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HOF Artifact of the Week

HOF Artifact of the Week

04/05/2019
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This is a bumper sticker from the Birmingham Bolts of the XFL. 

XFL-Bumper-Sticker-SM

The XFL began in the spring 2001 was organized by Vince McMahon of WWE and Dick Ebersol, the chairman of NBC Sports. The XFL billed itself as a fun alternative to the NFL that could satisfy the public’s thirst for football in the traditional spring offseason. The league featured new innovations such as cameras in the huddles and sidelines, microphones in the locker rooms, no fair catches, and instead of a coin toss to open the game, the XFL created “the Scramble” which consisted of two opposing players sprinting toward a ball at the center of the field. Whoever gained the possession of the ball first would decide to receive the ball or defer to the second half.  

The league featured 38-man rosters with players from Arena Football League, Canadian Football, NFL Europe and retired NFL players. Initial TV ratings for the XFL were very good but slowly dwindled despite efforts to tweak the rules and add new promotions. By the end of season, the XFL had lost nearly 80% of television audience. At seasons end all XFL broadcast partners NBC, TNN and UPN announced they would not carry the league in 2002. Without any broadcast partners and millions of dollars in loses of revenue the XFL folded. However, in 2018 Vince McMahon announced the return of the XFL in 2020 with a new fan centric emphasis. Stay tuned.­

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