XFL Is Done, No Plans to Return

It looks like the XFL reboot has sadly already come to an end. The professional football league, owned by WWE's Vince McMahon, stopped play about a month ago amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, along with every other sports league in the country. The plan for the league, which was being televised on channels like ESPN and FOX, seemed to be to follow the path of other pro sports and restart play when it was safe to do so. That no longer seems to be the case.

According to ESPN, XFL CEO Jeffrey Pollack conducted a 10-minute conference call on Friday, in which he informed employees that that operations were being shut down and that there were no plans to return for the 2021 season. Nearly all of the league's staff have been laid off, save for a handful of top executives.

League commissioner Oliver Luck, father of former NFL quarterback Andrew Luck, was not part of the call on Friday. It's not clear at this time whether or not he is still with the league. While Pollack didn't explicitly tell employees that the XFL was going out of business, one prominent staffer who was on the call told ESPN that the implication was that the league is "not coming back." The league did not comment on the story.

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The first iteration of the XFL arrived back in 2001, and it was meant to be an even mix of the NFL and the WWE. The game was much more violent and everything was made to be more of a show than a sport. It was cancelled after just one season. This new version of the league, however, was seen as a vast improvement on its predecessor. The game was vast-paced and exciting, but not a danger to anyone involved. Players who had struggled to get into the NFL had a chance to showcase their talents, or get a second chance after leaving the league. To capture the feel of the WWE, sideline reporters spoke with players on the bench immediately after something happened on the field, giving a much more intimate feel to the game.

The XFL was actually starting to work this time around, but the pandemic cut that success short. It appears as though the XFL is destined to be a memory once again.