1. Insta-Fans. There were a large number of fans in the Las Vegas stadium Saturday night who had complex renderings of the XFL teams’ logos painted on their faces. These renderings were so perfect that it made me suspect the makeup people from The Grinch had been flown in for the occasion to “prep” a few fans and give their respective insignia a professional look. There were also an awful lot of people decked out in full team gear in the stands on opening day, when it would seem that most people would have no idea where to get a hold of this stuff ahead of time.
Were these Insta-Fans manufactured by Vince McMahon and placed in the audience for NBC’s cameras to pick up? Does there exist an Insta-History of the imaginary legacies of XFL franchises that made these fans literally glow with pride?
Regardless of their roots, these fans served as symbolic anchors that provided a foundation for what had been invented from thin air.
2. They have free lap dances in the aisles at XFL games. The moments just before and just after commercial breaks feature snippets of XFL cheerleaders cavorting in the aisles performing unsynchronized dances that would sometimes feature “grinding” interaction with enthused sports fans.
3. The players’ helmets pop off all the time, every third play or so.
4. The XFL refs seem to be a bit confused about what the rules of the game are—just like you probably suspect the NFL refs sometimes are—but in the XFL, you actually get to listen to the refs talk about it!
5. Most XFL players have jerseys with their nicknames on the back in lieu of their surnames. Champ, Chuckwagon, and Baby Boy, to name a few.
6. Brian Bosworth said on Fox Sports last week that the raw, behind-the-scenes presentation of the XFL helps viewers to experience vicariously what it is like to be “an animal in a cage.” Notwithstanding the Boz’s favored metaphoric expression for what it’s like to play in the Big Game, the point-of-view cameras, the sideline interviews with guys after they make big plays, and the miked coaches and players make good television.
7. Did I mention the Boz is an XFL announcer? His hair brought intensity, honor, and mega-hold to the game.
Finally, three suggestions for how Vince McMahon can improve his fledgling football league:
1. Use glow-in-the-dark numbers or accents on uniforms paired with black lights in lieu of normal stadium lighting.
2. Create a mandatory designated-hitter-type position to be filled by a visiting WWF superstar.
3. Dress the athletes in leather and fringed buckskin. Why settle for anything less than uniforms that bring with them something of a Lewis and Clark pioneer sheen?