Vince McMahon: XFL to return in 2020 without gimmicks

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It will be called the XFL, the same name of the league McMahon and NBC tried for one season in 2001, but it won't rely on flashy cheerleaders and antics as its predecessor did, he said.

Like the first rendition of the XFL, the league will consist of eight teams that will play games with a two-round playoff.

The Birmingham Thunderbolts - coached by Gerry DiNardo and featuring former Alabama star Jay Barker at quarterback and Auburn standout James Bostic at running back - were one of eight original XFL teams and played their home games at Legion Field. He also said the league will consider the "quality of human being" when inviting players to the league. He also claimed the league would remain apolitical, but when pressed acknowledged that players standing for the national anthem would likely be a part of the rulebook.

"We'll have nothing to do with politics, nothing to do with social issues", McMahon said.

Alpha Entertainment, a company founded by McMahon in 2017, announced in a press conference Thursday afternoon it's the return of the Xtreme Football League in 2020. "Quite frankly, we only had a very short time in the past to put everything together. We have two years now to really get it right". "It's the quality of the play". "We want good football, that's what we'll deliver". He wants a 2-hour game and even tossed out the idea of eliminating halftime.

The XFL recently returned to pop-culture discussion due to ESPN's 30 for 30 documentary This Was the XFL.

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There are no distribution contracts lined up, McMahon said, though he pledged XFL games will be available to stream on "big screens, mobile devices and everything in between".

Attendance and TV ratings for XFL games were initially strong, but tanked as the season went along.

- The league will start in January and run through spring.

Lastly, McMahon intends to still do his daily WWE operations so there will be no changes to the current professional wrestling product thus far. Players were allowed to be more physical, as referees allowed the "anything goes" style. "I think we're going to go where fans want us to go, wherever there's more interest". The more family friendly XFL even comes through in the league's new red-white-and-blue logo, as opposed to '01's in-your-face black-and-red one.

Vince McMahon's new business venture, Alpha Entertainment, sent out a press release touting a "major sports announcement" to be made at 3 p.m. ET on Thursday. He gave this answer when asked about players like Johnny Manziel, Tim Tebow, and Colin Kaepernick.

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