Deep Thoughts by Stacy Aschton
There is an old proverb that says “Hunger makes the best sauce.” When you are hungry, just about anything tastes good. Over and over, we have been told that Spring Football will be successful because football fans are still hungry for more football after the end of the NFL season. In theory, this is sound reasoning.
Last year, after a very unsatisfactory post season and Super Bowl, people were still vaguely unsatisfied and looking to fill that hungry void. This year, we had a great post season and one of the best Super Bowls in my recent memory. If we were to compare it to a meal, I would say it was a well prepared filet mignon. Patrick Mahomes was fantastic, the Chiefs finally win, and the 49ers put up a helluva fight. Leading up to the Super Bowl, we had some great teams deservedly playing at the highest levels.
And folks.. maybe we got a bit full.
The very next week, here comes our highly anticipated, two years in the making, gonna be glorious with the rules and the preparation, XFL Debut. Hooray! I will never have to be hungry again!
Instead of laying out a juicy filet mignon with a buttery baked potatoes and crisp salad, we got a cheeseburger.
Personally, I love cheeseburgers. You can put all kinds of stuff on them. They are easy to eat. Everyone makes them a little differently. When you are hungry, a big juicy cheeseburger, fires and a cold beer are perfect.
But, they are not filet mignon.
I think it might be time to remember that a perfectly cooked steak is not an everyday meal. They are rare, and expensive, and the result of time and preparation. The culmination of a season, if you will. During the NFL season, we had had a whole lot of cheeseburgers, and even a few bologna sandwiches, and I am fairly certain that Baker Mayfield tried to feed me Spam.
Maybe we can take a moment to readjust our culinary expectations.
Let’s start by talking about quarterback play. I’ve seen lots of people say that the quarterback play leaves much to be desired.
I like QB Ratings, cause honestly, I am not a stats person. However, gimme a grading system and I can understand getting an “A” versus getting an “F”
Here are the QB Ratings for Week Two for the XFL:
DC Defenders Cardale Jones 91.7
NY Guardians Marquise Williams 70.3 and Matt McGloin 10.1
Tampa Bay Vipers Taylor Cornelius 44.4 and Quentin Flowers 10.7
Seattle Dragons Brandon Silvers 50.9
Dallas Renegades Landry Jones 79.7
LA Wildcats Josh Johnson 89.8
St Louis BattleHawks Jordan Ta’amu 103.2
Houston Roughnecks P.J. Walker 111
Now, I will be the first to admit, some of those numbers are pretty rough. Keep in mind, this is the second week.
In comparison, on Week Two of the regular season NFL, we had some pretty big names receive a rating of 70.9 or less:
Deshaun Watson, Cam Newton, Ben Roethlisberger, Mitchell Trubisky,
Eli Manning, Carson Wentz, Kirk Cousins, and Derek Carr
Of the ten XFL quarterbacks, six had ratings over 70. Whoo hooo!
In the NFL, only four players ended the year with a QBR over 70:
Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes, Drew Brees and Dak Prescott.
Now, I know some of you will say, “Hey, those guys are playing NFL defenses! It’s not fair!” But, these quarterbacks are facing XFL defenses, so I think that evens it out a bit.
We could delve into yardage and attempts and defensive plays, but that gets into that whole “stats” thing that makes my eyeball cross. For those that want an in depth look, you can see the XFL’s stats here, versus Week Two NFL stats here.
Comparing the two leagues is comparing apples to oranges. However, the NFL is the last meal we ate, and we always tend to compare things even if it is unreasonable.
Moving on from the comparisons, I would like to mention some things that I throughly enjoy:
We have seen some players that are standouts in the league make some great plays. These are players that would be worried about being cut from an NFL Practice Squad right about now, and instead, we are hearing commentators discuss how likely they are to be on a team next year.
Fandoms are being formed
There are mics EVERYWHERE
New rules, who dis?
And, most importantly, every weekend we have more football to watch, more plays to rehash, and apparently, more Bud Light Seltzer shot-gunning to laugh about.
I love a good steak. It is my favorite food, and I feel like nothing else compares to the taste and texture. I also love a good, greasy cheeseburger. When I eat a steak, I don’t get stuff dripping off my hands. I don’t need a pile of napkins. My hands to not reek slightly of onions and mustard.
At times, the XFL will be messy. I still think it is quite delicious.