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 7, 2001 |
The paths of two football leagues crossed over the weekend, as the NFL capped off its season on a muted note with the Pro Bowl game while the World Wrestling Federation-backed XFL made its debut to ratings as gaudy as the cheerleader outfits, based on viewing estimates issued Tuesday by Nielsen Media Research. Inaugural XFL games delivered NBC's biggest Saturday-night audience this season for anything except the World Series and the Olympics, performing especially well among male demographics.
September 30, 2002
Tommy Maddox, fittingly enough, signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers to be an insurance policy if something happened to Kordell Stewart. Something happened Sunday and, because the Steelers had the insurance salesman-turned-backup quarterback around, they rallied to beat Cleveland, 16-13, and avoid a possibly disastrous 0-3 start. Maddox, the Broncos' first-round draft choice in 1992, left football to run his Dallas insurance agencies from 1997-99, only to revive his career in the XFL.
February 4, 2001 |
To answer your first question about Vince McMahon's professional wrestling football league, no, the outcomes of these games aren't scripted in advance--not yet anyway, although today is back-to-the-blackboard day inside the executive offices of the XFL, so you never know.
February 14, 2001 |
NBC telecasts of the NBA All-Star Game and XFL football both came up short in the ratings stat sheet, allowing CBS to climb atop the prime-time standings behind "Survivor: The Australian Outback," based on viewing estimates issued Tuesday by Nielsen Media Research.
February 14, 2001 |
Skip Bayless in the Chicago Tribune, on the XFL: "The ratings will continue to fall as long as the XFL pretends it's a real football league. . . . "The XFL needs more late-hitting villains, more camera-loving heroes. Coaches need to go nose-to-nose with analysts Jesse 'the Body' Ventura and Brian Bosworth over critical remarks. "Pro wrestling fans certainly don't mind that their sport is staged. Who'd watch if it weren't? . . .
February 12, 2001 |
The novelty factor apparently didn't last long for the XFL. NBC's second broadcast of the new football league owned by the network and the World Wrestling Federation drew about half as many viewers as the debut, despite a boost in the final 45 minutes from the overtime game between the Xtreme and the Chicago Enforcers at the Coliseum.
March 31, 2000 |
Just what Los Angeles needs, another X-rated pro football team. We already have the Avengers, the Arena League team whose lone home exhibition game at Staples Center is April 9 and its regular-season home opener April 20. The Avengers have caused a stir with billboards deemed obscene by many. An Azusa city official was arrested for vandalism this week after painting over some objectionable words on one of the the billboards.
February 11, 2000 |
The immediate reaction to the news that Vince McMahon, chairman of the World Wrestling Federation, plans to start a pro football league is to snicker. Others have tried to compete with the NFL--and failed. Remember the USFL? And the World Football League? But maybe we shouldn't be too quick to dismiss McMahon and his proposed XFL, which would include Los Angeles among its eight franchises and begin a 10-week season in February 2001. McMahon does have a decent track record.
March 19, 2001 |
NBC has quietly put out feelers to Hollywood's production community in the last few weeks regarding development of low-cost dramatic series that could be scheduled on Saturday night--a programming strategy that raises questions about the network's long-term commitment to its struggling XFL football league. Sources say NBC is interested in trying to produce one-hour series for not much more than $1 million per hour, or about a third less than the average new drama.