When McMahon cashed in the stock and formed his new Alpha Entertainment, he also filed for new trademarks for the XFL, so this announcement was expected eventually. The original trademarks lapsed between 2002 and 2005.
Vince gave a lengthy interview to ESPN following this announcement, but I am going to attempt to quickly sum up for you what we learned vs. what I partially expected us to learn.
What We Learned About The 2020 XFL:
There will be 8 teams across the country in a 10 game schedule beginning in January
40 player roster per team
Players will not be allowed to use the playing field for social or political stances
No one with a criminal record will be allowed to play (which rules out a ton of existing on-field talent)
Goal of 2 hour run time for all games
No cheerleaders or previous XFL gimmicks
What We Would Have Learned If This Were The Gimmick Filled 2001 XFL:
Players would be encouraged to drink alcohol on the field and fraternize with the cheerleaders (who worked week nights at local gentlemen’s clubs)
Concussion Protocol? Nah. You would need to be concussed to play in this league
Helmet-to-Helmet hits not only allowed, but encouraged. (Where else would you hit people?)
Previous criminal record not required, but a plus!
Concealed Carry on the field? Hey, it’s a constitutional right
In all seriousness, the odds are surely stacked against the XFL. No other league has competed with the NFL and come out on top (USFL, World League, original XFL) and WWE does not exactly have proven success record outside the ring (original XFL, WWE Studios).
But the landscape is different now than it was in 2001. Vince and company have debacle of the XFL‘s sole previous season under their belt to learn from. They also have 2 years to develop and fine tune their product before bringing it to market, as opposed to last time where they had less than a year to prep.
The NFL also has had consecutive years of declining ratings. Between players kneeling during the national anthem (which Vince said will not be tolerated in the new XFL), the frequency and length of commercial breaks, the league’s friction with (Vince’s friend) President Trump and the confusion of what the hell is a catch anymore, aggravation among fans is at a all-time high.
“People don’t want social and political issues coming into play when they are trying to be entertained,” McMahon said. “We want someone who wants to take a knee to do their version of that on their personal time.”
In the XFL‘s previous incarnation, ownership was equalling split between the WWE and NBC Sports. This time, Vince’s new Alpha Entertainment will have total ownership and control.
“I can say, ‘Here are the rules, and as long as you are playing football in the stadium for us, you follow these rules.'”
The rise of streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Youtube and (cough) WWE NETWORK (cough) bidding on live sports also means there are many more options for distribution.
But more viewing options also means more competition. McMahon was adamant that the WWE talent will be kept separated from this new venture. Will the league be able to get a foot in the door of fan’s living rooms without established, well known personalities helping to promote it?
While the XFL will still need to compete with the NFL for on and off field talent, beginning the XFL season after the conclusion of the NFL’s is a smart move to avoid competing head-to-head for viewership. This was something that the USFL understood when it began operations in 1983.
I’m not saying the USFL would still be in business today if they hadn’t moved their schedule, but they did prove that there is a large enough market for successful late winter/Spring football. If McMahon can assembly a quality product (with some decent on-field talent this time), I think this venture has potential.
Win or lose, one thing is for sure: When Vince McMahon puts all his might behind something, he makes it entertaining!
Deadline recently broke the news that Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds recently signed a new 3 year contract with FOX and first of these upcoming projects is the re-make of the 1985 Tim Curry classic CLUE.
Deadpool writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick will be joining Reynolds to provide their maximum effort to the script of the live action Hasbro board game property.
The original release was known for it’s originality, including it’s 3 very different endings. We don’t know yet if something similar is planned for this edition, but with this creative trio helming the film, who knows what we can expect!
It has net been revealed yet which character Reynolds will be portraying, but I am hoping to see him bring new life to Tim Curry’s Wadsworth, the extremely sarcastic butler. It would also be cool nod to the original film to see Curry brought on the remake for a cameo or as another character, such as Col. Mustard.
With Disney’s recent acquisition of FOX’s movie properties, a Hydra Bob cameo wouldn’t outside the realm of possibilities as well…
Deadpool’s $783 million gross profit made it the highest grossing rated R film of all time and FOX has high hopes for the sequel, which is scheduled to release this May with director David Leitch (Atomic Blonde & parts of John Wick) at the helm.
We have all been there. The craving hits you for a Taco Bell lunch but you also have a desire for a side of fries from our friends at the golden arches. What to do?
I am not ashamed to admit that I have been known to make a ‘run for the border’ for a Cheesy Gordita Crunch and then shoot to the McDonalds across the street to pick up a large side of crispy golden brown french fries for the same meal.
Actually, I probably should be ashamed to admit that. But I am also I guy that spent his college years utilizing Tortino Pizza Rolls as toppings on my Hungry Howies Pizzas…
If you think that sounds nasty, that simply means you haven’t tried it yet.
But the fast food gods have heard our pleas and in their infinite wisdom have blessed us with a new limited time offering: Taco Bell Fries!
You heard that right! On Wednesday the chain announced that U.S. customers will soon be able to order Nacho Fries for just $1. According to Taco Bell, the fries will have “a bold Mexican seasoning” and be served with a “warm Nacho Cheese dipping sauce.” You had me at “Fries.”
Customers can also order “Supreme” fries for $2.49, which come with toppings like beef and Pico de Gallo, or “Bell Grande” fries for $3.49.
Taco Bell’s fries will be available for a limited time beginning January 25.
While fries will be new to it’s U.S. customers, Taco Bell has long served fries at international stores in countries like the United Kingdom, Korea, and Japan. The chain, owned by Yum Brands, also tested fries last spring in select California and West Virginia locations.
Southern California also recently saw the opening of it’s first liquor licensed Taco Bell! But no location will ever top the Las Vegas Strip Taco Bell where you can tie the knot while chowing down on your Taco Bell catered reception! (Just the classy wedding reception your new in-laws were hoping for)
OBVIOUSLY MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD. Do not read if you haven’t seen the movie yet.
The first time I saw Star Wars: The Last Jedi, I really hated this character. Vice Admiral Holdo appears out of (seemingly) nowhere to take command of the Resistance after Leia’s brush with death. We’re given a quick back story that she was the hero of a previous battle and that’s that.
Her command doesn’t last very long as the fleet (all three vessels of it) is wiped out within an hour of screen time of her assuming command after her escape plan goes awry.
But, upon further review, would her plan have worked if not for Poe’s self-entitled insubordinate meddling?
First let’s set the scene.
The remnants of the Resistance fleet were being chased down by the First Order’s larger, more powerful but slower capital ships. Our heroes only had enough fuel remaining for a single jump to light speed but were hesitant to make the jump because they knew the First Order could track them through light speed (which is a new technology).
So Vice Admiral Holdo has a plan to load the remaining Resistance personal into cloaked life boats as they pass a planet with an old rebel base. The goal is for the First Order to follow the now empty Resistance cruiser past the planet, unaware that the Resistance personal were transferred there.
Holdo decides to keep this plan compartmentalized to herself and not share it with the rest of the team. At first I thought this was a bad idea and where the plot begins to break away from previous Star Wars movies, where the pilots were always briefed with the ‘big picture’ by their superiors.
Commander Poe, who had been demoted earlier in the movie by Leia for losing his wing of pilots after pressing an attack on an enemy Dreadnaught (disobeying a direct order to break off), takes exception to being kept in the dark. Untrusting of Holdo and believing she actually has no plan of escape at all, he sends Finn and Rose to find a splicer (hacker) and sneak onto the lead Imperial Star Destroyer while he leads a mutiny on board their cruiser. GeekyMommy says that it’s like he was trying to “Mansplain” a better plan and when she wouldn’t listen to him with his superior male intelligence, he ran amok. (GeekyMommy’s words, not mine!)
Holdo later regains command and continues her plan to sneak the resistance fighters onto the planet. Her plan quickly goes to Hell in a hand basket however when the First Order ships adjust their fire to target the shieldless cloaked shuttles full of Resistance personal as opposed to the now decoy cruiser. Holdo then goes out “Like A Boss” in probably the coolest space Kamikaze scene ever put on screen.
But upon further review…
Holdo’s compartmentalizing the information is not only the right of any leader of a military unit, but also actually makes a great deal of sense since she already knows her fleet is being tracked, but not sure how.
What is the source of the leak? Could there be listening devices on board? Perhaps a member of the crew is actually a traitor and relaying information to their pursuers? With these questions in mind, it makes sense to keep as many people on a ‘need to know’ basis as possible.
Her plan was actually working well until the First Order discovered the cloaked shuttles moving away from the cruiser to the planet.
How did the Imperials discover the cloaked ships?
The Imperials captured Finn, Rose and the morally agnostic hacker DJ because the idea that 3 people could sneak onto a massive Star Destroyer and hack their computer system is the space equivalent of an Aaron Rodgers Hail Mary!
D.J. then sells the resistance plan to the Imperials who begin immediately destroying the defenseless shuttles full of Poe’s friends.
D.J would not have been on the Star Destroyer in the first place to have been captured if not for Poe making moves without consulting his superiors. And even after being captured, he would NOT have able to reveal the cloaked shuttle to the Imperials if the details of the plan had been kept compartmentalized as Holdo wanted. She didn’t want to tell Poe about the plan, and the second she did, he essentially gave it to the enemy!
The components of the equation that led to the Imperials discovering the cloaked shuttles were all in play because of Poe’s impulsive actions.
Poe really is the poor-man’s Han Solo. Solo was famous for “never tell me the odds” but then beating the odds. Poe wants to be that guy, but really needs to listen to the odds.
The End Result
Obviously, we are talking about hypotheticals in a fictional story, but by all accounts, Holdo’s plan of escape for the resistance would have worked had Poe followed the orders of those in command above him. Her plan was working in fact until D.J. (who Poe placed on the Star Detroyer) with the information of the escape plan (that Poe leaked to him) was utilized by the enemy.
While I still question Holdo’s actions after the launch of the cloaked shuttles (Why not jump to lightspeed so the Star Destroyers follow? Move the cruiser into a blocking position to shield the shuttles? Make her Kamikaze run immediately after the 1st shuttle was fired on), she did have a workable plan in place that would have worked if all her commanders had followed the Bill Belichick-New England Patriots motto of “Just Do Your Job.”
So my initial impression of Vice Admiral Holdo as being the goat of this whole film was actually incorrect. Poe’s feeling of self-entitlement, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants attitude and laissez faire approach towards information security lead directly to the deaths of multiple shuttles full of his friends.
As for why couldn’t Holdo’s role be held by Leia or Admiral Ackbar, the person in charge had to be someone we didn’t know and didn’t necessarily trust. How many of us were duped by Poe’s dumb plan and thought what he was doing was right? We would have trusted Leia or Ackbar without question, but our lack of knowledge of Holdo, and perhaps even her clothing that doesn’t exactly speak military strategist, made us fall into that trap.
Also, other arm-chair quarterbacks wonder, “Well, if Holdo didn’t trust Poe, why didn’t she put him into the brig?” Poe hadn’t done anything brig-worthy and with the limited number of resistance fighters (Rose said she had just put 3 in the brig earlier that day), she couldn’t afford to lose someone who could actually fire a gun in the right direction (unlike say, Stormtroopers). He was stuck on a ship in the middle of space with a fleet of First Order ships following them – what trouble could he get into? It’s like trusting a toddler in a “childproof” room. Apparently a lot!
What are your thoughts on Holdo? Did she get a bad rap? How about Poe?