XFL is shutting down league operations, laying off all employees

Reports are out that the XFL is done, and possibly for good. The replacement for spring football lasted less than one season due to a global pandemic.

The XFL was really, really fun for a couple of weeks. It was a different style of football, but football nonetheless. It was really early in the life of this league, but thanks to being on the proper channels (ABC, FOX, FS1 and ESPN), it seemed like it had a much better chance of surviving, unlike the AFL before it.

XFL ‘shuts down’ operations

However, due to the global novel coronavirus pandemic, the XFL is reportedly suspending operations. ESPN is reporting the league has no plans to return in 2021 and the NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported they used the words “shut down” during a conference call with all employees. It’s a sad day, as those employees lost their jobs at a time when there aren’t sports jobs to replace it.

Twenty years after the first iteration of the XFL, a version that was so clunky it failed despite its own success, we actually had a product that works. We hope this isn’t the end for the XFL, and they’re able to reset, find their bearings and come back one day. It was more football during a time when sports weren’t as busy. We were skeptical, but it was the sport we all loved. It’s gone for now, but hopefully they find a way to make sure this isn’t goodbye.

If it is gone for good, it won’t have the same impact as the original league format did. The first iteration of the XFL formed lasting memories, with people still citing Hehateme and Tommy Maddox winning a championship. The NFL took a lot of ideas from the XFL’s original league, including overhead cameras, and this version just didn’t have enough time to put those kinds of things in place.

In the end, the XFL was only able to give us five weeks of games and some decent ratings. Vince McMahon put a lot of money behind this operation to get another football league started, but it was just bad luck more than anything. They actually did a good job with a lot of the aspects of the game of football, and the on-air product, but nobody could see this coming.