Can You Smell What the XFL is Cooking?

The beginnings of the third installment of the XFL, a spring professional football league, started on August 20, 2020. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Danny Garcia, and Redbird Captial Partners became co-owners. The question is can you smell what the XFL is cooking?

Once selected as winning bidders, the three owners purchased all the assets of Alpha Entertainment LLC, the parent company of the XFL, out of bankruptcy before auctioning occurred for $15 million.  Most refer to Johnson as an iconic WWE superstar, top-earning actor, or fitness savant. However, his first athletic passion was rooted in football, and he was talented enough to make it professionally to the CFL.  Ultimately, Johnson never made it to what some players refer to as ‘The League”, where the best players in the world perform against each other in mortal football combat, referring to the NFL. From being coached in high school sports to having one of the most controversial CEOs in the entertainment business, and now being the face of an ownership group in charge, Dwayne Johnson leads the charge in a league that many consider a league of second chances and redemption.

Murky Waters of the XFL

A full circle moment is truly a unicorn experience most never will be able to attain in their glorious existence. Defined as a series of developments that leads back to the original source, position, or situation or to a complete reversal of the original position. Now acquiring the XFL said moment is fulfilled and is now faced with the task of proving Johnson can achieve what his predecessor could not, sustainability.  Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me, but what happens if you fool us a third time is a real question most potential start-up league fans have.

Buying into an unfamiliar brand is murky territory, especially if said brand has essentially drowned.  Taking a chance on rebranding with the backing of his sponsorship Under Armor along with the financial backing of partner RedBird Capital Partners, the ownership group is giving this league a real chance to grow potentially, something that hasn’t been seen or sustained in recent years. A once virtually unkempt product is now given some shine. The XFL is taking an innovative approach direction in fulfilling the needs of football fans everywhere by really giving a glimpse into play-calling and refereeing, almost giving a real-time feel of what’s going on from the moment the ball is snapped.

ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN +, and FX are the channels you can view the games. Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays are the days games are played on. The season is comprised of a 10-week regular season from February 18-April 23. Playoffs are April 29 to May 13.

Philly Sports Trips Generic


North Division
  • D.C. Defenders (2-0)
  • St. Louis Battlehawks (2-0)
  • Seattle Sea Dragons (0-2)
  • Vegas Vipers (0-2)
South Division
  • Houston Roughnecks (2-0)
  • San Antonio Brahmas (1-1)
  • Arlington Renegades (1-1)
  • Orlando Guardians (0-2)

Notable Names 

The XFL comprised rosters with players and coaches alike that have illustrious careers in the NFL, NCAA, CFL, and the USFL.  Here’s a look at a few:

Bob Stoops, Head Coach

A collegiate hall of fame championship-winning coach, winning almost 80% percent of his games, most known for bringing Oklahoma University to a dominant 10 Big 12 titles as Head Coach.  Recently was the head coach of the Dallas Renegades in the XFL before its shutdown in 2020.

Marquette King, P

Playing in the NFL for a combined eight years, a 2016 2nd team all-pro, King is an enigmatic player and still raises eyebrows whenever his name is mentioned.  Recently played for the St. Louis Battlehawks, averaging 45.6 yards per punt.

Jordan Ta;amu, QB

The USFL passing yards and touchdown leader of 2022 with the Tampa Bay Bandits enters a new league and looks to do the same and claim hardware this year in addition.

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D,Eriq King , QB

A Texas high school legend, King’s name is in the conversations as one of the best to come out of Texas. Most recently went undrafted out of the University of Miami and signed with Carolina Panthers, where he was assigned to play with D.C Defenders.

A.J. McCarron, QB

NFL career 2014-2021, 3x BCS national champion, 2013 Maxwell award recipient, 2013 First-team All-American. Most notable for playing at the University of Alabama and balling out. Most recently served as a backup for the Atlanta Falcons.

Ben Dinucci, QB

2019 AFCA 1st team All-American, 2019 CAA Offensive Player of the year, and 2020 7th round Dallas Cowboy selection. One of the few quarterbacks to start a regular season game in the NFL.

Josh Gordon, WR

Super Bowl LII Champion, 2013 NFL First-team All-Pro, 2013 Pro Bowl selection. Gordon, aka The Flash, may be one of the most prominent figures outside of The Rock in the new XFL. Josh Gordon can smell with e XFL is cooking.

Rod Woodson, Head Coach

Pro Football Hall of Fame, College Football Hall of Fame, Super Bowl XXXV Champion, NFL Defensive Player of the Year, 6x First-team All-Pro, as a player. Coached in the NFL for seven years prior to arriving in the XFL.

Brett Hundley, QB

2014 Second-team All-Pac 12, 2015 NFL 5th round selection, 7 year NFL career. ost recently served with Baltimore Ravens practice squad.

Martavis Bryant, WR

4-year NFL career, 2-year CFL career, 48.5 yards per catch average. He last played with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Wade Phillips, Head Coach

Super Bowl 50 Champion, coaching in all levels since 1969. Recently coached the LA Rams as a defensive coordinator, where he won a Superbowl.

Hines Ward, Head Coach

2x Super Bowl Champion and 4x Pro Bowler playing in the NFL.  Coached in the NFL from 2017-2020 and at Florida Atlantic University most recently. Served as Executive Assistant for the Alliance for American Football in 2019. Adored and respected by NFL historians, Ward is another recognizable figure for fans to watch.

Paxton Lynch, QB

2016 1st rd. draft pick, NFL career 2016-2020, CFL career 2021, USFL 2022. Playing most recently last year with the Michigan Panthers of the USFL.

Season Recap

As the first two weeks of the season close, we’ve already seen three-pointers converted, crunching hits, and come-from-behind thrilling victories.  With these small but fortifying rule changes, the atmosphere of these games always feels like a team can come in and win a game. In-depth glimpses of the on-field action are prevalent due to the players that are mic’d up for the viewers’ experience. 

In our early season, the DC Defenders, St. Louis Battlehawks, and the  Houston Roughnecks all are 2-0 heading into week three at the top of their respective divisions. The Arlington Renegades San Antonio Brahmas split their games this season and the Orlando Guardians, Seattle Sea Dragons, and Vegas Vipers all fell through the first two weeks.

Can You Smell What the XFL is Cooking Next Week?

Week 3
  • Seattle Sea Dragons Vs. Vega Vipers Saturday March 4, 7pm ET
  • St. Louis Battlehawks Vs. D.C. Defenders Sunday March 5, 1pm ET
  • Orlando Guardians Vs. Arlington Renegades Sunday March 5, 4pm ET
  • San Antonio Brahmas Vs. Houston Roughnecks Sunday, 8pm ET
Al Zaffiri
Al Zaffiri

Al is one of the two co-creators of Edge of Philly Sports. Al started radio and podcasting in 2012 and covering sports in 2015. A lifelong Philly sports fan since watching the Eagles, Phillies, Sixers, and Flyers with his grandfathers at age 7. Al always looks at the other side of the hot topics and gives his different outlook on those topics. Web and Graphic Design.