XFL vs NFL: How Each League Influences the Other

The NFL Owes Plenty to XFL

NFL fans will not admit it. But the XFL may actually be influencing what the NFL is doing and what it will do in the future. The NFL has even introduced a controversial rule that sort of does what the XFL is already doing albeit with different incentives. The XFL vs NFL talk will continue as these two professional football leagues continue to compete for the fans’ interest.

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Kicking It Off With The Kickoff: XFL or NFL?

One of the more noticeable differences in this XFL vs NFL “debate” are the kickoff rules. The XFL’s kickoff rules, adapted from its 2020 revival, are supposed to encourage kickoffs. The kicking team lines up at their opponent’s 35-yard line while the returning team will be at the 30-yard line.

As a result, this allows returning teams to return the ball while reducing high-speed collisions (thus better player safety).

Now, take the NFL’s latest controversial rule change: the fair catch rule, which discourages kickoff returns but reduces risk of injury (allegedly). Every fair catch made inside the receiving team’s 25-yard line will automatically move the offense to the 25. Thus, running the ball back seems riskier and less efficient.

This new rule has been ripped by nearly everyone. Chiefs head coach Andy Reid moaned about it while Rich Eisen also cried that the NFL was taking away one of the “most exciting parts” of the game.

The rule is just for one year hence, the NFL may scrap it after the 2023 season. Still, plenty of NFL records were born from the kickoff. Devin Hester, arguably a Hall of Famer, also made his career from kickoff returns. NFL scores may also decrease as a result of this change.

If the NFL’s product does indeed become less fun, maybe a small contingent of fans will turn to the XFL.

The Original XFL Lives on Through the NFL

The original XFL is often seen as a case study of spectacular failures. But despite its extinction the XFL lives on through the NFL’s adaptation of its innovations. The most notable of this is the “sky cam”, which spanned the length of the field overhead and gave viewers a spectacular bird’s eye view. The NFL now does this in every broadcast.

Another XFL creation was to mic up players and use it as part of the entertainment. The NFL already mic’d its players prior to the XFL. But thanks to the league, the NFL has made it more frequent and now features it in almost every big game.

And most importantly, the XFL had overtime rules that resembled NCAAF: Both teams got a chance to possess the football. It took the NFL a while to adapt this rule. But now the NFL’s overtime rules have been amended so both teams can possess the ball (unless the first team scores a touchdown (regular season only).

Surely, the NFL will “borrow” more ideas from the XFL. As for the new XFL, look for the league to keep innovating in its efforts to attract more viewers. All-in-all, the XFL vs NFL is an argument simply among NFL loyalists. In essence, both leagues can benefit from each other.


How does the viewership and popularity of the XFL compare to the NFL?

The NFL has an established fan base and enjoys massive viewership, making it the most popular professional football league. The XFL, although gaining traction, has yet to reach the same level of mainstream popularity.

How does the talent level in the XFL compare to the NFL?

While the NFL boasts the best football talent in the world, the XFL showcases a mix of former NFL players, college standouts, and emerging talents aiming to make their mark.

What are the primary differences in the team structure and ownership between the XFL and NFL?

The XFL has a centralized team structure, with the league owning all the teams. In contrast, the NFL operates under a decentralized structure, with teams privately owned by individual owners or ownership groups.



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