Over the weekend, ESPN teased its latest 30 for 30 documentary dubbed “This Was The XFL.” Revealed during Saturday’s episode “Catholics vs. Convicts,” which examined the 1988 college football game between Notre Dame and Miami, this Charlie Ebersol-directed film explores the “bold challenge, a fearless experiment and ultimately, a spectacular failure” in Dick Ebersol (NBC) and Vince McMahon’s (WWE) 2001 football league venture. “My only hope in presenting this film is that it captures a fraction of the hilarious, raucous, painful, griping, and insightful roller coaster ride that was the XFL,” said Charlie Ebersol to ESPN.
The XFL was created to complement the NFL with games being played during the latter’s offseason. The league itself crumbled under the monstrous weight of debt, poor TV ratings and lousy play, while exposing the gratuitous violence and titillation of professional football. Although the XFL was a massive failure, shuttering its doors after one season, it did however inspired the NFL with new and innovative broadcasting tools, from skycams and cable-cams to in-game interviews.
“This Was The XFL” will bring together a cast of characters ranging from the boardrooms of General Electric to the practice fields of Las Vegas, including interviews with its founders, Vince and Dick. Its premiere is slated for February 2, 2017.