Mac Engel

Video: The humiliation of a Fort Worth Star-Telegram sports columnist at XFL tryouts

As a soon-to-be 46-year-old honkey, I have accepted that all compliments now come with an asterisk.

* “You are a good writer, for a ... “ functioning illiterate.

* “You look passable, for a ...” middle aged white dude.

* “You are in good shape, for a ...” sports journalist.


At this point, compliments come with a hint of pity and sympathy. Unlike 20 years ago, I heartily accept both pity and sympathy just as I would a free bone-in ribeye steak.

When the XFL, which is launching in Arlington and seven other cities around the U.S. in February of 2020, extended an invite to “join” the open tryouts it held on Friday at UT-Arlington, I heartily accepted.

The proposal sounded innocent, and kind, enough to easily accept: Participate in a trio of football combine-style events to measure yourself against actual pros.

I was confident that I would do OK, “For a ...”

When I was doing the drills, I thought I was doing OK, “For a ...”

And then I had to watch it.

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