National Microwave Day

Today is National Microwave Day.  Really …  So, to commemorate that day, I will try to make this quick…

I had exactly no inside information a couple of days ago when I mentioned that if the D-Backs really wanted to offer up Paul Goldschmidt in a trade, it would behoove lots of teams to go and get him.  Well, the St. Louis Cardinals did just that trading 3 prospects and a draft pick to the D-Backs for the six-time All Star, Paul Goldschmidt.  The D-Backs just declared themselves to be in a rebuilding mode having lost Patrick Corbin to the Washington Nationals in free agency earlier this week.

It looks as if there is really going to be a reincarnated XFL – call it XFL 2.0 if you want.  The league is scheduled to begin play the week after the Super Bowl game in 2020.  On the assumption that the AAF survives its inaugural season intact, they too will be putting on a game on the Sunday after the Super Bowl in 2020.  That might be interesting…

XFL 2.0 announced the location of its 8 franchises this week.  Seven cities that have NFL teams plus St. Louis – where there was an NFL team until very recently – will make up XFL 2.0.  Contrast that “placement strategy” with the one from the AAF where only 2 cities with NFL teams (Atlanta and Phoenix) will also have AAF teams.

The 8 teams in the new XFL will have rosters of 45 players with practice squads of 7 players each.  The AAF is trying to assign players to teams proximal to where the players went to college; it is not clear that the XFL has any similar strategy in mind.  However, the XFL will also be assigning players to franchises starting in early 2019.

The original XFL had some rule changes and presentational techniques that deviated significantly from the NFL or college football.  Some were:

  • Kickoffs had to be run out of the end zone; there were no touchbacks unless the ball carried out of the end zone on the kickoff.  [Aside:  The NFL in 2018 has gone almost 180-degrees in the opposite direction trying to minimize kickoff returns as a player safety measure.]
  • PATs were only pass/run from the 2-yardline.  There were no place-kicked PATs.
  • Pass receivers needed only 1 foot down inbounds to make a catch.  [Aside: That was and still is the college rule; personally, I prefer the “2 feet down” rule ever so slightly.]
  • As in the CFL, a back could be in motion toward the line of scrimmage prior to the snap.  [Aside:  The offense has enough rule advantages as it is without adding this one in my opinion.]
  • As in the CFL, there were no fair catches on punts.

I mention those old XFL “innovations” because XFL 2.0 intends to continue that tradition.  While announcing the location of the 8 franchises for the league, Commissioner Oliver Luck also said that the league would be “crowdsourcing” ideas for rules that are different from the NFL and/or college football.  I did not like that choice of wording at first; I thought he was saying that he was going to open this up to some sort of Internet forum wherein anybody with a keyboard and a modem could throw an idea in over the transom.  I was relieved to hear that Commissioner Luck clarified that to say that he and other league officials have sought input from some former coaches and players about rule changes that might make sense – as opposed to what might come in over the transom.  The rule modifications for this iteration of the XFL will not be change-for-the-sake-of change; the idea is to promote safety and to make the games more entertaining to the audience.  Here is part of Luck’s announcement:

“It’ll look like football, but we do plan on innovating in a couple of spaces. We’ve convened what we call a ‘football reimagined’ effort. Looking to address those issues that football fans tend to complain about.”

Probably the two biggest complaint fans have about football games in 2018 are tied together.  Fans complain about:

  1. Officiating – – and – –
  2. Replays and the adjudication of replays.

Nothing will make fans happy with officials’ calls that go against the home lads at a critical moment in the game.  However, there must be a better – and faster – way to adjudicate replay reviews.  I cannot recall the last time I sat back and said to myself anything like the following:

  • “Boy, am I glad that they are taking 3 minutes to review that last play because I was getting far too excited about and emotionally invested in the game as it was happening.  I really needed this breather.”

I am not going to throw any ideas over the transom here, but:

  • Memo to XFL 2.0:  There just has to be a better way to do this!

Finally, here is a definition from The Official Dictionary of Sarcasm:

“Awesome:  A word most properly used to denote something truly breathtaking, unbelievably magnificent or strikingly wonderful; it is now used to describe everything from a half-decent meal to a show of support for someone who just landed an entry-level job at Staples.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………



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