The XFL Petition Project

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Do people care enough to see a failed football league come back?

In February of 2017, ESPN aired the much anticipated ‘30 For 30’ documentary “This Was the XFL”, the story about the ill-fated professional football league created by the man in charge of the WWE Vince McMahon, and NBC creative head Dick Ebersol. Throughout the documentary,  the league itself was an incredible disaster that offered up mindless titillation, garbage football, an overabundance of edgy attitude, and a slew of problems both on and off the field. As the dust finally cleared, a grandiose product that was meant to reinvigorate the already popular sport was a disastrous failure that ruined plenty of goodwill that both Mr. McMahon and Mr. Ebersol once had at the time. In the end of the documentary, a scene was taken between Vince and Dick at what clearly looks like a high quality restaurant, and a simple question was asked by Mr. Ebersol, asking Vince if he would ever attempt to try making the XFL again. His response was that he would want to, either calling it the XFL again or by another name.

This sparked a brilliant idea, an idea that both dangerous and brilliant, like the nuclear bomb or vaporwave music. My goal was simple, it was time to rise up and demand that we the people want the XFL again. I decided to use PAX East, the popularized video game/tabletop game/nerd culture convention as my venue to drum up support. The decision was quite simple, I bought passes to the event six months in advance, and it’s close to where I live. I made a couple signs with materials purchased at a Five Below nights before the event, dusted off my orange clipboard made popularized from some Alf petition that failed to get off the ground, grabbed some snack bars from a cupboard and made my way to PAX East…but first a frigid train ride.

PAX, XFL, petition, Penny Arcade, NFL, footballFour days ago, it was warm enough to wear spring attire. New England weather, it’s exciting!

After arriving at the train stop, signs wrapped neatly in a plastic bag, I had the pleasure of waiting with some eager people raring to go to PAX, I can tell who they were from their attire and exposed 3DSes. After ten minutes of waiting I was ready to hop on the train straight into downtown Boston…except it took an additional ten minutes because one of the subway carts had to be dislodged due to a technical issue. After that, it was clear sailing on the train. Upon arrival at my destination, I had to embark on a fifteen minute walk from the train station to the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center  in extreme cold conditions with blustery wind. It’s as if Boston orchestrated a pact with nature to repel people from coming to their fair city. It was mighty cold, and to cap it off, there was an additional fifteen minute security check. With my digits losing any sense of feeling, I persevered for the sake of my own pride, and decency. Once it was all said and done, I entered PAX East, and brandished my signs, my clipboard, and my message.

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This is as good as a shot I can get of the BCEC with fully numbed hands. Keep a pair of warm gloves wherever you go. Laser Time cares!

I hoisted my signs with my messages made clear, to bring back the XFL, and my actions were befitting of a defiant revolutionary. Lady Godiva, the tank man of Tiananmen Square, and me: Three individuals who delivered an impacting message against the world. I received positive feedback for my wanting of the XFL to come back, while flaunting my clipboard with a marker tucked neatly on the side of my hat. People walked up to me to chat about the XFL, as if people never forgot about it, though it was fresh in people’s minds thanks in part to the documentary. It was off to a great start but there is always trouble afoot during such great feats. As I stood on the show floor, an enforcer (whose job it is to aid patrons and monitor wrongdoings) caught wind of my signs and clipboard and proceeded to interrogate me. He was concerned that I was encroaching a company’s booth and profit off of the convention, he then asked me to cease my actions at once. I explained it was a misunderstanding and that I’m not making any money off of this endeavor. (if anything, I’m in the red) He understood completely and we went our separate ways, where the madness took off.

PAX, XFL, petition, Penny Arcade, NFL, footballWould my XFL signs makes this view any better?

PAX, XFL, petition, Penny Arcade, NFL, footballYes. (Listen to Talking Simpsons’ “Rosebud” to learn more!)

As I marched about with my signs, I felt like a minor B to C list celebrity. People could not stop looking at my signs, laughing, high fiving me, and signing my petition. I was attracting a lot of interesting folks. For starters, I ran into a pair of awesome cosplayers who were dressed up as none other than Goldust and Stardust, which is astounding if you ever learned about the backstory of the Rhodes family. They were more than eager to take some photos with me, as well as sign on the dotted line for the XFL’s return.

PAX, XFL, petition, Penny Arcade, NFL, footballStardust may be long gone, but much like the XFL, still lives on in the hearts and minds of fans.

What about Internet celebrities? Well as I marched through the convention floors, I traversed past the Mega64 booth, where my signs caught the attention of Derrick Acosta, one of the cast members of the long-running satirical video game series. He proceeded to ask me why the XFL should come back, to which I gave my plea. “You see, we have healed as a nation since the XFL’s departure. We have put stuff on Mars, and we’ve accomplished a lot since. It’s only fitting that we bring back this football league, because we’re ready.” Or something along those lines. Suffice to say, he was on board with what I was selling, which added another name to the list…

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…but most importantly, it was the fans. Laser Time fans of course. I ran into a couple who were just as excited to see me as I was to see them. We do exist in the wild, not as screen names who boast about how cool and funny we are, but as actual cool and funny people. Who better to support my cause than the very people that appreciate the lengths I go to make it?

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Fans of Laser Time support projects of Laser Time.

As day turned into night, I grew weary and exhausted. The convention was closing up for the night, and many were making their mass exodus to their late-night meetups, but I was spent. I laid on the floor of the entrance of the BCEC charging my phone with a battery pack, and verifying the names that have appeared on my petition list. Names like “KO”, “Reigns”, “33 Seconds”, “Matt Hardy”, “Bootista”. “Roman Reigns”, “I Hate Roman Reigns”, and “Bring Back CM Punk”, also some guy named “Tony Smith”. What a strange name, Smith. As I walked out into the Boston night and began heading to the train station towards my way home, the once vicious cold upon entering the convention was replaced with an irritable cold. I found solace at my favorite restaurant in the train station, where a bowl of honey chicken and mashed potatoes with a bottle of grape soda was my victory meal after a job well done.

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So now the next part of the plan, the most crucial part. I do plan on mailing out my XFL petition to WWE Headquarters in Stamford, CT with a personalized letter to nail down that people are interested in this former football league. Will I get a response? Will it totally be ignored? Will Daniel Bryan ever wrestle again? Two of these questions have the answer of no, but only one will have the answer of yes, yes, yes. If I do ever get a response, I will gladly write a follow-up to this article, but until then I will wait patiently for a reply. Thank you for reading my tale of heroism, whether the XFL is revitalized with my petition or not, one thing has been a constant: Every person I interviewed really hates Roman Reigns.

PAX, XFL, petition, Penny Arcade, NFL, football

Article by contributor Aaron Chados.

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