerseys instead of regular name plates, and fans had more access to them.”
The XFL is aiming towards the idea that the interaction between fan and player is closer without sacrificing the level of competition. Football can be taken too seriously, but the XFL is aiming for fun and entertainment.
An article posted by Variety in August stated that the XFL “will debut in February of next year with a good chunk of games that are slated to air on two of TV’s most watched networks, Fox and ABC. In all, 25 games will air on national broadcast, the XFL said Tuesday, with others slated to air on ESPN and ESPN2, which, like ABC, are controlled by Walt Disney Co.”
These are some of the most watched sports channels and for the XFL to gain 25 games is going to be a huge plus going forward.
With all the drama going on in the NFL, it will be great to see Seattle get yet another source of entertainment that also comes with familiar territory in football.