I wasn’t sure what to expect when I was asked to report on the XFL games. I love college football and am a season ticket holder for the Houston Cougar football games at TDECU Stadium. I’ve been to games that felt like a championship game due to the fans energy, and I’ve been to games that felt like high school games, due to lack thereof. I certainly wasn’t expecting an almost full house on Saturday night for the Houston Roughnecks opening game against the LA Wildcats. Over 17,000 fans were in attendance.
The fans were literally lined up 2 hours prior to kickoff. As they opened the gates, more and more people kept coming in. I was surprised how many people already had their jerseys on and costumes for the game. Hard hats were all over the place. There was also a lot of Houston Oilers jerseys in the crowd, which was nostalgic to say the least. The first 15,000 fans were given Roughneck shirts and everyone immediately put theirs on. It was a sight to see.
The crowd was loud! PJ Walker, Roughnecks QB, later said that the fans were almost so loud that the players couldn’t hear each other on the field. The faster style of play kept the fans interested the entire game. The 10 minute halftime brought them all right back to the action. By the third quarter, when the Roughnecks went on a scoring streak, the stadium was rocking. A beach ball was being passed around the crowd and shortly after, the fans started doing the wave!
I’ve been to college games, and I’ve been to NFL games. In comparison- the XFL was a whole different atmosphere. Bigger and better. Exciting and energetic! Going into the game, I truly wasn’t sure that I would enjoy myself and now, I can’t WAIT for next weeks game! Those who watched the game on TV said the experience was totally different as well. Viewers get to hear the coaches talking to the players in the XFL headsets. There are in game interviews. Imagine getting to hear from a player immediately after they make a game winning play and getting to see their adrenaline! It truly is #ForTheLoveofFootball!
If the rest of the season is anything like opening night, we have a lot of great games coming our way. The Roughnecks took the win 37-17! Their next game is February 16th against the St. Louis Battlehawks. I am urging you- GO TO THE GAME!! You won’t regret it.