The St. Louis BattleHawks had their season opener in front of an XFL record attendance crowd of 29,554 people. The offensive struggles of the New York Guardians continues losing again on the road 29-9 to the St. Louis Battlehawks. The New York Guardians dropped to 1-2 for the season. The new York Guardians continue to struggle on 3rd down conversions going 2 for 10. This week again they lost the turnover battle 2-1. Penalties in any game will hurt your chances of winning 12 penalties for 86 yards. Quarterback Matt McGloin left the game with a rib injury no word on his status on his injury or if he will play on Saturday at home against the LA Rams.
Watching New York guardians today was exciting for the first minute. After that it was a tough game to watch. It makes me wonder did this team believe the hype on how good they were last week and did they come prepared to on the road in their first home game. They couldn’t convert on 3rd downs they were 1/11. Against any team if you convert only once you are going to loss. The most critical three turnovers The DC Defenders turned the ball over only once. Quarterback Matt McGloin looked awful 8/19 for 44 yards and two interceptions before being benched. The reality is you can’t have three turnovers and except to win the game. The team looked uncomfortable. The defense the first half took care of business they kept the offense in the game and gave them plenty of chances to put up points any kind of points for that matter to at least end the first half on a positive note. Give DC Defenders credit they came prepared they won at home. They gave the most dominating performance out of all of the games played so far. It is still early there are three more XFL Games to be played before the week two wraps up.
Right now, it is hard to imagine what’s going to happen next week. New York Guardians are going on the road again to St. Louis to face Battlehawks next Sunday. They will have an extra day to rest and prepare. It was hard to watch this game and think this was the same team who beat the Tampa Bay Vipers 23-3. On the sidelines there were miscommunications between Coach Gilbride and quarterback McGloin based on comments I have been reading about his interview, he is going to have to play his best game next week. It was only one game and it was a terrible game a terrible first half and an even worse 2nd half.
To prove that they are a championship team New York guardian will have to win the next two games. The next two games are must wins you are on the road against St. Louis BattleHawks then you are back home against LA Wildcats. At times this is the kind of loss you need to move forward. I think New York Guardians will get it together. They are going to come into St. Louis as a team on a mission again. They have an experienced coaching staff who has been through this before. They will make sure when they get to practice again that they learn from this loss. It’s on to St. Louis
For football fans the sunday after the super bowl can be a sad day. The thought of having to wait five more months for football to start. Luckily for the football fans the XFL football league gives fans an extra 12 weeks of football 10 game season plus two playoff games. If you are a football fan who would not want 12 weeks of football. Sunday, February 9, 2020 over 17,000 fans showed up to see their new football team the New York Guardians taking on the Tampa Bay Vipers. There was a lot of excitement and questions about how good this team would play.
A lot of questions to be answered going into week one. There was a familiar face leading the New York Guardians Kevin Gilbride who was with the New York Giants from 2006-2013 and won two super bowls with them. Coming into the parking lot you felt the excitement. This was my first time covering any sports team. The feeling of excitement and jitters was mutual coming up to the press box and being excited. The New York Guardians were four point underdogs as they say this is why they play the game once the game starts stats and charts go out the window and so it did. The best part of the XFL is the fan experience. Fans can get autographs meet the players and tickets are affordable. Parking is $30. NJ Transit has free shuttle busses that go from Secacus junction to the stadium. If you are like me and want to get there early you can catch the bus that goes to the American dream mall and then walk over to the stadium. Once the game kicked off one thing was certain New York Guardians came to play and they came to win. On this day New York Guardians had the best defense that was there to play like there was no tomorrow. That is the best way to describe it they shut out Tampa Bay Vipers in the first half. In the second half in a respectable attempt to get something going the Vipers went with their backup quarterback to start the 2nd half. It didn’t work either or faze the New York Guardians defense.Jim Herrmann had this defense prepared for every possible scenario. Two interceptions and three turnovers only three points allowed.
The XFL Team the New York Guardians is preparing to kick off the season on Sunday, February 9, 2020 at Metlife Stadium. I had a chance to talk to team President Janet Duch
Angel Alamo: what can fans expect for the upcoming XFL season?
Janet Duch: You know, I think for us right now, revealing the name and the look of the brand, we’re really focused on inviting fans to partner with us to help write our story. You know, we want to make the game affordable and we certainly want to bring fans closer to the action, both in stadium with behind-the-scenes access on social and digital, and you know, certainly with our broadcast partners. So for us really is about co-creating right now and really building up our campaign.
AA: How did the name, New York Guardians, how did the name come up?
JD: You know, it’s been a quite collaborative process amongst outside agencies and internal creative resources at the Stanford office, and the inspiration was drawn from numerous resources locally and nationally. I think the process was probably started nine, 10 months ago. So you know, there were a lot of design efforts that were leading the charge and certainly it’s quite typical of creative process and a brand process to start really wide and start to narrow down, and for us, we’re real proud of the name. We’re proud that the name is going to represent the spirit of this new team and certainly the region that we play for.
AA: With the partnership with the fans, will the XFL be like an experience where, for an example, fans can after the game meet the players or actually meet them at events throughout the season?
JD: We’re not ready to announce any specific details. We are working, again to bring fans closer to the games to have events out in the community. Certainly, you know if you’re a season ticket member, there will be opportunities to meet, the team. We’ll be doing events in the communities for players. So there’ll be lots of opportunities to connect our fan base with our players. I mean we’re eager to, once we have the draft in the late fall, certainly eager to introduce our players to their new fans.
AA: Who is coaching the New York Guardians?
JD: Yes, Coach Kevin Gilbride was announced back in April along with myself. We actually did a joint announcement and he’s very familiar with the region. Fans are quite familiar with him. He certainly was a two time New York Giant Super Bowl champion and offensive coordinator.
AA: Wow. So it’s cool that you guys, again brought in somebody that is familiar with the New York football fan base.
JD: Yeah, I mean, he’s familiar with this area certainly and sort of what fans are looking for and, I think based on the reaction of just being out in the community yesterday and around New York, and in New Jersey, he’s definitely received a warm reception for lots of fans.
AA: With having the XFL start right after the NFL season, is there any worry about football fatigue from people kind of having football right after the season?
JD: I certainly hope not. For me, all the research is pointing to fans want more football. Quite frankly, there seems to be a little bit of fume when the NFL season ends and the college season ends, so for us, we want the XFL to be about football and fun. We’re ready to kick off. The season will be 10 weeks and we’ll have five home games and five away games. 10 weeks, and then they’re split up in a championship game. We’re certainly looking to partner up with all sorts of partners, businesses in the community, partners in the community. Really want to make sure we get the awareness out. We want folks to know that tickets for MetLife Stadium will be affordable.