One of the ways the XFL was able to differentiate itself from the NFL was to allow live microphones on the coaches, giving us access to their decisions to call live.
On the one hand, it's great access for fans of the new soccer league. It gives a glimpse of what the coaches think, and it's cool to hear them talk about the game before it happens. But on the other hand, it leaves the coaches exposed and it looks like they weren't quite prepared for it.
DC Defenders coach Pep Hamilton coached his team to victory in the first XFL game of the season, and when he watched a replay of the match the next day, he realized how good the news was. public. He told Washington radio "The Sports Junkies" he had to make a difference for the rest of the season.
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"I spent the night trying to change some of the calls. I think everyone at D.C. knows that "even" is [running] right and "odd" left. So 3.3 million people know whether we're running right or left, "said Hamilton earlier this week. We knew it would be a factor, but not until we watched the show late. [Sunday] night when I said, "Oh, man. We have to do something different. ' "
Seattle Dragons coach Jim Zorn added: Through the Seattle Times, he was "absolutely shocked" when he realized how much of his audio calling him plays had been broadcast on television.
"I think it allowed a fan to hear and see something he had never heard before, but I felt very exposed," said Zorn. "Information about a football team needs to be kept a bit, so we just released it. I know it had to be fun for everyone, but not super fun for me to reveal it all. But I was glad I had neither stammered nor escaped the calls. "
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Zorn was teased slightly on social media because he could be seen covering his mouth to hide his room while the audio could be heard.
Jim Zorn, Seattle Dragons head coach:
I'm going to cover my mouth so that no one can read my lips while I call the room.
- Craig Schilling (@tcraigschilling) February 8, 2020
Although Hamilton was a little surprised by the amount of fan access, he is still on board, with the league putting microphones on the coaches.
"This is part of it," he said. “Everything revolves around the fans. We want to give viewers access to professional football in a way they have never known. "
Dallas Renegades coach Bob Stoops reacted similarly when asked for general fan access.
"I was ready for this," said Stoops at his press conference on Sunday. "Hey, I'm here to do my part, to help the league in every way possible. So that means participating differently than before. Yeah, there are people everywhere. Cloakroom, follow you. So, hey, I get it. I enjoyed watching it yesterday, the little I could see. Hear game calls, interviews. It’s a great access for those interested. I think that will only contribute to growth. "
It will be interesting to see if the XFL continues to provide as much access to the game calls as it did in Week 1. With a pair of coaches making public comments, it would not be surprising if some d Others expressed their concerns privately to those in the league.