Should the NFL Use the XFL Kickoffs?

They are WEIRD looking!

February 10, 2020
The dopest football photo ever? Maybe.

gettyimages // Scott Taetsch / Stringer

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A new Seattle team debuted over the weekend. Huge welcomes to the Seattle Dragons. They'll always hold the honor of having received the opening kickoff for the rebirth of the XFL. That kickoff was a weird one... 

The XFL showed us a new lower-impact version of a traditional football kickoff and it's gonna take football fans a minute to get used to it.

WTF did I just watch?! Why aren't those lines of dudes moving?!

Ok, like "normal" football, some dude kicks the ball to a guy waiting for it so he can get slippery and sneak through the defense like a freshly caught fish through your still frozen hands, or more likely be crushed by the onrushing sports sedan of a man first on the scene.

In a twist of rules, though, the kicker is by himself and all these other nerds are standing frozen on some line. 

  • The ball must stay in bounds or you get a zillion yard penalty.
  • The ball must end up between the goal line and the 20-yard line or there's a super touchback or whatever.
  • The rest of both teams line up 5 yards apart and aren't allowed to move until the returner touches the ball.
  • And other stuff that is less obvious.

I foresee kickoffs producing fewer Ricardo Lockette degree injuries if you don't allow the finely tuned Ferrari-engined bronze-statue-tough players building up 60 yards of momentum just in time to brutalize the waiting receiver. But is the new move going to help the XFL gain fans or add another barrier for NFL fans to have to get passed in order to embrace it? I imagine the rugby fans watching this will like it, but the skeptics will see this as less impact, less brutal, and less fun.

I think it's weird looking and love it.