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Xfl (2001)

The meaning of «xfl (2001)»

The XFL was a professional American football league that played its only season in 2001. The XFL was operated as a joint venture between the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE) and NBC. The XFL was conceived as an outdoor football league that would begin play immediately after the National Football League season ended, to take advantage of lingering public desire to watch football after the NFL and college football seasons conclude. It was promoted as having fewer rules to encourage rougher play than other major leagues, while its telecasts featured sports entertainment elements inspired by professional wrestling (and in particular, the WWF's then-current "Attitude Era"), including heat and kayfabe, and suggestively-dressed cheerleaders. Commentary crews also featured WWF commentators (such as Jesse Ventura, Jim Ross, and Jerry Lawler) joined by sportscasters and veteran football players. Despite the wrestling influence, the games and their outcomes were legitimate and not based on scripted storylines.

The XFL operated as a single entity with all teams owned by the league, in contrast to most major professional leagues, which use a franchise model with individual owners. The league had eight teams in two divisions, and each franchise was based in a market that either currently had an NFL team (New York/New Jersey, Chicago, San Francisco); had previously supported other pro leagues like the United States Football League, the original World League, or the Canadian Football League (Memphis, Orlando, Birmingham, Las Vegas); or was the largest market without a professional franchise (Los Angeles). Co-owner NBC served as the main carrier of XFL games, with UPN and TNN also carrying selected games

The first night of play brought higher television viewership than NBC had projected, but ratings exponentially plummeted for subsequent games, with criticism directed toward its overall quality of play, on-air presentation, and connection to the WWE. NBC and the WWE both lost $35 million on their $100 million investment in the inaugural season, prompting NBC to pull out of the venture after one season. While plans were made to continue without NBC (with plans for expansion teams as well), UPN allegedly made untenable demands of the league, which hastened its demise. The league ceased operations entirely in May 2001. Its closure was announced just a few weeks after the league's season championship game, in which the Los Angeles Xtreme defeated the San Francisco Demons, on April 21, 2001, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Despite its short-lived existence, the XFL did pioneer several on-air technologies that would later become commonplace in football telecasts, such as aerial skycams, and on-player microphones. WWE owner Vince McMahon maintained control of the XFL brand after the league ceased operations, despite many, including McMahon himself, considering the original league to be a "colossal failure."[2][3] However, McMahon did not give up on the idea of a professional spring football league, and launched a new iteration of the league in 2020. The new XFL was run by a new McMahon-controlled company independent from the present-day WWE, and did not utilize the sports entertainment elements featured in the previous incarnation. The second iteration of the XFL's inaugural season was aborted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the league suspended operations and filed for bankruptcy in April 2020, with McMahon relinquishing the XFL brand in a sale to his former WWE wrestler Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia that August.[4][5]

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