The ‘reality’ of how XFL can make it (Opinion)
The XFL began another run at post-NFL football this past Sunday when they begin their 10 game season. The local team is called the New York Guardians and you may remember their head coach Kevin Gilbride from when he was the offensive coordinator for the Giants two Super Bowl wins in 2007 and 11. Their quarterback, Matt McGloin, played for Penn State as well as the Oakland Raiders and Philadelphia Eagles.
The league promises to be more fan-friendly, giving fans more access to the game, what they should do is make the game must-see Reality TV. In the NFL, as Jerry Seinfeld once said, "You root for the clothes." But when you're selling a new league whose clothes haven't been established, you root for the players.
Each player in the XFL has their own back story. Be it coach Gilbride, who wants to win a championship in New York as a head coach after winning 2 Super Bowls here as an offensive coordinator, or McGloin, who started a family after leaving football and wants to play in front of his son, according to Mike Kaye on NJ.com. There are several more where they came from.
If I were promoting the XFL, I would turn all the commercials into a reality TV show, perhaps even pitch one to the networks that will carry the game. Each team should have its own version of "Hard Knocks" The more people watch and learn about these players, the more they will root for them. Reality TV gives you that ability. It's all about the story.
Former New York Jets owner Sonny Werblin had a story. It was the story of a big check, who he gave it to and the image he would build around a kid from Beaver Falls. That kid would go on to become "Broadway Joe Namath," and the story would become part of what would force the NFL into a merger. This proved to be a good idea after Namath's Jets beat the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III.
I totally think football can make it in the spring. I think the USFL would have made it if Donald Trump had not bought in and forced them to compete in the fall. I think it's all about the show. I know Vince McMahon, whose Alpha Entertainment knows all about putting on a show. Now it's time to make that show a reality.
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