The British have a strong tradition of satire, holding our superiors to account, and making the whole experience hilarious, albeit shocking and informative, but hilarious nonetheless in the 80s this achieved perfection in the razor-sharp Yes Prime Minister a show so accurate in its takedowns, … Continue reading Yes, Prime Minister (2013)
Podcast, the democratisation of radio. Anybody with a microphone, a computer and an internet connection (necessities today) can reach the masses the world over. But as with any creative endeavour, it takes a lot of skill and effort to make it a success, yet with … Continue reading Alex Inc. (2018)
Childhood fantasy is at the heart of human endeavour. It inspired our scientific pursuits, It inspired hope in the face of great adversity, and arguably the most important factor. It inspired countless works of arts and tall tales. About ten years after The Return Of … Continue reading Bruce Willis Bruno’s Bonus Week Part 2 – Bruno The Kid (1996-97)
In the early 90s, after countless decades of fear, the Soviet Union collapsed, and the resetting of the doomsday clock pushed the then impending doom of nuclear annihilation to the background of the public’s psyche. With the shrinking of the threat of the I.C.B.M, A … Continue reading Woops! (1992)
When a new year dawns, it can become common practice to look behind and ponder “what could have been done differently?” (one of the main reasons why I started this blog was as a response to that question.) This is doubly so with a new century. That is what W.W.E. C.E.O Vince McMahon did to the N.F.L. and the landscape of professional football when he unleashed his new dog in the ring, The X.F.L.
McMahon came from impressive circumstances, managing to defeat his TV rivals W.C.W. in the dawn of the millennium. He did so by embracing aggression, anti-heroes, and the allure X.F.L. is his attempt at applying these principles to professional league football.
While not a complete renovation, the X.F.L. adapts from professional Gridiron football in several ways. Professional skills determine the starting possession of the ball as opposed to the luck of a coin toss, with both teams trying to catch and possess a football on the field, just to determine ownership. While touchdown scoring remains the same, kicks for points after touchdown are also revamped. Even the games themselves were sped up with removals of valuable seconds off the game clock. These changes combined were a valiant attempt at injecting some much-needed action into each match. That ultimately led to more scrimmages and collisions, but really liven up the night.
The changes go beyond just the rules, as McMahon added an extra dose of his patented attitude to the proceedings. Players could have emblazoned nicknames on their jerseys. Sky cameras, capturing the details from up high, with various off-camera segments with the cheerleaders and the players themselves, really help sell the “attitude” personality that Vince McMahon tried to impart into Professional Wrestling. Even the team’s names screamed defiance with teams like The Las Vegas Outlaws, The San Francisco Demons, and The Orlando Rage. In short, this isn’t your every Monday-night N.F.L., but something that’s fresh and ready to embrace the heady future of Y2K. There’s no change without controversy, however, and these renovations amounted to metric tonnes of negative press, with concerns about the sleaze associated with Professional Wrestling potentially infecting the sport. Yet there are others who felt that the excitement is just what is needed.
The X.F.L. is a prime illustration of how even tried and tested institutions could benefit from a revitalisation. It charges full steam ahead of the opposition in terms of ambition. Making it a shame it got cut down before establishing its roots. The franchise only lasted a season, with the Los Angeles Xtreme taking “The Million Dollar Game”, yet there appears to be serious talk about bringing the league back in the very near future to try to take on the N.F.L. again. Maybe this time the audience will be ready, maybe newer changes have been conceived, Maybe the country will be ready for a football league that is a little more xtreme.
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When you create a cult legend, it can be hard to follow up that initial success, you don’t want to be seen as repeating the same thing again in your work, so you try something fresh, this can either take off or crash and burn. … Continue reading Sit Down, Shut Up (2009)