Today, Sean Landeta, a 22-year NFL veteran with five different league teams from 1985 through 2006, spoke up on behalf of Vince McMahon’s XFL 2020 effort.
Following McMahon’s XFL announcement via the Alpha Entertainment platform and his voiced reverence for the national anthem, Landeta got on the horn with FOX Business’ Stuart Varney on “Varney & Co” to express his enthusiasm.
“It will open a lot of people’s eyes thinking, wow, let’s see what kind of a league he has. If he doesn’t try to compete with the NFL and make it football in the spring, because people love the sport so much, I think they’ll watch it,” Landeta said.
“I’m looking forward to it.”
Landeta’s a known friend to alternative leagues—after all, he played in one. He was the final active NFL player to ever take the field for the United States Football League (USFL) and punted for the Philadelphia/Baltimore Stars for each of the USFL’s three seasons.
As a man that knows alternative leagues personally, perhaps Landeta’s optimism re: the XFL carries some weight.
You now know Jeff Brohm as the head coach of the Purdue Boilermakers, leading the team to their first bowl victory since the 2011 season following a 7-6 first-year record in 2017. Prior to that, he did his thing on the gridiron as a player for the University of Louisville before tossing his hat into the NFL ring from 1994 to 2000.
However, readers here probably know him best for a singular moment during his lone season playing under center for the XFL’s Orlando Rage in 2001.
Brohm took a whopper of a hit that landed him in the hospital… only to return to action the next week. And during the sideline XFL interview prior to the following game, Brohm gave a series of quotes tailor-made for the braggadocio of the upstart league (1:04 below):
Reflecting on his “I have a pulse” quip back in July 2017 with SB Nation, Brohm looked back on it fondly—and encouraged his own players to display a little well-chosen showmanship:
“You know what? There were no curse words,” Brohm said. “There was nothing derogatory. It was a little over the top, and it was a little staged, so to speak. But you know what? It was in the fun-loving atmosphere of the game, and it was trying to get the fans and the team going a little bit. Of all things, since where I’ve been, I’m all for swagger and personality. As long as our guys are respecting the game and not getting any penalties, they can do what they need to do.”
Vince McMahon and co. are currently looking for their next Jeff Brohm to take a licking and keep on ticking when the XFL returns in 2020.
The Pillsbury Throwboy, as the NY Daily News refers to him, has a fresh nickname picked out, to boot.
“He Ate Me.”
The moniker, of course, is a play off Rod Smart’s “He Hate Me” nickname from the original XFL’s 2001 season.
As a refresher, Lorenzen last hit the gridiron as the signal caller for the Continental Indoor Football League’s Northern Kentucky River Monsters. Once Eli Manning’s backup, he last represented the Colts in the NFL before getting cut during 2008’s training camp.
Although he’s now newly dedicated to his health, Lorenzen hit 500 lbs. at one point in 2016. Fortunately, he has ample time to get back in playing shape before the XFL’s inaugural season.
ESPN has graced Vince McMahon’s new XFL alternative league effort with a… halfhearted?… team name generator.
The “generator” operates as a simple graphic that encourages users to:
1. Choose their closest location.
2. Select the first letter of their last name (and corresponding moniker).
That’s it. It’s bare-boned and exceedingly simplistic, but fun and frivolous options exist, such as this writer’s “Carolina Komodo Dragons” result. And a number of fans enjoyed its novelty.
However, opinion runs the gamut, with Facebook commenter Andrew Nefstead questioning ESPN’s effort:
Is their social media account being run by a 14 year old girl?
Perhaps. But 14-year-old girls are pretty proficient at social media these days, so it’s maybe not the worst hiring practice for the Worldwide Leader. And let’s be real—most alternative league owners would sacrifice their first-born son for immediate ESPN exposure, so maybe Vince should pen little Stephanie at ESPN a thank-you note.
Two seasons removed from the NFL and still at the mercy of the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Johnny Manziel is eager to get under center for a professional team ASAP. He made as much clear with a hopeful tweet to Vince McMahon shortly after the latter began his #XFL2020 live stream yesterday:
Alas, young Manziel’s timing was inopportune, as McMahon effectively seemed to shoot down the former Texas A&M star’s suggestion only minutes later during the Q & A portion of the presser.
“The quality of the human being is very important and just as important as the quality of the player,” McMahon said. “You want someone who does not have any criminality associated with him whatsoever … Even if you have a DUI, you will not play in the XFL.”
Unfortunately for Manziel, he’s suffered from consistent character issues and carries further blemishes following an indictment for a misdemeanor assault charge in 2016.
We’ve embedded the stream in its entirety for you below, which includes McMahon’s opening reveal and Q & A session with the media following. If reading’s more your speed, however, you can breeze through our pithy synopsis of the event here.
Vince McMahon is resurrecting the XFL after 17 years, following the original concept’s one-year stint as a league in 2001.
The news came earlier today via a 3 p.m. live stream on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube courtesy of McMahon’s Alpha Entertainment.
For those that missed it, you can view the full announcement above. However, the following are the CliffsNotes:
In an effort to ensure quality of play, the XFL won’t kick off until 2020.
Eight teams in the inaugural season
10-game season likely starting in January
Plans in place for two-hour games
If you have a criminal record, you’re SOL.
If you want a forum for airing your political grievances, you’re likewise SOL—social issues will be shelved during broadcasts.
McMahon will be the sole financier of the league to the tune of an estimated $100 million, the same amount of simoleons he liquidated last month via the sale of WWE stock.
This is not a joint venture featuring the WWE or NBC. There will be no tie-in to World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc., and Vince himself has no plans to make scheduled appearances or act as the XFL’s “face.”
At 41, Rod “He Hate Me” Smart is not expected to be featured.
“I wanted to do this since the day we stopped the other one,” McMahon told ESPN. “A chance to do it with no partners, strictly funded by me, which would allow me to look in the mirror and say, ‘You were the one who screwed this up,’ or ‘You made this thing a success.'”
“I don’t think people want to see the same thing when they’re streaming as they see on television. That’s boring. I think fans want it shot in a totally different way, and I think there’s an immersive opportunity that’s more interactive to the game.”
“The start of this league has nothing to do with the NFL’s troubles. What has happened there is their business, and I’m not going to knock those guys, but I am going to learn from their mistakes as anyone would if they were tasked with reimagining a new football league.”
“One thing we are not is a development league for the NFL.”
“Every city is on our radar.”
We’ll have more soon, but suffice to say, there’s a lot for alternative sports fans to be hype about.