This weekend’s XFL was…okay. That is exactly what was wrong with it. Nothing special. A mixed bag. People are going to check in out of curiosity, but I didn’t see anything that would keep bringing people back for sustained success. The football seemed to be better than what we saw in 2001, but that’s not saying much.
There were two main problems. One is the gambling talk. It’s crazy to think how dramatically different sports coverage is today in terms of mentioning spreads. The announcers went way overboard. First of all, we get an over/under graphic (and Dallas -9.5) on the score bug. It was so forced and awkward. When people bet on games, they usually know what the bet is. You don’t have to keep reminding them about totals. Again, viewers had a graphic of the total to inform them anyway. If your game announcers aren’t talking about how there hasn’t been a lot of scoring, the sideline reporter is.
That brings me to Pat McAfee. This guy was awful on numerous levels. At least twice he mentioned that every XFL game of the weekend went under. That was strange and uncomfortable. Also, inaccurate. Los Angeles and Houston combined for 54 points. The closing total was listed at 51. Line movement indicated only a slight difference. Nothing more than 52. Already we have annoying, plus wrong. One or two things can be overlooked. However, you know what they say in commercials and infomercials. But wait…there’s more! One would think that the former kicker could at least pronounce a punter’s name correctly. Well, one would be incorrect. Marquette King should have corrected him to his face when they spoke. I definitely think somebody should have corrected him about the Houston game going over.
They had plenty of time before he reiterated the thought later on. Just read my tweet to him. Then, another mistake. Also on special teams, ironically. Dallas muffed a late punt but was able to get back on the football. McAfee proclaimed that it was game over before finding out that the punting team didn’t recover. Nothing like declaring the game over when it’s not. One of his partners even spoke about this and said he hoped that people didn’t change channels. Maybe ESPN knows what they are doing. I might have to catch McAfee next weekend to see how many more mistakes will be made. Still, that figures to get old in a hurry. Perhaps next weekend we can get the odds on this league coming back for a second season. Talk about that, Pat.