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The original XFL was a professional American football league that played its only season in 2001. The XFL was operated as a joint venture between the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE) and NBC. The XFL was conceived as an outdoor football league that would begin play immediately after the National Football League season ended to take advantage of lingering public desire to watch football after the NFL and college football seasons had concluded. It was promoted as having fewer rules to encourage rougher play than other major leagues. The league had eight teams in two divisions, including major markets and some not directly served by the NFL, such as Birmingham, Las Vegas, Memphis, and Orlando. The XFL operated as a single entity with all teams owned by the league, in contrast to most major professional leagues, which use a franchise model with individual owners.

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