LOS ANGELES - Perhaps your football talents were unfairly overlooked by scouts and recruits during your college years. Or maybe you’ve been the sole, point-earning force on your rec flag football team and feel your talent is being undervalued. However the idea manifested itself in your head, you can’t seem to brush it aside: you deserve to be a pro football player.
But could you make it in the XFL?
Be forewarned — this isn’t your grandpa’s type of professional pigskin. Things are a bit more fast and wily in the XFL, and since it’s a new league, there isn’t exactly any sort of wise elder statesman or established Bill Belichick-type to turn to for their sage advice on how to succeed in the sport.
That means you’ll need a lot more on-field improvisation, an extra ounce of athletic finesse, and the stamina to stay successful and competitive for over two months.
Here is what you’ll need if you want to succeed in the XFL:
An affinity for unconventional professions and animals
Are you passionate about dragons? Do you love not only cats, but those which are wild? Do you know what a BattleHawk is, and if not, do you think it at least sounds cool?
If so, you’re showing some early potential to play for the XFL and one of its bold and vibrant squads.
A good throwing arm, even if you aren’t a QB
Among the key things that distinguish the XFL from the NFL: the two-forward pass rule. Unlike the NFL, XFL players will be able to lob the ball forward not just once, but two times. A QB could chuck a pass to a running back, who then could dart that same ball to a wide receiver sprinting down the other side of the field.
This means that even if you don’t have quarterback next to your name on the offensive roster, you’ll have to get good at throwing.
A willingness to improvise
Players in the NFL often reach their level of success because they are able to respond quickly to familiar scenarios. A quarterback, or at least a good one, has a good idea of what to do to avoid being sacked. A wide receiver runs their routes over and over again until they know, step-for-step, where they need to be to complete a pass.
For those in the XFL, there’s a bit more unpredictability. This is the first time these players are abiding by rules like no running start during kickoffs, or adapting to the new reality of three ways to score points after a touchdown. You’ll need to be creative and ready to think on the fly during rambunctious new scenarios.
RELATED: 2 passes each play, no extra point kicks and other rules that distinguish the XFL from the NFL
An ability to stay competitive, week after week
The XFL regular season is 10 weeks long. There are no bye weeks, and only one playoff round before the championship. That means that every game counts, and every player needs to be contributing their all.
Yes, it will be fun, but for those not prepared, the season can also be fatiguing. You’ll need to be in top athletic shape if you want to make it to the end of the season, let alone have a meager chance at the championship.
A love for the game
The only way to know for sure if you’ve got what it takes to make it in this league is by watching the XFL. Watch the Los Angeles Wildcats take on the Houston Roughnecks on Saturday, Feb 8. at 5 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. PT on FOX.
This story was reported from Los Angeles. This station is owned by the FOX Corporation.