XFL owner Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson gives motivation pregame speech before league kicks off
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is hoping that the third time is the charm.
The XFL is back for a third campaign, with the league restarting on Saturday afternoon. It was revived in early 2020, but the pandemic cut the season short, and the league was defunct.
However, the WWE legend, along with Dany Garcia and Gerry Cardinale, purchased the league from Alpha Entertainment just a few months later.
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Johnson preached the beginning of a new opportunity for the players, most of whom are former college players who didn't quite make it to the next level.
“When they told you that the dream was over – but here's the truth: Your dream is just beginning. Because what you're gonna do, you're gonna come out on this field, and you're gonna line up, and you're gonna show the world what it's like to be truly hungry with that chip on your shoulder. I know, because I got that same chip. And we're here, because the X of the XFL represents the intersection of dreams and opportunity. You bring the dreams, we brought the opportunity.”
Johnson was wearing a No. 54 jersey. The number represents that most of the players in the league were the “54th man” in NFL training camp – rosters are made up of 53 players.
Before his WWE and acting career, Johnson was an NFL hopeful at the University of Miami. He won a national championship in his freshman year but was often a backup and only played two months on a practice roster for a Canadian Football League team.
The Arlington Renegades, Houston Roughnecks, San Antonio Brahmas, St. Louis BattleHawks, DC Defenders, Orlando Guardians, Seattle Sea Dragons and Vegas Vipers will be battling for the XFL title.
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All games will be played at Choctaw Stadium in Arlington, Texas, the former home of the MLB's Texas Rangers.