Front Office Sports- When TV viewers turn on ABC and ESPN for inaugural coverage of the XFL this weekend, they’ll see something completely taboo for NFL game telecasts: the betting point spread and over/under points for the game. The network’s new “score bug” display for XFL broadcasts will feature those two popular football bets, along with the traditional elements of the score, game clock, down, and distance.
Also unlike the NFL, ABC/ESPN will allow its XFL announcers to discuss the game’s point spread and over/under total where appropriate, Lee Fitting, ESPN’s senior vice president of production, said. “The over/under and point spread will be incorporated in our on-screen dashboard for XFL games. When it’s appropriate, our announcers will also have conversations around the spread and over-under,” said Fitting. ABC/ESPN’s announce teams, for example, might mention the point spread and over/under at the beginning of games. Or if a team scores a late touchdown that impacts the betting line. “We want to serve the viewer with this information when it feels right,” Fitting said.
The future is here! You know how they say that porn is important to our world because it pushes the technological limits of society from high-def videos to seamless streaming and so much more? Well the XFL is that for football. As an Old that actually remembers XFL 1.0, I remember Vinny Mac unleashing things like the Sky Cam, player intros, and microphones everygoddamnwhere. Since the NFL is reportedly a copycat league (Source: Every NFL announcer ever), they copied the fuck out of that stuff to help it become the product we know and love today.
Which is why it's great to see the XFL embracing the gambling world with open arms. Now all the people that went to their local Penn National Gaming casino to place a bet on an XFL game get to have a broadcast tailored to them. Sure the fans of the New York Whatevers and the Chicago I Don't Knows will be living and dying with the result of the actual game. But everyone else watching the game will care much more about the final score, even in a blowout, because of a complete different set of numbers and won't be completely ignored like they have been by the NFL since I'm pretty sure every announcer outside of Al Michaels gets sent to an incinerator if they even sniffed mentioning the spread or Over/Under. At least until Goodell starts cheating off Vinny Mac's test again, which he will because he's a copycatting bitch.
Gambling being openly discussed during a football game on TV. What a time to be alive. If only there was a man that positioned his company into the perfect place as the union of sports and gambling grows together.
Sidenote: I cannot believe this man is worth $100 million yet am not surprised at all after witnessing everything from the last decade or so
P.S. If it isn't too much trouble for the good people at ESPN/ABC, please don't even think of putting yellow in your XFL scorebug after you pissed off the entire internet during the first Monday Night Football game of the season.