East Rutherford, NJ — Just because the SuperBowl is over, that does not mean the football hype has died down.
The new XFL is already underway, with the revived pro football league kicking off with eight all-new franchises after a 19-year absence. The crowd was on fire and all of East Rutherford, New Jersey was electric at MetLife Stadium to witness the debut of their team, the New York Guardians.
It was a celebratory weekend for the home team, as the Guardians (1-0) defeated the Tampa Bay Vipers (0-1) in their inaugural game, 23-3.
“We’re very proud of our football team,” stated the Guardians’ head coach Kevin Gilbride on the win. “It was a game that I think more than anything else showed the character and resilience that we had.
However, the highlights of the game were just as exciting as the win.
Without surprise, New York dominated on their home turf, playing with sheer determination that was evident from the beginning. Even with the Vipers suffering their first loss of the young season, both teams gave an incredible showing to open things up here Week 1. That’s what’s going to be the intriguing thing about the XFL in their second stint.
What the league is going to be able to do is represent the underdogs. Players that have been overlooked because of injury or other factors. In addition, give recent college alumni the opportunity to live their dream and play professionally.
For instance, Matt McGloin scored the first touchdown in Guardians history and wide receiver Colby Pearson scored his first professional touchdown. Based on this incredible debut of the fresh league, if the energy stays this high, then it may just merge into mainstream.
“What better way to start off the New York Guardians 2020 season than go right down the field and score? But, it was exciting,” McGloin shared after the game on the teams’ opening drive. “It really was. I think a lot of guys were emotional, the energy was high and it was good to kind of get a drive like that to kind of let everyone settle and relax a little bit, but it was fun. It was as I’ve had playing the game of football in a long time.
If you cannot make it out to the XFL games, you can watch them live on it’s litany of networks. Yet, if you’re a loyal football fan and love the game, then you may just have gather your fellow tailgaters to catch a game live and in person.
On Saturday, Feb. 15, both teams will take the field again for Week 2 of XFL play. The New York Guardians will face the DC Defenders while Tampa Bay will play the Sea Dragons. The Vipers are looking to come out with better passion after their coach Marc Trestman was disappointed with Sunday’s outcome.
“Our play today was unacceptable. We turned the ball over three or four times,” Trestman shared. “We didn’t tackle as well as we needed to tackle in the first half. When you have over 400 yards of offense and come up with three points… your play is just not acceptable.”