Football leagues compete with NFL

Adam Dembicki, Staff Writer

Professional sports offer entertainment, discussions, and career opportunities for some. One professional league that excels in generating constant discussions and news is the National Football League (NFL), which began in 1920. Like every sport, the NFL also has an off-season, meaning no games are scheduled, but millions of viewers continue to discuss the league’s activity. Scheduling rookie signings, player trades, and big money contracts in the off-season, the NFL discovered a way to constantly keep the attention of fans.

The NFL remains the dominant league in football history, earning billions. Often, entrepreneurs creating their own leagues to break into the professional football market have different goals. Whether it is to make money or deliver a game, no league is looking to topple the NFL.

One such league is the XFL, which seeks to provide a place where the football community can “interact” to grow the sport and give fans a good game. While not looking to break viewing records, the XFL is creative in gaining some popularity with fans. Recently, the XFL received positive support for speeding up games by shortening the play clock and reviewing contested plays. When a play is contested, station broadcasters make the call in 30 seconds instead of refs on the field. The NFL’s traditional method of play review can drag games on longer than needed as referees watch, consult, and announce the decision. Complaints about the NFL’s poor time management has football fans appreciative of the XFL’s ability to keep games on pace.

Like the XFL, the United States Football League (USFL), is looking to deliver football games to fans during the summer, when the NFL is in the off-season. Similar to the XFL, the USFL is innovating to gain some attention by planting chips in footballs to determine the down markings instead of referee discretion.

While both of the leagues look to deliver games to fans, they are still businesses like the NFL.