Bruno Reagan hopes to become first Commodore in the XFL

“Some suggest that the NFL stands for the ‘No Fun League.’ Well, the XFL is going to be the ‘Extra Fun League,” league owner Vince McMahon said. And Bruno Reagan wants to be a part of it.


Ray Li

Photo by: Ray Li

“Where’s the kind of football that the NFL used to be? Where’s my smash mouth, wide open football? It’s gone.”

Vince McMahon — majority owner, CEO, and occasional wrestler of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) — uttered these very words on Feb. 3, 2000, completely unaware of the mess he was about to create. The entertainment aficionado abruptly called this problematic, infamous press conference to announce the formation of his new football league: the XFL.

“Some suggest that the NFL stands for the ‘No Fun League,” McMahon continued. “Well the XFL is going to be the ‘Extra Fun League.’ We will take you places that the NFL is afraid to take you because quite frankly, we’re not afraid of anything. This will not be a league for pantywaists and sissies.”

McMahon’s business model was bold — at the very least.

He planned on launching the XFL less than a year later, with the concept centered around entertainment; the goal was to create a WWE-esque, showmanship-centered football league.

And unlike the ‘No Fun League,’ there were no boundaries in McMahon’s imagination.

According to the ESPN 30 for 30, “This Was The XFL,” players and reporters were encouraged to have public relationships with team cheerleaders (who were forced to wear little-to-no clothing); defenders were encouraged to deliver jarring, devastating, potentially life-altering head-to-head hits (with no penalties or repercussions from the league); they were encouraged to be as controversial as possible off-the-field; and lastly–perhaps most notoriously–they were encouraged to sport nicknames and phrases on the backs of their jerseys such as “He Hate Me,” “Baby Boy” and “Deathblow.”

At the time of his speech, the XFL had no coaches, no players, no teams, no team names, no stadiums, and no television deal. But they made the announcement anyways.

Unsurprisingly, the league was a downright dumpster fire; the colossal failure was shut down midway through its inaugural season. Roughly twenty years later, however, the XFL is making its return. And former Commodore offensive lineman Bruno Reagan wants to be apart of it.

“I knew that at best, I was going to be a seventh round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft,” Reagan said. “I had to talk to like 13 or 14 teams before the draft, and at the end of it, I only had a conversation in the late rounds with three teams. One of them offered me a high priority free agent contract, which is basically like getting drafted in the seventh round and I was just ecstatic. But I mean, the business is the business. They told me they weren’t going to draft any centers, then the team drafted a center and ghosted me, so that was, well – it was not a good day for me, but I’m not going to say it was the end of the world.”

Reagan received a few NFL minicamp invites, but he ultimately failed to make a professional roster. The XFL’s reboot, however, meant there was another chance for NFL hopefuls like Reagan. For the first time, there was another league, another opportunity and another job that could provide an alternate route to the NFL.

As soon as this opportunity presented itself, Reagan threw his name into the ring — on Tuesday, Oct. 8, Reagan was announced as part of the XFL’s inaugural draft pool.

On Oct. 15, the 2019 XFL Draft will commence, and Reagan hopes to find a home with one of the league’s eight teams: the Dallas Renegades, Houston Roughnecks, Los Angeles Wildcats, New York Guardians, Seattle Dragons, Tampa Bay Vipers, or Washington DC Defenders (names far more appealing than the league’s first launch, which included the New York Hitmen, Orlando Rage, Las Vegas Outlaws and Memphis Maniax).

“I knew to get into the NFL, I was going to be fighting an uphill battle. I think I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think about the XFL after the draft. I knew I needed to have a Plan B. I was just thinking that if the NFL doesn’t work out, maybe the XFL could. I stayed focused while I had my NFL opportunities, but after the second minicamp I just texted my agent to ask if the XFL is something that was reasonable. Truth be told, I’m lucky. It’s a pretty good opportunity that the year I come out and don’t make it to the NFL, there’s this new league being developed.”

Only this time around, Reagan says the league’s motto is different. It’s no longer an entertainment presentation similar to the likes of professional wrestling. Sure, it’s no NFL — and Reagan acknowledged that — but the league has a different goal this time around.

“What they’re hoping to form now in the XFL is entertainment through high-level football. So obviously, the XFL and the NFL are different levels talent wise. No one is going to say the XFL is any better talent-wise. But they’re hoping to make some rule changes to football, and I think it’s for the better. College football games can last four to five hours, especially like those PAC-12 teams that do nothing but throw the ball. Honestly, that’s so boring. The XFL is going to try and make games at a maximum two hours by doing things like cutting extra points. It’s not gonna have any of that quirky stuff. They’re completely doing away with that stuff.”

Reagan is right — there will be no kick after a touchdown to tack on another point.

But that’s not to say the alternative isn’t quirky. Instead of a kicker attempting a short, simple boot for one point, teams will have to earn their extra points with their offensive units. If they find the end zone, they may choose from five yard offensive bouts (worth one point), ten yard attempts (worth two points), and yes, fifteen yard post-touchdown attempts worth as much as an entire field goal.

“If I wanted to keep playing football as a profession, it’s not a bad deal. Ten week season, pretty decent pay, good competition, and honestly, I’ll still have a chance to make it to the NFL after this if I do well. Obviously I don’t think they’re going to scout too much because the NFL has an amateur league in college football already, but there will be some dudes in the XFL that ball out.”

Reagan expressed excitement with the league’s launch, which is advertised to include slightly less profane, absurd, and unsportsmanlike behavior.

“When it comes down to playing the football games, there’s not going to be someone running around with a ‘He Hate Me’ jersey or something like that this time around. Now, it’s football.”