Here is a paraphrase of a fun comment I saw when the Arlington Renegades of the XFL emerged as champions this past weekend: In the time since the last Dallas Cowboys ’96 championship, the XFL was formulated, debuted, failed after one season, lie dormant as an idea for 20 years, re-started, shut down due to Covid, sold, and reinstated, and still brought a trophy home to Dallas before the Cowboys did.

So the XFL’s third “inaugural” season is over and the Arlington Renegades stand as champions. A wild championship, to be sure. The Renegades, coached by Bob Stoops (formerly of Oklahoma), were not the expected winner. They entered the XFL playoffs with a terrifying record of 4-6. They beat a team that anyone who watched the XFL would have easily labeled the best team in the new league: The DC Defenders. The Defenders had lost a single game up to that point. The Defenders slumped and the Renegades surged. Texas finally has a football champion once more. Congrats to them.

Congrats to Luis Perez, the QB who literally started the season on a different team. Other names on the Renegades you might barely recognize who are now champions: Will Hill, Marquette King, TJ Barnes…uh I’m sure there are some other former NFL guys in there. Wanna know my new favorite fun fact? One of the Renegades is Caleb Vander Esch, younger brother of Dallas Cowboy Leighton Vander Esch. So Caleb, who couldn’t make the NFL, now gets to go home and gloat that he helped bring home a championship to Dallas before his bro did. That rules. I wish I had known that before I looked up the roster for this blog post because dammit that would have been a better joke.

So the XFL survived the season and, from what I can tell, did well enough to keep going provided the people at the top don’t fumble the bag. The USFL is currently ongoing and judging from the standings is still wide open. I still have my doubts spring ball can survive long-term, especially with the already lean player base spread over two separate leagues, but I guess we will get some more next year and we’ll have to see how it moves forward.