XFL football is back and 2020 continues to have the strangest opening imaginable. Fox Sports cameras caught one of the replay officials using an Xbox One controller to help during the telecast. Everything about that sentence is decidedly strange, but apparently these controllers really help the officials get these calls right. Booth reviews in the XFL are completely transparent, the people watching it at home get to see it all unfold in real-time. That means the XFL's Robert Lu scrubbing through footage the way that you remember cutting highlights in your sports game of choice. It’s pretty surreal, but with gaming’s rise in popularity, it’s probably easier to key in on sequences using the bumpers than it is to use a keyboard and mouse on a timeline.
There was a whole lot of changes going on for the league in its first weekend. Many people watching were completely surprised as players can be interviewed almost on a whim. Throw a touchdown? Well, let’s go directly to the sideline to hear you break it down. Miss a field goal? Now, you get to tell the entire viewing audience exactly what happened just moments later. (There is probably going to be some controversy with this practice because nobody wants to explain in excruciating detail just why they fumbled a game away.) Still, an eventful first weekend for the XFL.
People were very skeptical when the league announced they were going to bring the zany league back after a very strange run about 20 years ago. But, this isn’t the in-your-face operation it was near the Attitude Era. Vince McMahon is leaning into the love of the game for the marketing push around the XFL, and for the first weekend that definitely worked. People seemed thrilled just to have some football to watch in the spring. It will be curious to see how it fares as the season continues on.
Get an inside look during @XFL2020 games 👀
Watch the conversation between the replay official and the on-field referee as they review a call on the field ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/0M4Ozz7tmJ— XFL on FOX (@XFLonFOX) February 9, 2020
Last weekend brought some off the field excitement with it as well. During a game between the Tampa Bay Vipers and the New York Guardians, one fan decided to try and rush the field. But, the streaker probably didn’t account for the security presence at sporting events now. The guards had him detained before he could even make it to the field. But, the crowd still appreciated the attempt to spice the game up and applauded while security chased him off the field.
Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports