Tampa gets a new football team

With the XFL making a comeback, Tampa has another team to root for in the Vipers.

Jack Kirk, Sports Editor

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On Feb 8, six days after the NFL season concludes, the XFL will be making it’s return after shutting down operations in 2001. One of the eight teams that will be part of the new league is the Tampa Bay Vipers.

Vince Mcmahon, the man who launched the XFL in 2000, is also the man behind the relaunch of the league. He is the founder and CEO of the WWE, and has used some of the billions of dollars he has brought in from the global wrestling company to bring this alternative football league to life

Tampa did not originally have a team the first time the XFL opened it’s doors almost 20 years ago. There was a team in Orlando, the Orlando Rage, in the league’s first stint, but the city will not see another team this time around.

The Vipers have some notable names on their roster. Their head coach, as well as general manager, is Marc Trestman, who won three Grey Cup championships while coaching in the Canadian Football League (CFL). He also coached the Chicago Bears for two years, but most of his success came in the CFL.

The Vipers have two quarterbacks who are familiar with the Tampa region in Aaron Murray and Quinton Flowers. Murray went to both Jesuit and Plant for high school before becoming the quarterback for the University of Georgia for four years. Flowers was the starting quarterback for the University of South Florida for three years before joining the Cincinnati Bengals as a running back. Flowers is listed as both a quarterback and a running back on the roster.

There are other notable names on the roster, such as receiver Antonio Callaway. Callaway played for the Cleveland Browns during his tenure in the NFL, with 2018 being his most productive year, recording 586 receiving yards on 46 catches.

The Vipers first game will be against the New York Guardians in New York on Feb 9, exactly one week after Super Bowl 54. The first home game for the Vipers is on Feb 22 at Raymond James Stadium against the Houston Roughnecks in the third week of the ten-week regular season.