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Looking Back at 2020: Favorite Interview

Houston Roughnecks DE Kony Ealy (94) before Week 2 against the St. Louis BattleHawks. (Photo by Thomas Campbell/XFL via Getty Images)

The XFL season ended early, but the league has pledged to return in 2021. 

With eyes on the past and future,’s Art Garcia and Pat Yasinskas discussed various topics from the 2020 debut via email.

Rules Innovation | Biggest Surprise | Interviews | Gameday


Pat Yasinskas: The access was great as players were interviewed during the games. During the week, access was great, too, as each team’s media relations department worked hard to set up interviews with coaches and players.

So let’s talk about our favorite interviews. I actually have two.

Let’s start with Houston defensive lineman Kony Ealy. I had a phone interview with him. It was pretty bland at first, but I asked him why he wasn’t in the NFL, where he had some success. He candidly revealed he had a nervous breakdown and told me his touching story in detail.

My other favorite was a television interview of Guardians quarterback Matt McGloin in Week 2. The Guardians had a dismal first half on offense, and ABC's Dianna Russini asked McGloin what needed to change in the second half.

McGloin responded with, “We need to change the entire offensive gameplan." That’s the kind of candor you get when players are in the heat of the moment.

Art, what was your favorite interview?

Art Garcia: Let me second McGloin for giving us true gold. It gave us a real window into the raw emotion and mindset of a pro football sideline.

As for interviews I was fortunate to do, I look back at visiting each team during camp. Defensive tackle Anthony Johnson sticks out for comparing himself to Lakers legends and promising to deliver a title to Los Angeles. (He was traded to DC after Week 1.)

Tight ends Nick Truesdell (Tampa Bay) and Donald Parham (Dallas) were both open and honest about their NFL ambitions. (READ: Truesdell | Parham)

That said, I took the most from my day with the St. Louis BattleHawks getting to know safety Kenny Robinson. Coach Jonathan Hayes was a wealth of info and perspective. Robinson's teammates were giving. Robinson himself understood his unique role of opening doors as the league's only player with college eligibility remaining. 

Rules Innovation | Biggest Surprise | Interviews | Gameday