Former NFL Punter Brad Wing Eyes XFL Return

by Anthony Ranaudo

So the XFL is back….again. 

For the third time. And it looks like it has some real potential.

With the season kicking off February 18, 2023— the hype around the league, its ownership group and some of the players is real.

LSU/NFL legendary punter, Brad Wing, an Australian native— made his way out to San Diego this past weekend to complete one of the final player workouts before the league’s draft begins.

If you’re one of his 150,000+ followers— he gave us some pictures and a glimpse into the workouts, just one of many players showcasing their trip and attempting a comeback.

After the league was originally started in 2001 by WWE’s CEO Vince McMahon, with vast differences from the NFL, it was promptly ended after just one season.

The league was originally supposed to provide an alternative entertainment option with more intense hits and violence, sex appeal, and nicknames on jerseys.

While the intent was there— the product was certainly not, and fans were less than impressed with the quality of play and product on the field.

Fast forward to 2020— McMahon announced the return of the league, but this time dropping much of the WWE DNA, and focusing on the quality of the game, player safety, and providing a product that fans would want to watch.

Sounded great, but his ideas were a flash in the pan due to the global pandemic of COVID-19. Instead of following other sports leagues and creating bubble-like environments, the XFL laid off employees and filed for bankruptcy.

Enter Dwayne Johnson, his long-time business partner Dany Garcia, and RedBird Capital Partners— who bought the league for just $15 million.

The league has expanded into three new cities from the 2020 relaunch— adding Las Vegas, San Antonio, and Orlando into the mix, focusing on the city, players, and the community.

"What brings a league to life is the passion of the fandom behind it," Garcia said in a statement. "In each of these cities we will co-create with our fans and build these teams from the ground up so that they represent the unique fabric of our communities."

The Rock has proved he is a capable business-man and surrounds himself with a great team. The XFL has potential and I think he could be the right man to provide a quality alternative to our professional football league.

If ownership focuses on the community building centered around city culture, and understands the importance of today’s athlete— whether that be attention to medical details and injury prevention, overall health and well-being of the athletes, businesses logistics, marketing opportunities and more, I think they could have a great production.

Only time will tell to see what product the ownership group puts out the fans, but I am excited to see it all unfold.

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