April 4, 2000 |
The XFL, the new professional football league founded by World Wrestling Federation CEO Vince McMahon, has a lucrative television deal with NBC that has all but put a headlock on outdoor football in the spring. Dennis Murphy, co-founder of the International Football Federation, which was supposed to have begun play in February but failed to secure a television deal, said his league will instead open in 2001--along with the XFL--but will play from April to early July.
March 15, 2001 |
There is no telling how much longer the XFL will be around, but Gov. Jesse Ventura's days as the lead commentator may be numbered. "He's on thin ice," Vince McMahon said Wednesday during an interview on the state of his new winter professional football league. "We've made mistakes, and I think our biggest one was our selection of announcers," the XFL founder said. "We need football announcers, not WWF announcers."
May 11, 2001 |
It's now the ex-XFL. The experimental football league folded Thursday after one season that lasted 12 weeks and concluded April 21. League founder Vince McMahon, chairman of the World Wrestling Federation, said during a late-afternoon conference call that the decision to fold the league was made earlier in the day, after a deal with the UPN television network fell through. "I came to the realization that we could not continue four hours ago," McMahon said.
March 23, 2001 |
The impression at times has been that the XFL is more about cheerleaders in the stands and strippers in hot tubs than it is about football. The XFL encouraged that sort of thinking when the league hit the scene, but it irritates the league's football people, who say that's not what the XFL is all about. And there are plenty of football people in the XFL. Dick Butkus is a top executive, and nobody is more "football" than Butkus, the Chicago Bear hall of fame linebacker.
February 5, 2001 |
What a bummer, what a fraud. After that full nelson of a buildup from Jesse Ventura, who moonlights as Minnesota governor, and Vince McMahon, the billionaire farceur who heads the World Wrestling Federation. After they and their fellow funny men at NBC promised "Gladiator" with goal posts. After an advertising blitz guaranteed to boil the blood pressures of those wimps and pantywaists in Congress hoping to impose passivity on our savage airwaves. After all of that.
April 20, 2001 |
Running back Saladin McCullough was working with young athletes as a trainer in Pasadena, convinced he'd never be given another chance to play in the NFL. "I'd been written off," he said. Wide receiver Jeremaine Copeland, cut by the Tennessee Titans, was working for a janitorial service in his hometown of Harriman, Tenn., when he wasn't playing with Barcelona in NFL Europe.
February 14, 2001 |
With the XFL, problems just keep coming. NBC, half-owner of the XFL, is upset that Saturday night's game between the Los Angeles Xtreme and the Chicago Enforcers ran long and delayed the start of "Saturday Night Live" in the East. On a local level, the Xtreme was wrong when it said no injuries were caused by fighting that took place in the stands at the Coliseum Saturday night.
February 3, 2001 |
A year ago to the day, on Feb. 3, 2000, Dick Ebersol, the chairman of NBC Sports, was sitting in his office at New York's Rockefeller Plaza when he was told he should come and see the news conference being piped into NBC. Vince McMahon, the head of the World Wrestling Federation, was nearby at the WWF's entertainment complex in Times Square announcing plans for the creation of a new football league to be called the XFL. Ebersol was fascinated.