The XFL’s Tampa Bay Vipers were stymied in an attempt to sneak into Raymond James Stadium, with plans to participate in the 2020 Outback Bowl between the Auburn Tigers and Minnesota Golden Gophers.
“I thought it would be a good idea to get our guys some media exposure as well as some real game preparation, instead of yet another scrimmage,” said head coach and general manager Marc Trestman. “Oh well, it was worth a shot.”
The team is getting ready for their inaugural season, which kicks off in February. They actually made several efforts to access the college bowl game, which is broadcast nationally every year on ESPN, and were thwarted each time.
First, they showed up in their green-on-green home uniforms and tried to convince security guards at the gates that they were supposed to be playing in the game. “Vipers? Nah, man. We Gophers,” said linebacker Reggie Northrup.
“Yeah, we golden and from Minnesota and shit,” added offensive tackle Christian Morris, hoping to validate Northrup’s ruse.
“What the hell is a Viper anyway?” Asked Northrup. “No, for real though. What is it? I don’t know what a Viper is.” They were refused access.
Other attempts, including defensive back Rodney Randle sitting on punter Jake Schum’s shoulders and wearing an oversized trench coat, pretending to be children, failed as well.
“Yeah, I’m not sure what made them think any part of that plan would work at all,” said running back De’Veon Smith.
At one point, players beat up the Auburn marching band and stole their uniforms, but that scheme didn’t get far. “Trombonists are some real skinny cats,” said center Jordan McCray
Eventually, the security staff lost patience with the team’s antics and threatened to serve them with a trespassing notice. Being as that would make it difficult to participate in their own home games once the season starts, they withdrew and returned to their practice facility in Plant City.
“To be honest, I didn’t really think we could pull it off completely,” Trestman says. “I’m sure even the dumbest NCAA referees would realize you can’t have three teams on the field at the same time. But I did kinda hope we could have been in there long enough to get some Bloomin’ Onion® coupons or something. We’re all getting tired of eating Jimmy John’s every day.”