Do you remember the XFL? You know, the failed football experiment created by pro wrestling mastermind Vince McMahon? Former XFL player and Detroit Lion, and current Denver Broncos linebacker, Paris Lenon certainly does.
McMahon launched the XFL back in 2001 to provide an alternative to the NFL. The league was a hybrid of football and the over-the-top antics of his WWE empire. The XFL folded after one season and several players transitioned to the NFL. Lenon is the sole survivor from that group who is still playing pro football.
“It was entirely different than the National Football League,” Lenon, 36, told the Denver Post. “I’m pretty sure people have a lot of jokes about the league, but at the time for me, it was a situation where I had the opportunity to play in NFL Europe or stay in the states and make more money. And that’s what it boiled down to.”
Despite the league being ridiculed by sports media and football purists, Lenon doesn’t regret his time in the XFL. “Playing in that league, all it did was it gave me more playing experience,” he says. “Anytime you get more experience, get more comfortable, the better you are from it.”
It’s hard to believe the XFL failed to catch on for more than one season after seeing things like a scramble for football possession.
The Denver Broncos will host the San Diego Chargers in an AFC divisional playoff showdown this Sunday at 4:40 PM on CBS.