Game Balls


The XFL (also known briefly as the Extreme Football League), was formed in 2001 by WWE wrestling promoter Vince McMahon in partnership with NBC to be a spring rival to the NFL, starting play in February and ending in May.

To increase excitement, the coin-toss was replaced by a fumble drill, players and coaches were miked, players could wear nicknames on their uniforms, players received $2,500 bonuses for winning, the winners of the championship (the Million Dollar Game) received a million dollar bonus, and cheerleaders hung out in the stands and were videotaped getting ready in the locker room. Other innovations included a no fair catch rule, elimination of the PAT placekick, and a “can you top this” overtime in which each team had four downs to score but had to match the other team’s number of downs. TV ratings were low, and the league quickly shut down after the championship game.

Spalding’s all-weather XFL game ball was made of Pittard’s WR100 leather designed to retain less water and dry faster than any previous ball. Also unique was the black coloration and red stripes. Spalding advertised its football to be “the toughest football ever.”

XFL ball