Get ready for the opening weekend of XFL 2.0. Vince McMahon’s NFL alternative will begin play this weekend, with all 8 teams in action. While the league did a good job of spreading its 8 teams throughout the entire US, the number of options obviously pales in comparison to the NFL’s 32 clubs.
Chances are, you don’t have an XFL franchise in your city or town. Los Angeles, Seattle, New York, Dallas, Houston, Tampa, Washington DC and St. Louis are the 8 lucky cities with teams for the league’s relaunch. If the XFL manages to catch on this time around, perhaps the league will consider expanding ahead of next season.
Location, Location, Location
For now, though, you have 8 options if you want to find a rooting interest. Most people will choose to support the team closest to where they live, which is how most sports fans identify themselves to begin with.
In case geography isn’t your strong suit, you can use this handy map from Reddit to figure out which XFL team is closest to you:
As you can see, some teams are more isolated than others. The St. Louis BattleHawks are really the only team in the entire midwest, so their reach is quite wide. Meanwhile, the Houston Roughnecks are victims of having the Dallas Renegades so close by. Houston’s swath of territory is downright tiny compared to that of most other teams in the league.
The Seattle Dragons (northwest) and Los Angeles Wildcats (southwest) essentially have an entire corner of the map to themselves.
Which Team Has the Best Logos and Uniforms?
Another popular way to pick your favorite team is to sift through the various uniforms and logos and determine which one you like the best. There’s obviously no tradition when it comes to the XFL, so all 8 teams are essentially working with a blank template. Here are the new logos for 2020, with the original 2001 logos underneath:
All of the logos and names from the original XFL were better. There's really no edge to the new ones. Sad! pic.twitter.com/waVTXR82rU
— Jeff D Oscars Szn (@JeffDLowe) August 21, 2019
One of the original teams was called the “Maniax,”which is just absurd. Needless to say, I disagree with @JeffDLowe. The new logos are far better than the old ones. And here are the home unis for all 8 squads:
From left-to-right, we have the LA Wildcats, the Tampa Bay Vipers, the Seattle Dragons, the DC Defenders, the New York Guardians, the St. Louis BattleHawks, the Houston Roughnecks and the Dallas Renegades.
I’m partial to the color scheme of the Renegades. There’s something about powder blue that always stands out with uniforms. The Seattle Dragons’ helmet features a dragon, which is tough to beat:
— XFL (@xfl2020) December 4, 2019
If you’re not interested in simply choosing the team that’s closest to you, then picking the team with the snazziest uniforms isn’t a bad alternative.
People like a winner. There’s a reason a bunch of Golden State Warriors fans have popped up out of nowhere over the last few years. There’s also a good chance that guy you see rocking a Tom Brady jersey has never actually set foot anywhere in New England. People are attracted to winners. If your local team stinks, it’s easy to get disengaged.
Each team will play 10 regular season games before the playoffs get underway. The season is just long enough to where you can watch a few games in order to see how things shake out. If one team gets off to a hot start, there will be plenty of room on the bandwagon.
You can consult the top XFL betting sites on the web in order to get an early glimpse as to which teams are expected to fare well. BetOnline, for example, has Dallas, DC and Tampa Bay tied for the best odds of winning the 2020 XFL title. The full odds are below:
|Teams||Odds to Win XFL Championship|
|Tampa Bay Vipers||+350|
|St. Louis BattleHawks||+700|
|New York Guardians||+750|
Placing an early bet on one of those teams to win the championship is a good way to acquire a rooting interest, as well. If you think “BattleHawks” is an awesome name, which it is, then take a stab at St. Louis at the current +700 odds.
Who Plays in Week 1?
As mentioned, you’ll have an opportunity to get a glimpse of all 8 XFL teams this weekend. The schedule features 2 games on Saturday and another 2 on Sunday, with all 4 games being nationally televised. Here is the full schedule, with betting odds and TV information:
Saturday, February 8
- Seattle Dragons (+7) at DC Defenders (-7) – 2:00pm ET (ABC)
- LA Wildcats (+5.5) at Houston Roughnecks (-5.5) – 5:00pm ET (FOX)
Sunday, February 9
- Tampa Bay Vipers (-2) at New York Guardians (+2) – 2:00pm ET (FOX)
- St. Louis BattleHawks (+10) at Dallas Renegades (-10) – 5:00pm ET (ESPN)
There are plenty of different ways to pick an XFL team to root for this season. I don’t think you can go wrong with any method, be it location, sharp uniforms, a cool logo, or a team with good chances to win the title.