XFL commissioner Oliver Luck has had a longstanding history in building programs and leagues up from the bottom to the top. Luck is well known for his work with NFL Europe, Houston Dynamo, and the NCAA. The goal for owner Vince McMahon when he started the league back up was to make it legitimate. No gimmicks. No WWE involvement. Pure football. That’s why he brought in someone like Luck.
Many football fans forget that Luck played quarterback in the NFL for five seasons as Warren Moon’s backup for the Houston Oilers. After that, he would go on to be the general manager of the Frankfurt Galaxy and Rhein Fire in Europe. This led the way for Luck to be President of NFL Europe.
NFL Europe Time
This is where football followers started to take notice of the work that he was doing. In terms of the NFL’s presence in Europe, it wasn’t as big in the ’90s as it is now. The growth of popularity in Europe started to take shape when Luck ran the show for NFL Europe. Luck helped with changing concepts to their World Bowl and helped them onto the right path. The visibility of the World Bowl on television helped grow the league. The number of future NFL stars like Kurt Warner and Jake Delhomme helped the performances on the field.
After 2000, he started work back in Houston with their Sports Authority as he helped bring in stadiums like Minute Maid Park and Reliant Stadium. He spent five years with the Houston Dynamo helping them with building their new soccer stadium. The transition to college brought him back to his old school in West Virginia.
Going Back to College
He worked tirelessly for about five years as athletic director as the school moved to the Big 12. The NCAA took notice of his work at West Virginia and brought him in to help with the playoff committee. He also took care of academic affairs for the NCAA. Because of his work, McMahon saw him as a leader and someone who could build his new league.
This is the XFL
Luck went right into work with testing potential new rule changes using The Spring League. He worked with several NFL guys like Jim Caldwell and Doug Flutie to help with reimagining the game. He was able to convince Bob Stoops to come out of retirement to coach the Dallas Renegades. Luck secured an impressive TV deal with ESPN, ABC, Fox, and Fox Sports 1 to broadcast their games all season.
With all that being said, the XFL has their doubters in terms of if the league will even make it one season or fold faster than the AAF. While people feel that way, the thing to think about is this type of TV deal and exposure has not been seen for a spring football league since the USFL. With McMahon’s financial backing and Luck’s leadership, they give the league a fighting chance to make it.
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