Vincent Kennedy McMahon is the founder and chairman of the WWE, a shrewd business man, and more than anything, an opportunist.
And with declining ratings and an ever-looming cloud of controversy surrounding the NFL, there might not be a better opportunity for McMahon to jump back into the football fray. Darren Rovell of ESPN tweeted Alpha Entertainment – an investment company formed by McMahon – will announce the start of a new professional football league with an announcement coming on Thursday afternoon. Additionally, sources tell Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com the league plans to officially return in 2020. This would allow for ample time to build a sustainable infrastructure, something McMahon’s XFL didn’t have in its one-year run.
Back in December, we asked if you would support a second football league after learning the WWE filed paperwork in which McMahon would sell approximately $100 million worth of shares for the purposes of funding Alpha Entertainment. The idea behind Alpha Entertainment was to “explore investment opportunities across the sports and entertainment landscapes, including professional football.”
This news represents McMahon’s first opportunity at a second chance to get it right on the football field after his failed XFL experiment. Whether the XFL, in name, will be back remains to be seen. Same can be said about the team’s in the league, which featured a Chicago-based squad that made the playoffs and played its games at Soldier Field.
The idea of another football league that serves as an alternative to the NFL is tantalizing in its own unique way. But how McMahon goes about developing this league will be the story.
McMahon wisely chose not to go up head-to-head against the NFL his first time around and the last league to try to do that is now defunct. Perhaps the three-year buffer period to allow for the league to build proper infrastructure suggests the league can be something like the Arena Football League or NFL Europe was back during its existence — an entertaining, but developmental space for players who are on the cusp of playing in the NFL but just not ready. Maybe it will serve as an alternative choice for players who don’t want to play for a scholarship at the collegiate level.
Whatever it is, stay tuned, because McMahon always has something up his sleeve.
UPDATE: Yup, it’s the XFL:
BREAKING: @VinceMcMahon’s new league will be called the XFL. Will start in Jan. 2020, have eight teams, players required to stand for National Anthem & Johnny Manziel is NOT eligible to play https://t.co/KEJA6Q4fua
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) January 25, 2018