The New XFL Football League: Then vs. Now

This past Thursday Vince McMahon, chairman and founder of the WWE, made official what we all suspected back when he cashed in around $100 million worth of WWE stock last December: He is officially relaunching the XFL Football League!

New XFL
“My fellow football fans…”

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-mcmahon-xfl-getty
“How could this possibly go wrong?”

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.

XFL
Complete with a nifty new logo (courtesy of Alpha Entertainment)

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

XFL

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
He hate me
But did he really?

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).

marine 5
umm…what?

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.

AP RAMS 49ERS FOOTBALL S FBN USA CA

“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?

donald-trump-mcmahon-head-shave
Remember when Vince and the ‘Donald’ had the stupid “Shave Your Head” match?

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.

UnitedStatesFootballLeague

The USFL was successful until Donald Trump (then owner of the New Jersey Generals) pressured the USFL to move their season from the Spring to the Fall in order to directly compete with the NFL in 1986. Unfortunately, the NFL had deeper pockets, more talented players (with a few high priced exceptions) and simply a better product than anything the USFL could put on the field, which led to the quick demise for the USFL.

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!

What are your thoughts on his new XFL?

this was the XFL
ESPN 30 for 30 available on Amazon.com
who killed the USFL
ESPN 30 for 30 available on Amazon.com

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Star Wars The Last Jedi: In Defense of Holdo

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.

vice admiral Holdo

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).

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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!)

Star-Wars-8-Poe-Dameron-Details-Oscar-Isaac

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.

holdo beer

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.

need to know

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!

hail mary

D.J. then sells the resistance plan to the Imperials who begin immediately destroying the defenseless shuttles full of Poe’s friends.

Benicio-Del-Toro-as-DJ-in-Star-Wars-The-Last-Jedi
How could you not trust this face.

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.

han solo

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.”

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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?

Star Wars The Last Jedi
Available on Amazon.com



Are We Going To See A Return Of The XFL?

The NFL has brought back the “End Zone Celebration.”

Arizona Cardinals v Philadelphia Eagles

Well whoop-dee-crap.

With hot tubs full of bikini clad models, the XFL really knew how to celebrate in the end zone!

XFL hot tub

Recently chairmen and CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment Vince McMahon sold 3.34 million shares (approx. $100 million) of the WWE to help fund his new venture Alpha Entertainment LLC.

On December 16th of this year, that same Alpha Entertainment filed for five trademarks with the U.S. Trademark and Patent Office, including the XFL. The company also sought to trademark “URFL.”

XFL

According to ESPN, the filings seek to trademark the XFL as a professional football league and also cover merchandise related to the league. Previous XFL trademarks were abandoned over a period of time from 2002 to ’05.

The original XFL, a joint venture between the WWE and NBC television, debuted to impressive ratings back in 2001. However, with it’s goofy gimmicks, personalized jerseys and horrible on field play, those same ratings fell quicker than a Hardy Boyz nose-dive off the top turnbuckle and the league barely survived its inaugural season.

He hate me
But did he really hate you?

WWE and NBC lost approximately $35 million each, after taxes, on the league.

Coincidentally, this is happening at the same time that Jerry Richardson, the majority share holder of the NFL‘s Carolina Panthers, announced his intent to sell his stake in the team at the end of the season. He announced his intention to sell shortly after allegations of workplace misconduct came to light in a Sport Illustrated article.

Is is possible Vince MacMahon’s Alpha Entertainment has an intention to attempt to buy into the NFL franchise? I would say doubtful at best, but never put anything by the “boss.”

 



Pontiac Silverdome Shows Better Defense Than The Detroit Lions Did

On a day where a quadriplegic could have rushed for at least 50 yards against the Detroit Lions defense, their old crib, the Pontiac Silverdome, displays a more stifling defense.

lions

The Silverdome has sat vacant pretty much since the Detroit Lions moved to their new digs downtown in 2002 and has been the center of multiple legal battles since.

Finally set for her demise, the 40+ year-old Silverdome had other plans…

That’s right! Much like the first half offense of her old tenants the Lions, nothing happened.

According to Rick Cuppetilli, executive vice president of the demolition company Adamo Group, the cords may have been cut to the explosives attached to the main eight columns that support the structure.

I think the reason the 8:30 AM demolition didn’t work was simply a matter of timing.

Most people familiar with the Silverdome know that things only implode there on Sundays during football season around 1 PM.

Remember the beginning of the season when there was hope…

Grayson football

Could We See UFC’s Sage Northcutt As Ivan Drago’s Son In Creed II?

Is there any better summary of the cold war than Rocky IV?

The perfect 80’s villain. The perfect 80’s hero. That awesome 80’s soundtrack.

Since pretty much everything else “80’s” has been making a comeback lately (Nintendo Classic, Cabbage Patch Kids, Trump), why not the Drago family tree as well?

According to IMDB.com, Creed II is set for a 2018 release with Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone and Dolph Lundgren all returning to reprise their roles in this decades spanning franchise.

The big news about Creed II to come to light recently is that UFC Lightweight Sage Northcutt has thrown his hat in the ring to play the spawn of Ivan Drago in the upcoming Creed sequel.

sage

According to Northcutt:

“The new Creed 2 will premiere soon, so I auditioned for her. I sent a small tape so I hope it works. It would be great. To be the son of Ivan Drago in the movie? That would be fun.”



While the list of MMA athletes that have attempted to make the leap from the octagon to the silver screen seems to be ever expanding (Rhonda Rousey, Randy Couture, Bas Rutten George St. Pierre…), the list of those that have done so successfully seems to grow at a much slower pace (Gina Carano and ummm…).

Fast-and-Furious-6
Gina was the best addition to Fast & Furious 6

The physical resemblance between Sage Northcutt and the young Dolph Lundgren are uncanny, but are Sage’s acting skillz on par with his fighting skillz?

Sage Drago

I like this concept of opposing ideologies between the post cold war era offspring of these two 80’s fictional boxing titans, but this leaves to 2 big questions unanswered about this project for me:

Will we see a return of celebrity rehab staple Brigitte Nielson to the Rocky-verse as Sage’s mother?

*EXCLUSIVE* Brigitte Nielsen and husband Mattia Dessi out for a scooter ride in Studio City

And how about a return of awesome 8o’s synthesizer composer Vince DiCola!

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Rocky Toys Available On Amazon.com!

Did Your Uber Driver Play 14 Seasons In The NFL?

Jon Runyan is many things but lazy is definitely not one of them.

After spending 14 seasons as an offensive lineman in the NFL, 9 of which were with the Philadelphia Eagles, he spent 4 years as a U.S. Representative for New Jersey’s 3rd congressional district.

jon-runyan-slide

Now he is a part time driver for Uber in the Philadelphia area. Not because he needs the money, like many other former professional athletes do, but because he gets bored.

In a recent interview with the PhillyVoice’s Matt Mullin, he said he has given seven to 10 rides so far.

“Sometimes you’ll just be sitting around the house, my girls are out doing what they do, and the wife and I are sitting there like, ‘Are we doing anything tonight?’ and she’ll be like, ‘No.'” So I’ll say that I’m going to go open the Uber app and see if anyone needs a ride.”



As if all of that wasn’t enough, he is also in his 2nd year as the NFL’s vice president of the policy and rules administration.
So next time you are in the Philly area and your Uber driver asks you “how about them Eagles?”, be careful how you answer. Cause you never know who is behind the wheel…

WWE Signs American Ninja Warrior Kacy Catanzaro & Jordanian TV Star Shadia Bseiso

Two of the new recruits that made cameos at the annual Mae Young Classic will be recognizable to U.S. and Jordanian audiences: Kacy Catazano and Shadia Bsesio.

catazano & Sheia

Both have signed contracts with the WWE per Bleacher Report.

Recently WWE has been using their NXT product as a quasi-minor league program to introduce, cultivate and gauge audience reaction to new talent. It is possible both women will be introduced their first before being called up to the Big Show (pun intended).

]Kacy Catanzaro amazed and charmed audiences of American Ninja Warrior in 2014 when she became the first woman to conquer a city finals course and advance to the national finals stage in Las Vegas. She has also previously worked out at the WWE Performance Center.



Shadia Bseiso will be less recognizable domestically but is very well known internationally for her work on Jordanian television. She previously trained with the WWE in Dubai this past April.

Shadia Bseiso
Source: WWE.com

“I want to be the first WWE female Superstar from the Middle East” she told Sayan Ghosh of the Hindustan Times.  She currently has a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and should be a natural thanks to her previous TV work.

The popularity of Catazano and Bseiso should both help WWE ratings domestically and internationally.

WWE Championship Belt
Available on Amazon.com

Feature Image courtesy of TMZ


Geeky Daddy’s Top Fantasy Football Team Name Suggestions

The hardest part of Fantasy Football pre-season is drafting your team.

The 2nd hardest part of Fantasy Football pre-season is deciding what to name your team. You want it to be humorous but still strike fear into the heat of your opponent.

Fantasy Football Ring
Fantasy Rings Available on Amazon

You don’t want to finalize your team name until after the draft because you don’t know your roster yet.

It Ertz When Eifert (credit to @MrMarcott) is awesome if you nail both those tight ends (ha, get it!).

“Hyde & Zeke” sounds great but if you don’t land Carlos Hyde and Zeke Elliot in your draft, then your name is just confusing.



But not to fear, Geeky Daddy has your back!

Here are some of my favorite Fantasy Football Team Name Suggestions (broken down by category)!

Music Inspired:

Little Red Fournette

Brady Gaga

Julio Let The Dogs Out

Dakstreet Boys

Turn Down For Watt

Le’Veon A Prayer

Baby Got Dak

Movie Inspired:

Trubisky Business

Beauty & The Beast Mode

Laces Out

Forgetting Brandon Marshall

The Replacements

Inglorious Bradfords

Say Watt Again, I Dare You!

Any Given Sunday

The Big Gronkowski

Dak To The Future

Suicide Squad

Internet Inspired:

Hyde your kidz, Hyde your wife

It Ertz When Eifert (credit to @MrMarcott)

Star Wars Inspired:

Jedi Mind Tricks

T.V. Inspired:

Mr. Rogers Neighborhood

Fake News

Law & Odell

Dalvin & The Chipmunks

Others:

Turn your head and Goff

Victorious Secret

Beginner’s Luck

Golden Tate Warriors

Good luck with your drafts everyone! 



Top 5 Worst Fighter Walk Out Songs Of All Time

With the big fight this past weekend (and the uber lengthy walk-outs both fighters had), it got me curious about the worst fighter walk-out songs possible.

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“Your chocolate got in my peanut butter!” Your peanut butter got into my chocolate!”

Side Note: no boxing match will ever be as exciting as the Medieval Combat League! Where MMA meets LARP!

 

Makhloev vs Stadnichenko M1 Medieval YouTube

There’s the obvious choices like “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor for an accomplished striker or “Stranglehold” by Ted Nugent for an accomplished ground fighting expert.

Ideally, your walk-out track should get you “jacked up” and hyped for an epic “Battle of Helmsdeep” type confrontation.

And not a Zach Morris vs A.C. Slater confrontation…

While the addition of Guile’s theme music does help this clash of 90’s titans, I would still be hugely disappointed if I purchased this Pay-Per-View.



I wanted a list of songs more suited for the Zach Morris vs. A.C. Slater PPV than a vintage Mike Tyson PPV

Here are the top 5 Worst possible walk-out songs for a fighter:

5. It’s Raining Men by The Weather Girls

Originally recorded in 1982, It’s Raining Men had already been turned down by big names of the day such as Diana Ross, Donna Summer, Cher & Barbara Streisand before The Weather Girls scored this knock out (all puns intended).

Prancing out to the Octagon to this (or better yet: the RuPaul 1997 release) pretty much assures you 1 thing: your opposition is going to think twice about whether or not he wants to take you down…

Screen Shot 2017-07-24 at 12.09.14 PM
Available on Amazon.com

4. Glory of Love by Peter Cetera

Peter Cetera’s first solo hit after leaving Chicago (the band, not the city) was the theme song the the film Karate Kid II, as well as many weddings in the late 80’s.

In the film, our hero, Daniel, travels to Japan where he learns karate from a toy drum that he uses to defeat his enemy.

If you think that sounds stupid, that is simply because it is.

But at least the song was pretty good.

3. Physical by Olivia Newton-John

Obviously, optimizing this track as your walk-out song will require some serious teamwork and commitment from your corner.

Leg warmers will need to be worn by not only yourself, but all your corner men as well.

And at least one idiot will need to fake air guitar on a springy-Slinky-ish exercise type thing…

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2. Do You Really Want To Hurt Me by Boy George

This was actually used by UFC veteran Dave Herman for one of his fights.

While I thought is was hilarious, many hardcore UFC fans didn’t find the humor in it.

And if you take your time slowly sauntering up to the ring, forcing the audience (and your opponent) to listen to this song in it’s entirety, they will really want to hurt you!

1. Gummi Bears

There 2 types of people on this planet: Those who get this memorable tune (performed by music legend John Williams’ son Joseph) stuck from their head and those that, unfortunately, are deaf.

Let’s make a checklist of characteristics of non-intimadating songs and see how this theme from the 1980’s classic cartoon Gummi Bears stacks up.

Kiddie cartoon? Check. Disney owned property? Check. Named after a fruity flavored candy? Check. Written about a magical potion that enables you to bounce away and escape from hunters: Double check!

amazon

Doesn’t get much worse than that!

What do you think? Is there a worse fighter walk-out song than Gummi Bears?



Officially Licensed Major League Jobu Doll Reminds You “It Is Very Bad To Steal Jobu’s Rum”

Looking for the perfect way to re-live the Cleveland Indian’s magical season?

Well just in time for the MLB playoffs, Clark Toys has launched their officially licensed Jobu doll to help with all your team’s superstitious needs!

Jobu doll
Jesus Christ can’t hit a curve ball.”

The 10″ doll comes complete with a perfectly detailed Pedro Cerrano locker!

Cerrano locker



I would never steal Jobu’s rum but would considering buying car insurance from him…

pedro

Although the rum is not included, you could really spice (and geek) things up with some officially licensed Hell Boy 66.6 proof whiskey!

hellboy-whiskey

And you won’t even need a live chicken!