XFL Commish Suggests That Fans Could Pay Players Directly

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XFL Commissioner, Oliver Luck, was at the Sports Business Journal's Sports, Media & Technology summit yesterday and discussed a myriad of ideas the new league is bringing to the table to be "fan friendly".

Not looking to compete, so much as compliment the NFL, the XFL from its initial inception back in 2001 has always been about the fans. From custom jerseys sporting nicknames instead of surnames, which MLB has now adopted during "Player's Weekend", to WWE style locker room interviews, everything they have done was meant to appeal to the fans.

Every athlete and general manager will tell you that without the fans, they wouldn't be doing what they do. And the XFL in its second go-around is really emphasizing that point.

During the summit, one of the things Luck discussed was fan access. Luck said fans want to know what's happening behind closed doors, "What is the quarterback saying in the huddle?" he added. They're looking to "unlock" some of those spaces and he feels it can be done easier in the XFL than at the NFL or NCAA level of Football.

But the biggest "eyebrow raiser" came when he suggested that fans could pay players directly. When talking about how they can give fans a "stronger voice" he said, "we've been talking about should a fan be able to Venmo a player a little bit of extra cash."

So, say you're watching an XFL game and a player on your favorite team makes a ridiculous, "highlight reel" worthy touchdown catch. You would be able to hop on Venmo and "tip" him, so to speak. For those who don't know, Venmo is a money-sharing app owned by PayPal. So imagine watching the XFL and your favorite defensive player just sacked the QB off a sweet spin-move. Job well-done here's a fiver! Just won the game on a walk-off tuddy? Let me hook you up with a couple of Jackson's, you earned it.

While this seems kind of silly on the surface, in reality, players and teams could use this form of cash supplement to prevent contracts from spiraling out of control.

The best players will get the most money. Not just because their agent makes the best deals. I'm looking at you Sam Bradford.

What do you think of this new concept? Would you open your wallet for your favorite player or do you think that could create bigger problems? One might argue that a wealthy fan could lure a player to their team with some side money if there aren't ways to police this sort of behavior. While it's a good concept, one can wonder how it could negatively impact the league as well.

Teams for the inaugural season of the re-booted XFL will be announced soon. Are you excited for Spring Football in 2020 that's geared towards fans?