XFL St. Louis Is A Grassroots Movement
By Alistair Fannell
For the first time in nearly 5 years, there was some form of professional football in St. Louis. On July 13th, 140 potential players tried out at the XFL Summer Showcase at Lou Fusz Training Facility in Earth City, Missouri. Guests watched as hopefuls were trying out for coaches and scouts on becoming the newest stars of the new league.
While there is still the buzz of the return of professional football to the Gateway City, the local media are still questioning whether the XFL will last, and whether it will compete against the always popular St. Louis Cardinals and the recently Stanley Cup Champion, St. Louis Blues. There could also be competition if the city is awarded a Major League Soccer team sometime this year.
St. Louis had supported professional football whether it was the Football Cardinals or The Rams, yet they both left a very sour taste that either broke our hearts or angered us with greedy owners who wouldn’t play ball with local leaders and wanted fancy, shiny stadiums.
Those that remember, the Football Cardinals first came to St.Louis in 1960 and played at Sportsman’s Park, then old Busch Stadium in 1966 till 1987. There was the Cardiac Cardinals of the 1970s with legendary coach Don Coryell. Despite having some success, the team never hosted a playoff during their 27 years in St. Louis. The team performance declined back in the late ’70s and 1980s and then the team moved to Arizona after the 1987 season when both St. Louis City and St. Louis County couldn’t come up with a stadium solution to keep the team in St. Louis.
We remembered THAT.
THEN in 1993, the St. Louis lost a bid for NFL expansion to Jacksonville and Charlotte. Then two years later, the Los Angeles Rams moved to St. Louis after 46 years. During their tenure the Rams won the franchise’s first Super Bowl during the 1999 season. Then it went downhill in which the team couldn’t find success. Despite all efforts by a Missouri governor and St. Louis’ strong effort in keeping the team, owner Stan Kroenke wanted to move the team back to its long-tenured home in Los Angeles. It was approved by 30 NFL owners in January of 2016, and St. Louis became the only city to have lost two NFL teams that relocated to western U.S. cities.
We definitely remembered THAT.
In 2020, professional football will return to St. Louis as its XFL team will begin play at The Dome at America’s Center. It will be the first time the city will have their very own professional football team that isn’t from another market, and the first time the city will be introduced to spring football. You know that professional football in the spring has seen little success going back to the days of the old USFL in the 1980’s, NFL Europe of the 90’s and 00’s and most recently the Alliance of American Football, which didn’t even complete its first season after only 8 games.
Vince McMahon brought back the XFL after the previous incarnation folded back in 2001. He wanted St. Louis as an XFL city and made it happen with its area leaders and officials; all despite it’s bad pro football history that the city had endured.
While sports media outlets in St.Louis like the Post Dispatch or Fox 2 St. Louis (who will air the games on their station) will pay little attention of the team, it will be supported by grassroots sports media outlets in St. Louis like the N The Zone Network and One Universal Production that cover the XFL and gives weekly updates of the League. Already, they have had interviews with new head coach Jonathan Hayes and XFL commissioner Oliver Luck. THESE are the ones that will cater for the fans, that care for the fan, that are all in for the new league. Those are the ones to pay attention to. Fans will get LIVE shows and podcasts about XFL St. Louis which has gained interest from the league itself.
While it’s not the No Fun League, it’s still pro football and it’s coming to St.Louis for the 3rd time since 1960. The third time’s the charm, right? This is traditional football with slightly different rules that should entertain fans in St. Louis and abroad. Don’t forget to follow the grassroots movements in St.Louis because there are exciting times ahead. Can’t wait until February 2020.