Kercheval: XFL Enjoys "Pretty Good Debut"

It remains to be seen if the XFL can sustain its opening-weekend success, but Ben Kercheval believes the league is something people can "latch on to"

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
February 10, 2020 - 7:42 am
XFL St. Louis Dallas

USA Today Images


The XFL returned to the American sports landscape this past weekend, and initial reviews were mostly positive.

“I would describe it as mostly good, which is probably the best you could have asked for, really,” CBS XFL reporter Ben Kercheval said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “Look, it’s not the NFL. It’s not as good as the NFL. But for anyone out there listening who is a college football person, it’s like Tuesday night MAC-tion NFL. It’s not quite as good, but it’s just quirky enough and it’s just interesting enough that it can work. It can be something that people latch on to.”

Indeed, from quirky rules to frequent trick plays to the ease of in-game gambling, the XFL offers something the NFL doesn’t.

Kercheval was in Arlington on Sunday, watching the St. Louis Battlehawks beat the Dallas Renegades, 15-9. 

“People turned out,” Kercheval said. “They had their faces painted and they were all dressed up – they were into it. Now, it’s Week 1. You have to be able to sustain that type of interest and excitement throughout the rest of the season and beyond. That’s really the challenge here since historically speaking these spring or startup leagues are pretty much batting zero in terms of their success rate. But all in all, I thought it was a pretty good debut.”

In other action, the DC Defenders beat the Seattle Dragons 31-19, the Houston Roughnecks beat the Los Angeles Wildcats 37-17, and the New York Guardians beat the Tampa Bay Vipers 23-3.

“Most of the games were either pretty close or interesting or there were storylines to be had with some of the quarterbacks,” Kercheval said. “I thought it was a pretty good debut. But again, the challenge is can you sustain that moving forward?”