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#1 Sept. 10, 2018 10:13:17

liny195
Registered: 2018-06-22
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Benz Stadium and all the big ev

Vince McMahon is resuscitating the XFL.

OK Robert Golden Color Rush Jersey , let’s get the bad jokes out of the way: Are some teams going to be wearing masks and representing parts unknown? Will the hook-and-ladder play involve smashing someone with a real ladder?

The XFL was a ”colossal failure” the first time McMahon tried it – his words – and there’s every reason to believe XFL2 will meet a similar fate.

But a spring football league, done the right way, could work.

And, no, we’re not kidding around.

The United States Football League came up with the most feasible concept back in the 1980s, only to crumble after just three seasons because of out-of-control spending and a suicidal push by owners such as Donald Trump to compete directly against the NFL .

But the USFL might still be around today if it had stuck to its original concept, which was to serve as more of a complement to the NFL than a direct competitor.

The timing is ripe for another attempt.

While the economy is booming and football remains the nation’s most popular sport, the NFL is contending with shrinking TV ratings, empty seats and a lingering debate over players kneeling during the national anthem to protest social injustice. For the first time in decades, there are actually some cracks in the league’s armor.

Clearly, those issues figured into McMahon’s planned re-launch of the XFL in 2020 .

”As far as this league is concerned, it will have nothing to do with politics, nothing to do with social issues,” he said. ”That’s what the fans want. When they tune in to a game, they don’t want to deal with political issues. They want to watch good football.”

Good football will likely be the fatal flaw in McMahon’s new venture, just as it was for the original XFL. While the risque cheerleaders and close ties to wrestling brought plenty of much-deserved ridicule, it was the amateurish quality of play that ultimately caused its downfall. As Bob Costas memorably observed, it was ”mediocre high school football” combined ”with a tawdry strip club.”

Since McMahon’s new XFL will follow the same single-entity plan – he’ll be the sole owner of the eight-team league – there’s unlikely to be nearly enough money to lure any recognizable names, unless Tim Tebow (yes, he came up during the announcement Thursday) decides to make a football comeback.

But an updated version of the USFL concept would have a real chance at succeeding during the spring and summer http://www.coltsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-tyquan-lewis-jersey , football’s traditional offseason.

Here’s a few ideas:

– Start with 10 or 12 teams, split between major NFL cities such as New York, Chicago and Los Angeles; those that have lost teams (San Diego, St. Louis and soon-to-be Oakland); and untapped markets with big league stadiums (San Antonio comes to mind).

– Restrict ownership to those who not only have deep pockets, but are totally committed to the concept (i.e., not simply trying to turn their investment into a merger with the NFL). Point out the relative bargain of owning a team in the new league compared to, say, the Carolina Panthers, whose selling price will surely exceed $2 billion. Maybe Mark Cuban would be interested in a Dallas franchise. Reach out to Oprah Winfrey about a Chicago team.

– Don’t get into a bidding war with the NFL over players. Focus heavily on scouting and development, which means pursuing lower-level pros who might thrive in a bigger role and college stars projected to go in the later rounds of the NFL draft. Always be on the lookout for someone like 2016 Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson, the subject of wildly varying draft projections, who might have a better chance at playing time in a new league. And let’s not forget: Colin Kaepernick is still unemployed.

– Line up a traditional TV deal to provide financial stability, perhaps some combination of a major network and a newer, sports-themed cable outlet such as NBCSN or Fox Sports 1. But also be on the cutting edge of subscription services, mobile streaming and other innovative conduits that appeal to a younger audience.

In essence, follow the model laid out by the late David Dixon, the New Orleans businessman whose longtime push for an out-of-season league finally came to fruition with the launch of the USFL in 1983.

Looking back, that first season was a rousing success in many ways. The Denver Gold averaged more than 41,000 fans. Overall attendance was roughly in line with the hoped-for 25,000 per game. TV ratings on ABC and then-fledgling ESPN actually exceeded projections. The quality of play was solid.

But the seeds of the USFL’s downfall were already in motion. When the New Jersey Generals skirted the salary cap to lure Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker away from Georgia Raiders Game Jerseys , it only led more teams to dole out big bucks in pursuit of stars. That, in turn, led to huge financial losses. Dixon wisely walked away after that inaugural season.

In the end, the USFL’s most enduring legacy was the $3 judgment it ”won” in an antitrust suit against the NFL, a ruling that finished off the league in 1986 before it carried out a Trump-backed move from spring to fall.

No one since has made a serious attempt at a spring football league.

A revived XFL certainly doesn’t qualify.

But someone out there should heed McMahon’s words.

”Football is America’s favorite sport,” he said. ”We’ve got seven months of no football on the gridiron and 70 million fans. Why not now? Now is the perfect opportunity.”



Paul Newb With a few shorts blasts of a horn, the intricate steel structure came to life. Slowly, the eight mammoth pods above Mercedes-Benz Stadium began to slide along railroad-like tracks, revealing the towering downtown skyline off to the east, the glimmering gold dome of the state capitol to the south, and a brilliant blue sky sprinkled with puffy, white clouds overhead.

Eight minutes later, it was fully open.

Nearly a year after the ballyhooed opening of the $1.5 billion stadium, the retractable roof finally is open for business.

”We never had any doubt that this was going to work,” said Mike Egan, who oversaw construction of the stadium. ”But to see it open – now I don’t have to show up at cocktails and have people ask me about the roof anymore. That’s what I’m most excited about.”

A process that took far longer than expected – and produced plenty of ridicule about whether the complex, camera lens-like design would ever work – finally paid off Wednesday when stadium officials showed off the finished product.

The roof opened quicker than the projected 12 minutes in its original design, and only needed about seven minutes to close. Stadium officials also insisted that leaking issues, which embarrassingly turned up during last season’s college football national championship game, had been corrected.

The massive project Yasmani Grandal Jersey , which broke ground in May 2014, is officially completed.

That means this season’s Super Bowl could be held with the roof open if the NFL deems the weather outside to be acceptable.

”It’s working just exactly the way it’s supposed to,” Egan said. ”We can’t wait until the fans are in here. They’re going to be blown away.”

The first demonstration of the fully functioning roof for the general public is set for Sunday, when the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons will hold a training camp practice at the stadium. Some 50,000 fans are expected.

Egan said he never had any doubts about the roof working, but additional modifications were needed after the stadium opened last August. That meant the roof has been closed for all but three events – last season’s Falcons opener and two games for Major League Soccer’s Atlanta United, who already have set numerous attendance records in their new home .

In essence, Egan said, more flexibility had to be built into the eight pods, each weighing roughly 500 tons, to ensure they didn’t burn out the motors that power the process. He said the modifications added slightly to the already costly price tag, but would be paid for entirely by Falcons and United owner Arthur Blank, not by the taxpayers.

To mark the roof’s belated completion, several dozen media members were taken to the top of the stadium – 300 feet above the field – for a first-hand look at the unique structure.

The massive pods were remarkably quiet as they slid along a pair of tracks in perfect synchronization. Other than a warning horn that wailed at the beginning of the movements, the only other real sound atop the roof was a comforting breeze on a day when the temperature climbed near 90 degrees.

The views of the city were spectacular from up above, but this wasn’t a perspective that fans will have on game day.

The media tour required a grueling hike to the top of the upper deck, two more climbs up a pair of metal staircases used by employees only, broken up a harrowing walk along a catwalk that would challenge anyone with a fear of heights.

At the end, there a steep, ladder-like staircase to navigate Jamal Adams Jets Jersey , akin to what one might find on a naval ship, to get through a small portal that opened up to the sprawling roof.

After plans were announced to build a new retractable-roof stadium to replace the Georgia Dome , which was only 25 years old, Mercedes-Benz Stadium was awarded three major events in its first three years.

This past January, Alabama defeated Georgia in an overtime thriller to win college football’s national championship . The upcoming NFL season will conclude in Atlanta with the city’s third Super Bowl. Finally, in 2020, the stadium will host the Final Four of men’s college basketball.

In 2026, Mercedes-Benz Stadium is likely to be one of the prime venues for the world’s biggest sporting event, soccer’s World Cup . The winning bid submitted by the United States, Mexico and Canada included a provisional schedule with six games being played in Atlanta, including a semifinal.

Now, the stadium also has a roof that opens.

”This architectural icon that is coming online as of today, it’s only going to take our fan experience to the next level,” said Steve Cannon, chief executive officer of Blank’s AMB Group. ”We’re really excited about what the future holds for Mercedes-Benz Stadium and all the big events we have planned over the coming months and the coming years.”



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