How it started and how it ended, were two different elements.
Sports enthusiast and contributor to this near viral Facebook post, shared his thoughts and after-thoughts of yesterday’s stunning Saint Louis Battlehawks’ improbable comeback in Texas. The scene was loud and shocked at San Antonio’s Alamodome, Sunday, February 19, 2023.Editor.
My comments about the St. Louis and San Antonio game were written in my head as the game progressed. My story was going to be simple: The former NFL quarterback, AJ McCarron, was a dud, the San Antonio quarterback, Jack Coan was the more polished player, and the San Antonio Brahmas were the better team.
That was until the last two minutes of the game.
The rules in the XFL allowed St. Louis to turn in the most brutal, embarassing offensive display I’ve ever seen from a pro team until the final moments – then, with the flick of a wrist, AJ McCarron hits two receivers deep.
The second receiver, Marcel Ateman, only needed one foot in bounds to have his catch count on the left sideline. Great rule change for the XFL. A few plays later, McCarron hit wide receiver, Hakeem Butler in the end zone with the first pass of the day worthy of an ESPN highlight.
The score went from 15 to 9 on that touchdown. Then, St. Louis went for a three point conversion – and connected, when McCarron hit Austin Proehl in the endzone, between two defenders. Another fantastic XFL rule in action.
This brought the game to within only three points. And, with only 1:25 left in the game, St. Louis chose to keep the ball and go for it from their own 25 yard line. The rule says the team must complete a “first and 15” play to keep the ball. And yet, another fantastic rule for the XFL.
When McCarron converted that play to Austin Proehl on the sidelines, he gave what had been a lackluster, sleeper of a game an injection of excitement the XFL desperately needs more of to win fans to future broadcasts. (The silent look of resignation on San Antonio Brahmas coach Hines Ward’s face after that conversion was louder than the crowd around him.)
When former Seattle Dragons (XFL) star, Austin Proehl, caught the go-ahead touchdown with only 16 seconds left to go, the St. Louis Battlehawks put the sugar and spice on top of the bowl of cold oatmeal served up for the first 57 minutes of the game.
To see the game bookended with AJ McCarron kissing his wife and kids before, then crying as they ran on to the field to greet him after, is proof of how the XFL’s rules are literally “game changers.”
If ever there was a game you should not have walked away from, this was it. This was exactly what the XFL was created to do, it’s a rulebook the NFL would do well to take a page from, and if XFL teams can take advantage of these rules the future is bright.
Last, I am hoping he will be back to share more Sports Edits with The Argus St. Louis.Editor