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Spartan Shield

The student news site of Pleasant Valley High School

Spartan Shield

The student news site of Pleasant Valley High School

Spartan Shield

The future of football: XFl and USFL merge, introducing the UFL

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Spencer Johnson
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Dany Garcia announce UFL merger

The United Football League (UFL), set to launch in March of 2024, is a result of a merger between the Extreme Football League (XFL) and United States Football League (USFL), now providing fans with a singular spring football platform.

The XFL and USFL were originally competitors, both itching to bring a new and exciting style of gameplay to America’s sport. It is no secret these leagues were unable to compete with the NFL, so they played a spring season, hoping to attract existing football fans.

Composed of only eight teams each and in competition with one another, both the XFL and USFL struggled with publicity and marketing schemes. This in large part is what sparked the merger to a unified league.

Avid football fan David Todd believes these now affiliated leagues will attract a new wave of fans. “One league instead of multiple will combine the possible viewers of both the USFL and XFL into one viewer base, as well as making it easier to watch spring football since only one league is running,” he said.

Condensing these leagues to a select number of cities also allows for targeted growth and flourishment before the UFL looks to expand into other major cities.

This newly founded league also provides opportunities for athletes hoping to play professionally. Many players are given limited exposure to NFL scouts and can be unfairly overlooked. The UFL allows these athletes the chance to play professional football rather than sit on practice squads.

Senior and former football player Owen Stoltz speaks to the opportunities numerous professional leagues can provide.

“There are a lot of positives to having alternative leagues for players to develop in. Whether athletes are using leagues like the UFL as a career or to showcase their talent to NFL teams, these leagues can provide a second chance to players who might have been overlooked,” he said.

A spring season is far from the only thing making the UFL stand out from traditional football. Both the XFL and USFL have differing kickoff, overtime and passing game rules than college or the NFL. This game play style is expected to carry over to the UFL and may even one day be adapted into the NFL. 

Stoltz believes these new rules will unlock a new excitement, safety aspect and attract new viewership to football. 

“I like the different rules the UFL will have this year such as kickoffs from further back on the field, the option to go for three after a touchdown and the alternative of converting a 4th down instead of going for an onside kick. I think these rules make the game more exciting and will encourage new viewership,” he said.

The majority of sports also have leagues devoted to enhancing players’ abilities, such as the minor leagues in MLB or the G League for the NBA. 

Stoltz would not be surprised to see the UFL incorporated into the NFL in a similar fashion. “I wouldn’t doubt if this league becomes popular enough that they merge with the NFL in some way to become a developmental league for aspiring pros,” he stated

The UFL provides a similar yet contrasting style of football for fans and players eagerly awaiting the first kickoff between each of the previous league’s respective champions, the Arlington Renegades and Birmingham Stallions.

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Spencer Johnson, Sports Editor, Student Life Editor
Spencer Johnson is a senior at Pleasant Valley High School and serves as the Sports and Student Life Editor for the Spartan Shield. He enjoys math and economics classes, and plans on majoring in Business Economics next fall at Iowa State University. Spencer plays trumpet for both PVHS and his Church, St. John Vianney. In his free time, he loves watching sports, movies and hanging out with his friends. Spencer is also an Eagle Scout who enjoys camping and being outdoors. He is very excited to finish out his senior year and write with the journalism team!

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