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ALLIED: Even though it's not Turkey Day, take a moment to reflect on just how lucky we are

The XFL, much like its ill-fated promotional blimp, crashed and burned following its abysmal first, and only, season in 2001. Thank God, because had Vince McMahon’s terrifying creation flourished, it would've destroyed football. Here's why

1. You know what’s cool? Taking an “X” -- the most dangerous of all letters -- and attaching it to something to make it seem edgy. You know what’s not cool? Safety! That's why the XFL scrapped halo and in-the-grasp rules. Oh, but yeah, the downside: even if they'd managed to attract better QB talent than, say, Charles Puleri, unrestrained pass rushers would've quickly wrecked the talent's knees, putting Charles back in charge. A successful football league quarterbacked by so many Charles Puleris is in no one's best interest. (Photo: Found on

2. The coin toss was also deemed “total NFL Squaresville," so McMahon replaced it with the two-man scramble to recover a ball placed 20yds away, which led to Orlando Rage free safety, Hassan Shamsid-Deen, separating his shoulder on opening weekend. Players and coaches hated this P.T. Barnum prerogative, causing enough friction to have 'Skins LB-turned-NY/NJ Hitmen headman Rusty Tillman scream “Get outta my face!” at one of McMahon's paparazzi-style cameramen after only three weeks

True or not, the notion that pro athletes don't enjoy the game anymore is depressing enough -- actually seeing proof on the face of some bearded d-lineman who's been forced to rename himself “The Log Cabin Murderer” reaches "Sarah McLachlan ASPCA Commercial" depths of bleakness. (Photo: Chris Young, CP; XFL logo found on

3. Football players would've grown to hate wrestling so much, they'd have stopped participating in the actually-totally-enjoyable football-to-wrestling crossover -- in short, a sad, sad world where Steve “Mongo” McMichael doesn't even get excited about putting his arms around Reggie White's neck.(Photo: Found on

4. Taking the league’s no-holds-barred attitude a little too seriously, fans at a Vegas Outlaws game smashed cars and pelted a little girl with a full can of beer, while the LA Xtreme’s opener saw the trampling of a paraplegic man in the stands.Eventually, tailgating would've devolved into “Pin the Brick on the Face” and “Whack a Volvo.” We made the right decision. (Photo: Burning car by Gerry Kahrmann, PNG; XFL fan found on

5. Initially, players were paid a paltry $35-50K, but what if the league had eventually matched the NFL’s $1.9million average? Well, when “Rod Smart” pulls in over a rock a year during a recession, you grumble about it, but when someone named “HE HATE ME” rakes in 100x more than the average American, we're talking all-out class warfare ending in dictatorial rule under the McMahon Dynasty. (Photo: Todd Warshaw, Getty Images)

6. The XFL selfishly encouraged player-cheerleader dating. The whole point of having cheerleaders is so hapless schmucks can dream about dating one themselves. That fantasy simply cannot survive watching your girl openly making out with a chiseled 6'4” linebacker, even one whose coverage instincts are woeful by NFL standards. (Photo: Jeff Klein, AP; Fan holding sign found on

7. Extensive measures were taken to integrate the latest audio and video technology into every aspect of the XFL experience. Unfortunately, that extended to players hanging out be-toweled in the locker room -- one dude was actually filmed relieving himself, or worse, pretending to relieve himself to boost TV ratings. Where would this have led? Definitely someplace worse than a “wardrobe malfunction.” (Photo: Don Frazier, AP)

8. Hipsters would now pretend to be into “vintage football, not this corporate XFL trash.” The horror. The horror. (Photo: Pacific Coast News;

9. George Will would've written more articles like “XFL Aims to Further Coarsen America.” Stick with bemoaning the state of baseball, George Will. (Photo: Keith Allison)

10. By season's end, the XFL had already concluded that the whole sensational angle was bunk. As Hitmen marketer, Rich Oriolo, told USA Today: “We found out people just wanted to watch football.” So, what would the XFL have become without all that “X”? Nothing but just another boring FL sucking talent away from a league that, replacement refs aside, is and always will be a hell of a lot better. (Photo: HBO)