Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s reborn XFL and the Canadian Football League could be cooking up their own version of the Super Bowl.
The XFL and CFL have been in negotiations to “collaborate, innovate, and grow the game of football,” according to the two leagues. Among options on the table: a postseason clash between XFL and CFL champions.
Here’s how it could work, a source told Front Office Sports: Both leagues would play their regular seasons — there could be “interleague” games, similar to MLB — and once the respective XFL and CFL champions are crowned, they’d face off in an interleague championship game.
There could also be an “All-Star Game” pitting players from both leagues. The long-term objective: the merger of the two pro football leagues.
The modern NFL was born after it agreed to play a “World Championship Game” against the upstart AFL. Joe Namath and the New York Jets’ win over the favored Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III spurred the 1970s merger into one league with two conferences.
Even with Johnson’s star power, the XFL brand seems snakebit. WWE mogul Vince McMahon’s XFL 2.0 called off its maiden season last year, becoming the first league to succumb to the pandemic. Johnson and partners Dany Garcia and RedBird Capital purchased the XFL out of bankruptcy for $15 million.
During a non-pandemic year, the nine-team CFL generates revenue of $240 million vs. $12 billion for the NFL. TV audiences for the CFL’s 2019 Grey Cup championship rose 19% to 3.9 million viewers, but the league canceled its 2020 season due to COVID-19.
Both the XFL and CFL declined to comment.