The Rock Comments On How The CFL Changed His Life, Addresses Rumors Of A XFL/CFL Merger
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Dwayne Johnson electrified the pro wrestling world as The Rock, but before his WWE career, he was a football star.
Many fans know that Johnson played for the University of Miami, but it’s easy to forget that he briefly ventured into the world of professional football. This journey was unsuccessful, as Johnson was cut by the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League.
Many years later, Johnson’s release from the CFL is still dear to him because it shaped his career. In a post on Instagram, he looked back on the significance of this moment:
“When you have nothing and you’re scratching and clawing for everything you can get – all in the spirit of making your football dreams come true.
You become the hardest worker in the room.
You will not be denied.
I knew in my heart I was going to make it in the CFL – and parlay that into a very successful career in the NFL.
Maybe even win a Super Bowl…
But neither of those dreams came close to coming true.
Truth is, I just wasn’t good enough and it wasn’t my time.
The CFL sent me home.
I was still grateful to a man who would eventually become a mentor and friend, Wally Buono for even giving me the opportunity.
I had $7 bucks.
But it’s funny how sometimes life comes full circle.”
The post was shared in response to the various reports that the XFL might be exploring a partnership with the Canadian Football League. In the same post, Johnson, a leading member of the consortium that purchased the XFL in 2020, offered his thoughts on these rumors.
“As an owner of the XFL, our discussions with the CFL have been very exciting. There’s a real pulse here because you can feel the unique opportunity we can potentially create together.
Wherever it all leads, I can tell you this one is personal to me and is driven by all my passion – because me being cut by the CFL was the greatest thing that happened.
It set me on a path that years later would lead me right back to the league.
To help create even greater and bigger opportunities for all our players and all our fans.
As an owner who’s had his hands in the dirt – my loyalty will always lie with the players and fans.
I’ll keep you posted as our XFL/CFL discussions unfold.
Got your back.
So yes, the CFL changed my life, in ways I could’ve never imagined.”
The COVID-19 pandemic forced the XFL to prematurely end its 2020 season and postpone its return to the field. Led by Johnson, the XFL plans to relaunch in 2022.