‘They’re going to go save a whole god-damned league’: Pat McAfee thanks former ‘Saskatoon’ player Dwayne Johnson for saving CFL

Photo courtesy: DAZN

If Randy Ambrosie was hoping Wednesday’s announcement that the CFL was exploring alignment opportunities with the XFL would stir up some much needed media attention for the league, he certainly succeeded.

Former NFL All-Pro punter turned viral talk show host Pat McAfee was one of many to chime in on the news, expressing his glee to the demographic of podcast listeners that the CFL hopes to attract by partnering with the XFL.

“We shared stories about how Gumpy [fellow podcaster Kyle Cathcart] and I were absolutely murdered by Canadians whenever we talked about the CFL potentially being DEAD!,” McAfee shouted at the mic.

“Now the CFL is potentially going to partner with the XFL to bring it back to life. That’s good news for everybody!”

McAfee famously drew the ire of CFL fans earlier this year, calling the hundred year old league ‘state fair football’ while praising former Rider and NFL teammate Jerrell Freeman.

The shock-jock podcaster later insisted it was a compliment given his love of state fairs, but insisted that the CFL was dead following their canceled 2020 season. Now, he has renewed hope, all thanks to one man.

“Dwayne Johnson, Dewey, Tomás, DJ, President Dwayne Johnson that’s what we’re going to be calling him at some point,” McAfee raved. “Him getting in there and buying the teams alongside his ex-wife, who is his business partner, buying the league that he got cut from, it’s just classic Dwayne Johnson.”

While the two leagues are vocally working towards a collaboration, neither side has hinted what that might look like. While speculation of a full merger has been raised there is no indication that the CFL or any of it’s nine independently owned teams are being purchased.

Before rising to stardom in pro wrestling and becoming a blockbuster movie star, Dwayne Johnson was famously cut from the Calgary Stampeders by legendary coach Wally Buono.

While McAfee has stated he enjoyed watching the CFL during his eight-year career with the Indianapolis Colts (2009-2016), he clearly wasn’t paying much attention, erroneously stating that The Rock ‘was cut from up there in Saskatoon’.

Even if the Saskatoon franchise remains in dire straights, McAfee has nothing but gratitude for the CFL’s saviours.

“Keeping jobs alive, keeping leagues alive, keeping hope alive. Thank you Dwayne, thank you for doing what you do, and thank you to Dany Garcia, XFL chairwoman.”

Johnson and Garcia were selected as the winning bidder last August for all of the assets of Alpha Entertainment LLC, the parent company of the XFL. It cost $15 million and the goal is to make the XFL a stable league in the future.

The XFL had lasted just part of one season before the COVID-19 pandemic put their season on hold, which led to Vince McMahon filing for bankruptcy and selling to Johnson and Garcia. Part of the assets include a quickly-developed social media presence. The XFL 2020 Twitter account has 354,000 followers compared to the CFL’s 293,000.

“Nobody is going to work harder, that’s what they said. What they meant by that is they’re going to go save a whole god-damned league, the XFL and the CFL,” McAfee applauded.

The bombastic former punter even has an idea of what this miraculously saved league should look like

“Maybe they should call it the IFL, International Football League? Drop the X, drop the C, bring in the I and get a team in Europe. Then you go to the NFL and say ‘hey, break us off a little bit because we’re going to become a feeder here’,” McAfee explained.

“If you’re Dwayne Johnson, who can shake those hands and charm those people, he’s talking to Roger Goodell about being a feeder system.”

The future isn’t all sunshine and roses however. McAfee has one serious concern about the an XFL-CFL merger.

What if it draws Johnson’s focus away from the ‘Young Rock’ TV show?

I shudder to contemplate.