XFL Thread

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Dr. Zoidberg
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Re: XFL Thread

Post by Dr. Zoidberg » Tue Apr 14, 2020 3:32 pm

They were making enough to get by with Vince propping them up, but with the season shutting down it pushed them over the edge.

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Re: XFL Thread

Post by Bandit » Tue Apr 14, 2020 8:49 pm

Shad Khan should buy it in bankruptcy sale as a joke.

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Re: XFL Thread

Post by pixel » Wed Apr 15, 2020 4:14 am

Bandit wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 8:49 pm
Shad Khan should buy it in bankruptcy sale as a joke.
Then move the league to England! Brilliant!
melancholy wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 1:53 pm
So is this a direct result of Corona, or did Corona just accelerate its demise?
I'd say there were 50-75% odds that the XFL could've stuck around had all the teams played at smaller soccer-style stadiums and built some traction with local fans. A big problem that the league faced was the attendance numbers, it looks bad to have 20,000 fans sitting in gigantic NFL stadiums designed for 70,000+ people.

The on-field performance wasn't great compared to the NFL, but I think they made the right changes to the rulebook to fit the players' strengths. If the XFL had been around for a few years, it could've saw more competitive play.

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Re: XFL Thread

Post by Dr. Zoidberg » Sun Apr 19, 2020 1:24 am


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Re: XFL Thread

Post by Bandit » Sun Apr 19, 2020 4:49 am

$44 mil isn't bad. Vince said he was prepared to lose $100 million a season. But I think he knows the gravy days of TV rights fees might be over since advertisers are pulling out right now.

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Re: XFL Thread

Post by Dr. Zoidberg » Wed Apr 22, 2020 3:17 pm




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Re: XFL Thread

Post by Big Boss Man » Wed May 20, 2020 5:16 pm


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Re: XFL Thread

Post by pixel » Tue Aug 04, 2020 12:24 am

GUYS ITS HAPPENING


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Re: XFL Thread

Post by Bandit » Tue Aug 04, 2020 12:50 am

I get that he's probably doing Vince McMahon a favor because he hired him when he was broke after college and helped make it possible for him to be one of the biggest movie stars in the world. But my god what a waste of time and money.

The only thing he could do worthwhile is play the 2001 games and do commentary on how awful it is with Kevin Hart like Mystery Science Theater, or that thing with Snoop Dogg watching 1950s NBA. A new season is going to be the same thing no matter who owns it.

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Re: XFL Thread

Post by pixel » Tue Aug 04, 2020 12:51 am

Bandit wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 12:50 am
The only thing he could do worthwhile is play the 2001 games and do commentary on how awful it is with Kevin Hart like Mystery Science Theater. A new season is going to be the same thing no matter who owns it.
:olol:


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Re: XFL Thread

Post by Bandit » Tue Aug 04, 2020 12:59 am

That was weird when they had wrestlers cut promos before games. I remember Stone Cold Steve Austin started bashing Paul Tagliabue and wrestling fans were like "who the fuck is Paul Tagliabue?" (because he wasn't an attention whore like Roger Goodell you really only saw him presenting the Super Bowl trophy and at the Hall of Fame.)

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Re: XFL Thread

Post by Dr. Zoidberg » Mon Jan 11, 2021 12:06 am


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Re: XFL Thread

Post by Bandit » Sat Jan 16, 2021 12:56 am

Dave Meltzer's article on the falling out between Luck and McMahon from the new Wrestling Observer issue is pretty interesting.
Vince McMahon filed a countersuit against former XFL commissioner Oliver Luck, seeking $572,792.10, after Luck had sued McMahon for an amount in excess of $23.8 million.

McMahon filed the suit on 1/7, claiming that Luck abandoned his job as commissioner as soon as the pandemic hit, and that he didn’t listen to McMahon’s directives when he signed Antonio Callaway, a wide receiver for the Tampa Bay Vipers, who never ended up playing in the league.

McMahon said that he fired Luck for just cause just before he folded the league. McMahon had signed Luck to a contract for $5 million per year in salary and $2 million in bonuses per year, and Luck sued claiming he was still owed $23.8 million for his deal that expired on June 30, 2023. Unlike McMahon’s other XFL deals that he dropped by declaring bankruptcy, Luck had signed a deal personally with McMahon meaning McMahon had agreed to pay the salary in full even if the league bankrupted. But McMahon attempted to get out of it by firing Luck in April.

Luck was asking for the $23.8 million owed as well as other damages and his attorney fees.

The key point has to do with certain details regarding Callaway. McMahon made the decision to fire Callaway. His coach was also ready to cut him. On the day he was going to be fired, he was injured before he was told he was fired and thus the league was on the hook for workmen’s compensation and they couldn’t fire him at that point. The details of that day are the basis for the lawsuit.

The backstory is that McMahon had told Luck that he didn’t want any players with a criminal record in the league, saying he only wanted quality football players with good character. While he said that publicly, memos and text messages from McMahon show he most definitely meant it.

McMahon believed that a ratings decline for the NFL a few seasons ago came because fans were tired of so many players who would get into trouble as well as the controversy of Colin Kaepernick kneeling. He had said that nobody would be allowed to disrespect the national anthem and anyone with a criminal past would not be welcome in the league, trying to position the league to attract what he believed from some reporters were the fans the NFL had turned off because of behavior of some of the players.

In the lawsuit, McMahon noted that Callaway had been suspended for the 2017 season by the NFL due to facing third-degree felony charges for credit card fraud, and was suspended another ten games in 2019 for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

Callaway was given a $120,000 bonus to sign. He never played a game in the second version of the XFL, which folded after five weeks. He suffered a knee injury before the season started.

“Luck knowingly and deliberately deceived me, repeatedly, throughout the Callaway situation, which made me question whether I could continue to trust Luck to be the commissioner and CEO of the XFL,” said McMahon in the lawsuit.

Jeffrey Pollock, who was President of the XFL, and Marc Trestman, who coached and was the General Manager of the Vipers, along with Basil DeVito backed up McMahon’s accounts of what happened with Callaway in affidavits in the suit.

WWE also filed for a prejudgment restraint. Essentially that means it freezes assets of the defendant, Luck, to make sure he pays if a judgment is rendered against him. The process is normally to have hearings, after which the judge will render a decision whether he thinks the probability is that the plaintiff would win the lawsuit and the defendant would have to pay damages, and thus orders freezing of assets so he could pay. Luck filed for something similar in his own suit.

The basic story is that Luck told McMahon before the season started that he had seen some of the teams play and felt there was a big problem, that the wide receivers and tight ends throughout the league were not up to par. He told McMahon that he believed if games were played with the crew of wide receivers and tight ends they had, that lots of balls would be dropped that would have been caught in the NFL and fans would think they were seeing a bad version of football in week one which would give the league a reputation or having bad players. So he felt it was necessary to bring in better receivers.

“As the start of the XFL season was getting closer, Luck was increasingly concerned about the quality of wide receiver play in the league,” said McMahon in a filing. “On January 10, 2020, Luck sent me a text message stating, `I’ve watched every team practice over the past couple of days, the only disappointment to me was the number of dropped passes. QBs (quarterbacks) were throwing accurately, but WRs (wide receivers) and TEs (tight ends) were dropping too many balls.”

McMahon responded back, “We will look like shit if receivers can’t catch the ball. What can we do about it?”

Luck said that time will help, but he’s also looking at signing some ex-NFL wide receivers. The next day Luck sent him a text about weakness with wide receivers on certain teams and that they may need to supplement the ranks and that he had ideas on who they could bring in. McMahon said Luck never brought up Callaway’s name in specific at this point, and he texted back, “Then plz bring them in.”

On January 13, 2020, Luck texted McMahon that he’s been able to get Tre McBride and Callaway to the league and wanted McBride on the Los Angeles team and Callaway on Tampa Bay and noted both players were now practicing with their new teams.

One of those he wanted was Callaway, who although being 23, had spent two seasons in the NFL after leaving college after a strong freshman and sophomore season at the University of Florida. Having grown up in Miami, Luck wanted him on the Tampa Bay Vipers.

Trestman said that members of the XFL front office, including Luck, encouraged the Vipers to use him because he was from Florida.

Trestman said that Callaway showed up overweight and out of shape, and he and the staff thought it would be difficult for him to even make the final cut.

On January 28, 2019, Pollock e-mailed Luck sand said, “You should know that, with no prompting from me or Basil (DeVito), VKM (McMahon) asked about Antonio Callaway. You may hear from him on this, sounded surprised he’s in the league.”

Trestman said on January 29, 2019, before practice, he spoke to Luck. He said Luck told him that McMahon made the call that he didn’t want Callaway in the league and he was being fired. Trestman said he asked Luck if he should fire Callaway immediately that minute or after the morning practice. Luck said to let him practice and he’d get back to him later with details on how to handle the firing.

Callaway suffered a severe knee injury that morning. Trestman said that the team immediately called the XFL offices to tell them about the injury. Trestman said he disagreed with Luck’s version of events. Luck said that he spoke to Trestman and told him McMahon had made the decision to fire Callaway. He said that after Callaway’s agent was told about him being terminated, he called Trestman. He said when he called, the team was in the middle of practice. Luck said Trestman asked if he could tell Callaway he was fired after practice was over. As it turned out, Callaway injured his knee during that practice session. He was placed on injured reserve, and with the injury, the league couldn’t fire Callaway and had to pay workmen’s compensation as long as he was injured.

Trestman said he was not called before practice nor did he ask to delay the firing so he could do so after practice. He said that his memory is that he did not receive a phone call from Luck after practice had started, nor did he ask if he could wait until after practice to fire him. He said he spoke to Luck before practice, asked Luck if Callaway should practice or be fired immediately and Luck said he should practice and then be fired and he followed those directions.

McMahon said he hired Luck on or about May 30, 2018 as the highest ranking executive in the league.

“From the outset, I made clear that players with bad reputations due to issues with drugs, sexual assaults, criminal arrests and the like would not be allowed to play in the XFL.”

McMahon noted that in a press conference he outright said that if you even have a DUI, you would not play in the league.

Luck in December 2018 said the league would not sign anyone with domestic violence issues but was not prepared to say if a misdemeanor would keep you out of the league.

McMahon said that Luck’s failure to follow the policy was a recurring issue.

Basil DeVito, who was the President of the first XFL and a senior advisor to the second incarnation, said that he and all executives knew McMahon’s doctrine that the XFL had to have quality players who they could market and that those with issues with drugs, sexual assaults and criminal arrests were not to be signed.

He said that on 1/16, he learned that Luck had signed Callaway. He said that President Jeffrey Pollock asked him if McMahon was aware of Callaway being suspended by the NFL for violation of their substance abuse policy. DeVito said he then searched the Internet and found out Callaway had other issues dating back to his days at the University of Florida. DeVito said he then wrote a memo to Luck, Pollock and Doug Whaley which read:

“I am not certain if this is accurate, but I am hearing internally from social media that we are bringing Callaway into the league and allowing him to `try out’ for a specific team. This is confusing to me, and in light of bot his background and the fact he is currently serving an NFL suspension–I wonder how this makes sense in terms of the positioning of our League. It concerns me, does it concern you?

“Additionally, I am unsure how to answer the questions from our partners in regard to `placement’/tryout of a player for a specific team–based on our previous statements as to `process’ for player deployment–do we have a specific statement ready that I can use to explain this anomaly?

“Not sure we need this type of player in our league, and why we feel Tampa–if in fact that is the team—needs to have this player specifically. I would appreciate any information and rationale you can provide–so that I am property promoting the XFL Brand and our positioning as to player character, acquisition, and deployment. I am speaking to both networks over the course of the next two days. Below is what I found online–which is old, but not out-dated. I really don’t know how to defend this.”

DeVito listed that Callaway was suspended for four games for violating the substance abuse policy, tested positive for marijuana at the 2018 NFL scouting combine and was cited for possession of marijuana while driving with a suspended license. Police also found bullets and a gun part while searching his vehicle. The possession charge was dropped at a hearing and Callaway pleaded guilty to operating without a valid license and speeding. While in college, he was suspended for the entire 2017 season for allegedly using stolen credit card information to fund bookstore accounts. He was also cited for misdemeanor marijuana possession and possession of drug equipment during a 2017 stop by police in Gainesville, FL.

Whaley wrote back, saying he’s with Luck and told DeVito that Callaway passed the background check, and Ian did an advanced media search, and that Oliver talked to VKM (Vince McMahon) about the need to add better wide receivers to the league and we have a waiver system in place which is how he ended up in Tampa.

DeVito said he didn’t know at the time, but that response was deceptive. He said the advanced media search revealed many of the same off-the-field problems DeVito found n his research, none of which McMahon knew before Callaway was signed. He also said the suggestion McMahon approved Callaway’s signing with knowledge of his problematic history because of a need to add more wide receivers was false, as Luck never told McMahon about Callaway’s problems.

McMahon said that no or about January 17, 2020, he was shown a media report on Callaway’s signing and his off-the-field problems, which he said was the first he heard about it, and told Luck to fire Callaway immediately.

McMahon said on January 28, 2020, he found out Callaway was not fired he told Luck to call him immediately. He said Luck called him and he told Luck to fire Callaway immediately.

On January 29, 2020, at 6:37 p.m. Luck texted him saying, “We are in the process of removing Callaway from TB. Everything should be finalized by the end of the week.”

McMahon claimed Luck didn’t immediately fire Callaway as he had asked, allowed him to practice earlier that day and six hours before the text was sent Callaway had suffered a serious knee injury which he didn’t tell McMahon about. McMahon said Luck knew they couldn’t fire him any longer because of the injury.

“Therefore, his statement to me that `we are in the process of removing Callaway from TB’ sent six hours after Callaway was injured in practice was knowingly and deliberately false.”

“Luck knowingly and deliberately deceived me–repeatedly–throughout the Callaway situation, which made me question whether I could continue to trust Luck to be the Commissioner and CEO of the XFL. At that time, I did not want the negative publicity which would result had I terminated his contract at the same time our inaugural season was about to begin. Instead, I decided to factor the Callaway situation into my overall assessment of Lucks’s job performance at the end of season knowing that I would still have several months to make a decision on Luck’s future before the $2 million bonus would come due to June 30, 2020 (Luck’s contract was for $5 million in salary, and each year, if not fired, on June 30 he would get a $2 million bonus).

Luck wrote in his lawsuit that XFL policy as approved by McMahon was to reject a athlete if they had a felony conviction, a conviction, a conviction for dealing drugs, multiple misdemeanor convictions that established a pattern or a credible allegation of sexual assault of domestic violence.

Pollock said there was no such policy and Luck knew that the actual policy was that McMahon had to approve hiring any player with a bad reputation due to questionable or problematic behavior and Luck knew this because of multiple situations that had arisen.

McMahon also said that “at no time did I ever approve such a policy for the XFL.”

Pollock cited on player, who he did not name, that on December 5, 2019, they found out the player was banned on the campus that his XFL team practiced on because of a sexual assault allegation. The player had requested a hearing to rescind his campus ban and he was allowed access to the campus for work related activities while awaiting his hearing. Luck emailed Pollock and others saying, “My inclination is to allow (name withheld) to participate going forward. On December 11, 2019, the league was notified by campus police that the ban was rescinded and he could practice on campus. Luck then wrote, “I’m OK with (name withheld) joining (team) at this point. I see no downside given the decision to rescind.”

Pollock said that he e-mailed Luck and said, “I’d like to raise an issue for you to consider. LMK if you want to step out for a minute.” Pollock said he raised concern about the player being allowed in the league given McMahon’s policy. He said that after their conversation, Luck went to McMahon and McMahon would not allow the player in the league.

McMahon said that on December 12, 2019, Luck asked him if the player could play in the league along with a memo from ML Henry, the XFL Vice President of Security (which theoretically would have backed Luck’s feeling of wanting to allow him.

“Less than 15 minutes later, I responded by text message and told Luck, “Don’t let him play for us.”

On January 13, 2020, Luck went to McMahon and asked him to reconsider. On January 16, 2020, Luck again asked McMahon to reconsider. On January 18, 2020, McMahon told Luck that the player could not play in the league and on January 21, 2020, McMahon asked Luck about the player and Luck said it’s taken care of and he’s out of the league.

Pollock also brought up the situation with Malik Harris. On December 6, 2019, Pollock found out that USA Today was doing an investigative story about college athletes transferring schools after being found responsible at their schools or in court for sexual misconduct. Pollock found out that Harris, who was signed to the New York Guardians of the XFL, would be talked about in the story. The league investigated Harris and found he was kicked out of Illinois State University for sexual misconduct. On December 17, 2019, the story came out. Two days later the Guardians released Harris and Luck said he would be taken out of the player pool meaning no other team could sign him.

Pollock said that on January 17, 2020, he spoke with Luck in Houston and asked him if he intended to sign other players with problematic backgrounds like Callaway. He said Luck brought up Martavis Bryant, who he said was like Calaway, in that he was suspended for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. Luck said he asked for McMahon’s approval to sign Bryant, but later McMahon turned him down. Luck also brought up Josh Gordon, another wide receiver who had been suspended five times in the NFL for violating the substance abuse policy. Luck told him he wouldn’t touch him, nor even ask for McMahon to approve signing him.

On January 16, 2020, Luck had asked McMahon about Bryant, saying that he had drug issues while in the NFL. While McMahon said that Luck told him about the drug issues, he didn’t tell him Bryant had been suspended by the NFL for violation of their substance abuse policy. On January 18, 2020, McMahon said he called Luck and told him no on Bryant, texted im on January 21, and that Luck said Bryant “will not be on one of our teams.”

Pollock said that when COVID led to canceling games, he and the other executives worked to deal with the crisis but Luck left town and appeared to be generally disengaged with XFL activity. He said Luck did not attend the weekly business operation meetings on Zoom on March 13, March 16, March 23 and March 30, nor video conferences on March 15, March 18, March 20, March 27 and April 1.

“I expected Luck to demonstrate leadership during this unprecedented crisis,” McMahon said. “Luck, however, left town without advising me that he was doing so and never returned in the ensuing weeks while the other XFL executives and I dealt with the pandemic and worked to determine if there was a viable path forward for the league.”

“Luck’s actions during the crisis caused by the COVID pandemic certainly did not meet my expectations for a Commissioner and chief executive of a sports league charged with devoting substantially all of his business time to the performance of his duties to the XFL at a time of existential threat.”

McMahon had also previously claimed a reason Luck was fired was because he was using his company cell phone to make personal phone calls.

McMahon also claimed he had issues with Luck talking to the media about signing former Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel. Manziel, who became a celebrity in college as “Johnny Football,” had one incident after another related to partying and his temper.

McMahon said that he texted Luck when it came to media stories that the league was interested in Manziel, saying, “How long R U going to play this game Oliver? U know there is NO CHANCE IN HELL for Manziel to play for us. I will not change my mind.

So what’s Ur plan?”

Luck texted back, “Vince–we have no intention of signing him, none whatsoever. We’re just milking the story to stay in the news. I’m happy to categorically rule him out, but both Jeffrey (Pollack) and I think it is worthwhile to milk it until the showcases are finished. At that point we can say he doesn’t fit into our plans.”

McMahon claimed he had no contact with Luck after the pandemic started.

McMahon also listed two other players Luck signed that violated his directive. One was Martavis Bryant, a wide receiver who was suspended from the NFL in 2016 for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. A second player was listed simply as Player A, who had a sexual assault charge.

McMahon claimed in the suit that he was considering firing Luck prior to April. McMahon’s lawsuit was asking for Luck to cover all the cost of Callaway’s contract and workmen’s compensation.

McMahon was also asking for 25 day of Luck’s salary, claiming he fired Luck on 4/9, but that Luck had stopped working when he went back home on 3/14 when the pandemic started.
Vince: Nobody with a DUI or marijuana violation is allowed in the XFL.

Also Vince: Has The Usos and Randy Orton in his main event angles.

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