It’s Monday morning, eight days after the Super Bowl. Usually the last thing we’d be talking about on this day would be professional football.
After its, “colossal failure,” of an opening season in 2001. the XFL is back for a reboot in 2020 and, y’all, it’s not bad! Football is football, and you can only get so much of modern-day bloodsport before you start to feel queasy, but the XFL is an entertaining product that seems like it’ll work.
As a bonus, the XFL gives a second chance at a football career to players who weren’t quite good enough for the NFL, but are more than good enough to be earning money playing a game for a living. Many of those players are guys that make you go, “Huh, yeah I think I remember him,” from watching college football.
However, the XFL has seemingly cornered a market of fan interest that sits somewhere between casual professional fans and die-hard college fans. For all of us who found ourselves attached to really good college players who weren’t quite good enough for the Big Time, the XFL offers another opportunity to root them on.
So it is with several former Missouri Tigers. In the XFL’s opening weekend, six True Sons were on XFL rosters, and a majority of them made immediate impacts as the games kicked off. Here’s a brief rundown of how they performed.
L.A. Wildcats vs. Houston Roughnecks
There are no former Tigers on the Wildcats — who, I would like to point out, had the lowest amount of internet traffic for their team; STOP. GIVING. LOS ANGELES. PROFESSIONAL. SPORTS. TEAMS. — but there are two True Sons on the Roughnecks. Former #DLineZou standouts Walter Palmore and Kony Ealy made the cut for Houston, and one of them made his presence felt right from the jump.
TRY THIS ON FOR SIZE:— House Of Houston (@HouseOfHouston) February 9, 2020
The #Roughnecks’ defense had:
-16 QB hits
Half the QB hits came from Kony Ealy (5) and former Texan LaTroy Lewis (3).
The #Texans’ defense could only dream of turning in those types of numbers! BEASTS!#XFL2020 #ForTheH pic.twitter.com/o7PMtClnIH
Side note: I would like to point out that if the XFL is just semi-professional exhibition games with teams then taking direct shots at the NFL teams in their direct vicinity, then I am very much here for the XFL.
Ealy made a big impact on the Roughneck’s defense, leading the way as the team’s most dominant defensive lineman. Scan Twitter and it’s clear that many people believe he’ll get another NFL shot in the near future.
Here are the final lines for both Ealy and Palmore:
Kony Ealy: Three tackles, one half sack, five QB hits, two tackles for loss
Walter Palmore: Did not record a statistic
Seattle Dragons vs. DC Defenders
Another example of #DLineZou making its presence felt: the Seattle Dragons roster has both Jacquies Smith and Marcell Frazier, pass rushers who both higlighted Missouri’s defensive line in recent years. Both had solid first outings in a loss to the DC Defenders, and Smith found himself making XFL history.
former #dolphins UDFA jacquies smith with the first sack of XFL 2.0 pic.twitter.com/QLvngRDvdC— josh houtz (@houtz) February 8, 2020
Here are the final lines for both Smith and Frazier:
Jacquies Smith: One tackle, one assist, one half sack, one QB hit, one tackle for loss
Marcell Frazier: One tackle, two QB hits
St. Louis Battlehawks vs. Dallas Renegades
Finally, some offense! The St. Louis Battlehawks, knowing their audience, made a point to draft and roster two Missouri Tigers. Marcus Lucas has had a few cups of coffee in the NFL, and stood out in his first game with the Battlehawks. His numbers don’t jump out, but he made several key catches, including a late first down grab that set up a big score. L’Damian Washington led St. Louis in receptions, though only managed about 20 yards. In any case, it’s good to see the two sharing the same field. I’d anticipate big crowds for the Battlehawks’ first game in St. Louis.
Leading Receivers for @XFLBattleHawks :— Konnor Fulk (@XFLKonnor) February 10, 2020
De'Mornay Pierson El : 4 Receptions on 4 Targets / 64 yards
Alonzo Russell: 3 Receptions on 5 Targets / 49 yards / 1 TD
Marcas Lucas: 4 Receptions on 6 Targets / 40 yards
L'Damian Washington: 5 Receptions on 5 Targets / 20 yards