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XFL Succumbs to COVID-19
By Amanda Scurlock, Sports Writer
Published April 16, 2020

The Los Angeles Wildcats run onto the field at the Dignity Health Sports Park (Robert Torrence/L.A. Sentinel).

On April 10, the XFL suspended their operations and laid off nearly all of their staff. League owner and WWE CEO Vince McMahon filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, listing $10 million to $50 in debts and assets.

The XFL had 500 players and 400 employees, they kept only 18 employees. There has not been any talks of if the league will return in 2021.

Gameplay of the league was suspended on March 12, halfway into their 10-week season, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On March 20, the rest of the season was canceled.  The Los Angeles Wildcats were 2-3 overall, playing their home games at the Dignity Health Sports Park.

“The COVID-19 pandemic, and the most recent local and state regulations, have left the XFL no choice but to officially cancel the remainder of the 2020 season,” the league said in a statement. “This decision has been made with the health and safety of the entire XFL family as our top priority. While we are disappointed to not complete the 2020 season, our hearts are full of appreciation for your overwhelming support.”

There are between 1,000 to 5,000 creditors, among them are seven head coaches. Los Angeles Wildcats coach and general manager Winston Moss is owed $583,333. The St. Louis Sports Commission is owed $1.6 million, making them the largest creditor.

In March, it was reported that all players will be paid their benefits and base pay for the regular season.

This XFL reboot will be remembered by its unique innovations that sped up the game, like their unique kick-off setup and how their extra-point scenarios consisted of three different options.

Corner Martez Carter (28) is a product of Grambling State University (Robert Torrence/L.A. Sentinel).

They interviewed players after each quarter, fans can hear coaches communicate to players via helmet receivers during broadcasts. The league had TV rights deals with ESPN, Fox and ABC.

It was an improved version of the first launch of the XFL in 2001 which adopted several aspects of WWE wrestling; it folded after one season.

Like the Alliance American Football league, the XFL showed the demand for spring football. In their open weekend, the XFL games broadcasts garnered from 2.5 million to 3.4 million viewers.

the L.A. Wildcats defeated the Tampa bay Vipers 41-34 in their final game (Robert Torrence/L.A. Sentinel).

The league ultimately generated $14 million in revenues.

Since the suspension of the XFL, several players were signed to NFL teams. The L.A. Chargers recently signed Dallas Renegades Tight End Donald Parham Jr. and Wildcats tackle Storm Norton.  Parham was the only tight end in the XFL to record a 100-yard performance, coming in third in the league in reception yards.

After five games, he had 24 catches for 307 yards and four touchdowns. Norton was the top selection in phase two of the 2020 XFL Draft, the Wildcats voted him as captain.

Quarterback Josh Johnson (8) finished second in the XFL in passing yards with 1054 yards (Robert Torrence/L.A. Sentinel).

Quarterback P.J. Walker, who led the undefeated Houston Roughnecks with 1299 passing yards for 119 throws for 15 touchdowns, signed with the Carolina Panthers.

“The experience on the five games we played—I wish we played a full season,” Walker said to ESPN. “But for a lot of guys like myself, being out there, going out there playing in front of fans and getting the experience to get those minutes, it was awesome.”

Categories: Football | National | News (Sports) | Sports
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