The D.C. Defenders won the XFL’s first game in a relaunch of a league that only lasted one season in 2001. Jake Russell of the Washington Post covered the game Saturday and tells Doc Walker and Scott Jackson how electric the fans were for the league’s second coming.

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“I was surprised by the energy of the fans at the stadium,” Russell declares. “The fans were raucous. They were into the whole time. They were chanting M-V-P on the first drive, I believe, for Cardale Jones and I don’t think they had even scored yet. It was just so well-received.”

An alteration in the XFL’s TV broadcast compared to that of the NFL is that players are interviewed after each touchdown or big play made. Russell deems that XFL players are excited to once again be able to play the game that they love and are willing to partake in interviews, which in a sense makes the game fun and exciting.

“Win or lose the players would’ve been happier than most players in most other sports because they have another chance to play the game they love and they’re on a national stage. And there’s this feeling of this brand new entity that everyone is curious about and wants to see.”

As long as the XFL co-exists with the NFL, there will be continued discussions about whether or not the two leagues will ever affiliate with one another. Russell reassures us that the XFL thinks it’s a great idea, but right now, their top priority is putting its own league in the best situation possible.

“For now the XFL just wants to get a foot hole in America culture,” Russell states. “I spoke with Shane McMahon before the game and he insinuated that they’re going to be set for several years and that money’s not going to be an issue to finance it, so I don’t think we’re going to see a one and done with this league. If the NFL wants to adapt some of the things or partner with us down the road, that’s fine. But right now we’re just trying to get our product on the ground.”

The DC Defenders host the New York Guardians Saturday at 2 p.m. on ABC.


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