XFL CFL Merger

XFL CFL Merger: How Would it Look, and Would it Work?

The XFL and CFL are in negotiations about merging, or at least being potential business partners.

The CFL clearly needs help financially and is on the verge of collapse and the XFL needs all the help it can get to not fail for the third time.

Canadian football is a huge part of Canadian sports and even though it isn’t anywhere near the number of people that watch the NFL it is still about a third of the population of Canada that watches the sport. The XFL was looking like it would be the first to succeed as a major spring football league but then COVID put a stop to that.

How Can They Pull Off the Merger?

            The only way for them to pull this off is to keep the traditions of the CFL for their league games so that the Canadian fans continue to watch.

But the XFL is also a very innovative league and I doubt they will want to be constrained by the CFL’s long-standing rules.

If I were in charge of this merger, I would keep them in their two leagues kind of like the NFL does with conferences. Each team would add 2 interleague games into the regular season schedule. Each league would have its two divisions.

For the XFL the playoffs would consist of the top 2 teams from each conference and for the CFL they could keep their top 3 teams with a crossover team possible. The champions from each league would move on to an inter-league championship game.

How Would a Combined XFL/CFL Handle Scheduling?

             For the scheduling they would have to kind of compromise when to start and finish.

Let’s assume the XFL has 8 teams for this exercise. The CFL would start in early March to complete their typical 18 game schedule.

But they would have to take two of the league games away. Why? To fit in the XFL inter-league games and not to cause too many injuries.

The XFL would start after the CFL had 6 weeks of the regular season games and play 4 games. At week 10 of the CFL, the XFL would’ve played 4 games and the CFL would’ve played 9 (due to bye weeks). From then on they would play 2 interleague games each. At the end of the season the CFL would play 18 games and the XFL would play 12. The playoffs would start then and the playoffs would end in late August.

League Rules

             As many people know the two leagues have different rules so they will need to find a compromise between the two rule books.

If I had a say in it, I would use some revised rules for all games so teams wouldn’t have to adjust so much on a weekly basis.

They could have 4 downs, 100-yard fields like the XFL, but 20-yard end zones and 65-yard wide fields like the CFL. Put the goalposts in the front as the CFL does.

Use the XFL’s kickoff rules but CFL motion rules. The biggest problem in my opinion is the number of players you can have on the field. I’m not sure which would be better: 11 like the XFL or 12 like the CFL.

For gameplay purposes I would put 12 on the field due to the wider field that would be used. Use the XFL’s extra point rules because they were just awesome. Also, do the 2 forward pass rule, where 2 forward passes are allowed, because it opens up some fun plays that will be highlight-reel plays for years.

Which League Would be More Successful with these Rules?

            Last year when the XFL came back I would most likely lean towards the XFL due to the talented rosters, but most of their best players are either in the NFL now or in the CFL. So the CFL would have the advantage of talent. They have also had a lot more time to establish themselves and have a lot more experience playing. I would think it would take a few years for the XFL to catch up.

The XFL-CFL Offseason

            There should obviously be movement between the two leagues because it would make each more competitive. I would also want to have some sort of draft that they are both participating in so that they can be competitive and not have one league always dominate the other every year.

How Would an XFL-CFL Merger Affect the NFL?

             I would never suggest the NFL would be hurt because of the merger, but it will force them to have some competition. I know that a lot of people love the way the NFL is, but there could be some movement in between the two leagues.

In an ideal world, the merged league would run from around March to the NFL regular-season start, and the players can go sign with the NFL if they want to. This is an optimistic standpoint but I hope that this new merged league would give the NFL some competition in order for the NFL to be forced to innovate and make some more exciting rules.

Bottom Line: Would an XFL-CFL Merger Work?

            I believe it will last as long as they don’t rush it to much. I hope they start in 2023 because that is in two years and that’s a good length to plan everything.

I don’t imagine that they will ever compete with the NFL but they could be a good league to watch when the NFL is out and you are a die hard football fan.

I don’t think it will last if they make a single mistake because the margin for error is so small. I think the merged league will last for a few years maybe until 2025 and then think they are either good and interesting enough to compete with the NFL or be crushed.

In a few years, I’m sure I will be writing about how there is no room for another major football league again.

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