April 21, 2001 |
The first Super Bowl was played at the Coliseum in 1967. The first XFL championship game, billed as the "Million Dollar Game," will be played there tonight. The similarities end there. The NFL was an established league in 1967. Although that initial Super Bowl didn't sell out, it drew 61,946. XFL officials would be happy if tonight's 5 o'clock game between the Los Angeles Xtreme and the San Francisco Demons draws 20,000.
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.
April 19, 2001 |
The XFL will be back next season, only its games will not be televised by NBC, league founder Vince McMahon said Wednesday. "There's nothing official, but as for NBC showing games on Saturday nights, that's not going to happen," McMahon said during an interview about the first year of his football league. A month after McMahon announced the formation of the XFL early last year, NBC came in as a 50-50 partner.
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.
March 23, 2001 |
The Williams sisters, Venus and Serena, have been the most popular players in tennis--women's or men's--for the last two years, says Michael Wilbon of the Washington Post, with a word of warning for them: "If they aren't careful, if they don't start to realize how precarious stardom can be, they can throw it all away before they reach their mid-20s.
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.
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."
March 15, 2001 |
Wrestling fans have proved themselves to be a fairly loyal bunch, making the World Wrestling Federation's "Smackdown!" the top-rated show on UPN. But that loyalty doesn't necessarily extend to the WWF's maverick chairman, Vince McMahon. WWF fans are not flocking to McMahon's Xtreme Football League.
March 7, 2001 |
Skip Bayless of the Chicago Tribune, describing some strange spectators at an XFL game in Soldier Field: "A howling Unabomber to my right, a woofing Charles Manson to my left, and me watching Sunday's frostbitten XFL game until my toes turned Enforcers purple. . . . "Now I know I was wrong about promoter Vince McMahon wanting to see death on the field. McMahon wanted death in the stands. . . .