NEWS ARCHIVE: 15-28 February 2001

Week 5: A Look Ahead Against the Spread
The Masked Prognosticator - 2001.02.28
In the Mob, rarely does one live twice. 2 weeks ago, the Hitmen brought dishonor upon themselves and shamed us by coming up 1/2 point short versus Orlando. But we are merciful, and are giving the NY-NJ Hitmen an opportunity to show they can still be good "earners" for us in the XFL... Compare the bogus Xtreme to the down and dirty Hitmen. So far our perennial flunkies, The Hitmen are slowly but surely making their bones each week. In Week One, they sucked. In Week 2, they still sucked, but put 12 points on the board. In Week 3, they almost beat the best team in the league. It all came together this past weekend as Rusty Tillman and Co. beat up on the so-called Enforcers on the road, 13-0. With a win over L.A., they might even get "made"! ... Click Here for More Information

Sports execs eye XFL innovations
Reuters - 2001.02.28
The XFL may be off to an abysmal start in the primetime ratings on NBC, but the head of Fox Sports said Tuesday that the football league's innovations such as on-field cameras and microphones could have "major ramifications" for TV coverage of all other sports. "Being able to hear what the players are saying in the huddle will be a major plus for TV viewers, who have no patience for inner sanctuaries on the field -- they want to know everything about everything," said David Hill, chairman-CEO of the Fox Sports Group. He was speaking on a panel at the Front Row media conference. The other panelist, CBS president-CEO Leslie Moonves, agreed with Hill, saying CBS already has started talking about "using some techniques of the XFL coverage" for National Football League games, starting as early as next season. ... Click Here for More Information

Tillman Takes Issue With Ventura's Hype
Washington Post - 2001.02.28
On a day when NBC's top entertainment executives said the network intends to fulfill its two-year commitment to televise the XFL in prime time on Saturday night despite falling ratings, one of the league's coaches sharply criticized NBC Sports' XFL analyst, Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura. During the first half of Saturday's game between New York/New Jersey and Chicago, Ventura, a former World Wrestling Federation wrestler, called New York/New Jersey Coach Rusty Tillman, a special teams star for the George Allen Redskins and later a respected NFL assistant coach, "gutless" for kicking a field goal and not going for a touchdown on fourth and goal from the 1. ... Click Here for More Information

Xtreme Formula for Success Gets Diluted
David Curtis - XFLBoard.com - 2001.02.27
The Los Angeles Xtreme tried on Sunday to concoct yet another heroic win. And they almost made it -- they just didn’t account for an increasingly heavy downpour which compromised their panache. Not that rain (or opposing talent, for that matter) was their chief problem. While the team struggled all night, its first-half performance had little to do with the weather. This point was driven home by the visiting Memphis Maniax, who overcame a wet ball and a sloppy field to drive for 229 yards and 15 points before intermission. No, L.A. seemed mostly to be following a pattern of slow starts. ... Click Here for More Information

The Fans have Spoken, Week 4 - XFLBoard.com Players of the Week
XFLBoard.com - 2001.02.27
Week 4 - The Fans Have Spoken! At XFLBoard.com we'd like to think that the fans are the most important commodity in the equation. Who is better than to choose the XFL players of the Week than the same fans who cheer them on? Week 4 voting has ended. Here are the results: Offensive: Rashan Salaam, Defensive: Brandon Sanders, Lineman: Israel Raybon, Special Teams: Mario Bailey. ... Click Here for More Information

Salaam and Raybon Honored as XFL Players of the Week
XFL Press Release - 2001.02.27
The XFL today named Memphis Maniax RB Rashaan Salaam as its Offensive Player of the Week and New York/New Jersey Hitmen DE Israel Raybon as its Defensive Player of the Week for week four. Memphis' Heisman Trophy winner ignored a torrential downpour and subsequent terrible field conditions at the L.A. Coliseum to blast through the Los Angeles defense for 126 yards on 26 carries. The total included a 21-yard TD run in the second quarter which would prove to be the game-winning score as the Maniax dropped the Xtreme, 18-12, on Sunday night. For the Hitmen, "Raybo" recorded three sacks and racked up six tackles as NY/NJ survived a rain-soaked Saturday night at Soldier Field to shut out the Enforcers, 13-0, for the Hitmen's first win of the season. ... Click Here for More Information

NBC plans to stick with XFL
Slam Sports - 2001.02.27
"I certainly hope it has bottomed out," NBC Entertainment President Jeff Zucker said. "We will stick with it and give it a chance to grow." If the XFL were a comedy or drama on NBC's schedule, it would be long gone. But since NBC and the World Wrestling Federation are co-owners of the league, the rules are different, said Scott Sassa, president of NBC West Coast. Sassa said NBC is committed to showing the XFL in prime-time for the rest of its two-year contract. ... Click Here for More Information

TNN Ratings Look Good
XFLBoard.com - 2001.02.27
Game 3 of the XFL on TNN, featuring the Las Vegas Outlaws' 16-9 victory over the San Francisco Demons, averaged a 1.1 rating, representing 870,000 households and 1.45 million viewers. While household rating was down 8% from Game 2 (1.2 rating, representing 919,000), more people, 9% more - over 120,000 additional viewers -- actually watched XFL on TNN this week than last week. An average of 1.45 million people watched Game 3 compared to 1.33 million for Game 2. In addition, for the second consecutive week, the XFL performance doubled TNN's household delivery (up 100%) and more than tripled its delivery of Adults 18-49 (up 221%) over the network's prior time period performance in the First Quarter 2001.

How to "Save" the XFL
The Masked Prognosticator - 2001.02.27
With steady crowds in some cities, stabilizing ratings, and a dedicated hardcore fan base, the death of the XFL has been greatly exaggerated. The ratings have declined but you knew that going in, though their rapid decline is troubling. Rumors abound that NBC will soon dump the XFL. I doubt it. With tens of millions of dollars invested, and no football contract with the NFL, the XFL should a home on NBC. ... Click Here for More Information

Game day starts early for Outlaws cheerleaders
Las Vegas Review-Journal - 2001.02.27
Kickoff's not for another few hours, but the team already has hit the field at Sam Boyd Stadium to run through the day's game plan. "One, two, three, four," Jay Howarth calls out as the athletes fly into a dizzying, complicated series of kicks, lateral moves and juke steps. Then, they do it again, and again, and yet again, all for a routine that'll last only two or three minutes once the actual football game begins. It's game day for the Las Vegas Outlaws cheerleaders -- a long day of rehearsing, dancing, cheering, meeting fans and generally serving as hostesses of the wildest Saturday-night party in town. ... Click Here for More Information

A Tough Season for Ebersol
MSNBC.com - 2001.02.27
From NEWSWEEK Magazine: The first week had been a ratings smash. Ebersol knew it would be tough to match that showing, when many tuned in to see, as he says, “if we would have naked cheerleaders running around with chairs to break over the heads of referees.” Still, he was pumped. The XFL game would be followed by “Saturday Night Live,” guest-starring the white-hot Jennifer Lopez. But the evening headed south not long after first snap of the football. NBC briefly lost electrical power, robbing viewers of five touchdowns between the L.A. Xtreme and Chicago Enforcers. Then the game dragged on into double overtime, pushing back “SNL’s” start by 45 minutes. Ebersol could only hope that fans were glued to their sets for the exciting finish. But they weren’t. The ratings for XFL plummeted. And for days after, the media chewed over NBC’s fumbles. “We have to ignore the babble,” Ebersol told NEWSWEEK in his first extended interview since the launch of the league. ... Click Here for More Information

No Bags Being Packed at Legion Field
Bamaslammer - XFLBoard.com - 2001.02.27
Bamaslammer: Several web sites are reporting that the XFL is about to fold? Tim Berryman: "That I can tell you is hog-wash. NBC came into this with a minimum 2-year commitment and even if we have a zero rating they would continue to broadcast the games. I think every week our product is going to get better in the way we present it. The league has done a lot of focus group research to see what fans dislike and liked about various styles of broadcast." ... Click Here for More Information

Pawlawski Sidelined with Neck Injury
San Francisco Demons - 2001.02.27
San Francisco Head Coach Jim Skipper said Demons' quarterback Mike Pawlawski could be lost for as long as three weeks after suffering a neck injury during Sundays 16-9 loss to Las Vegas at Pacific Bell Park. Another former California product, Pat Barnes, will start Saturday night against the Birmingham Thunderbolts here in a 5:00 p.m. PST contest. Barnes played the final 10 minutes of the Demons' second loss in four games against the Western Division-leading Outlaws. ... Click Here for More Information

Outlaws Add WR Murphy to Roster
Las Vegas Outlaws - 2001.02.26
The Western Division-leading Las Vegas Outlaws (3-1) added 29-year old WR Yo Murphy to their roster today, with the former Tampa Bay Buccaneer, Minnesota Viking and Scottish Claymore wideout becoming the second offensive addition in seven days. Nagging injuries to Outlaws WRs Todd Floyd (concussion), Nakia Jenkins (heel) and Brett Bech (back) necessitate the move. Las Vegas now has 24 hours to reduce its active roster to the XFL's 45-man limit. ... Click Here for More Information

3 Interceptions, 2 Fumbles, 1 Loss
NStarz Ha - Demons Team Reporter - 2001.02.26
The title of this article was the result for the Demons in their second loss in front of a crowd of about 34,000. Reasons: the FIVE turnovers. Yes, five. One interception by Mike Pawlawski. Another Interception Pat Barnes. THREE fumbles (two of them recovered by the Outlaws) by Pawlawski and another fumble by James Hundon. ... Click Here for More Information

Outlaws try to get offensive
Las Vegas Review-Journal - 2001.02.25
The Las Vegas Outlaws have been abysmal offensively in the first three games of the XFL season. Even in a league full of teams struggling to score points and pile up yardage, Las Vegas has stood out. There has been little to inspire confidence that things will change. The offensive line hasn't pushed the opposing defense off the line of scrimmage, the quarterbacks have made bad decisions and the backs haven't always run in the proper direction. But coach Jim Criner said he thinks the Outlaws are on the verge of a turnaround. His team will get a chance to prove him correct at 1 p.m. today when the Outlaws go to San Francisco to take on the Demons in Pac Bell Park (TNN, Cable 29). San Francisco is a 3-point favorite with a ridiculously low over-under total of 29 1/2. ... Click Here for More Information

Xtreme hopes to emerge from pack atop the West
Los Angeles Daily News - 2001.02.25
Even though the Xtreme has had three consecutive down-to-the-wire finishes, head coach Al Luginbill says his nerves are fine and his heart is ticking as strong as ever. "I haven't really thought too much about my heart because I'm thinking about how we can improve our team," Luginbill said. "But it's been an exciting three weeks to say the least." However, Luginbill and his team would readily accept a boring, lopsided victory when the Xtreme welcome 1994 Heisman Trophy winner Rashaan Salaam and the Memphis Maniax to the Coliseum today at 4 p.m. on what should be a wet field. ... Click Here for More Information

Maniax's Druckenmiller will be starter tonight
The Commercial Appeal - 2001.02.25
There was some added spring in the steps of Jim Druckenmiller as he took snaps in practice last week for the Memphis Maniax. That tends to happen to a player when he learns he's going from the sideline to the starting lineup. When the Maniax (1-2) meet the Los Angeles Xtreme (2-1) at 6 CST tonight in the Los Angeles Coliseum, Druckenmiller will make his first start of the XFL season. ... Click Here for More Information

Jimmy "The Jet" To Start as Receiver
San Francisco Demons - 2001.02.24
Jimmy Cunningham will start at split end Sunday when the XFL returns to Pacific Bell Park for San Francisco Demons' second home game with the Las Vegas Outlaws in a 1:00 p.m. kickoff in a battle Western Division co-leaders. Cunningham, the Demons' leading receiver with 16 receptions after three games, will replace Brian Roberson, who will sit out the contest with a groin injury suffered in Friday's final full-scale practice. It will be the second game he has missed this season after catching 12 passes for 127 yards in San Francisco's opener. "Brian pulled the muscle probably compensating for his foot," Head Coach Jim Skipper said. "We have to get him healthy and we aren't going to play him until he is closer to 100 per cent than he is." ... Click Here for More Information

The Demons are back in town!
NStarz Ha - Demons Team Reporter - 2001.02.24
For the first time in three games, the San Francisco Demons are the home favorite. Amazingly, the underdogs are the Las Vegas Outlaws, who have yet to allow a touchdown this season! The Demons are coming back from a 1-1 road trip that ended in a come from behind win over the Memphis Maniax. Down 0-6 at the half, the Demons responded with two unanswered touchdown to seal the game. ... Click Here for More Information

Finally the Enforcers have Come Back... Home
QumarChicago - Enforcers Team Reporter - 2001.02.24
After 3 long, hard, arduous, and losing weeks on the road, as well as not being at home in almost 2 months, the Chicago Enforcers come home to Chicago and Soldier Field in week 4 to battle another 0-3 team, the NY-NJ Hitmen. ... Click Here for More Information

Dinardo's Combat Tactics for XFL Sideline Reporters
Bamaslammer - XFLBoard.com - 2001.02.23
Coach Jerry Dinardo was the poster boy for "He's in over his head" remarks before the season began due to his lack of pro football experience. Dinardo was one of the first ever XFL coaches hired and his assignment to the Birmingham Bolts took many by surprise. After an opening loss to the Maniacs at home in which the team didn't look very good some began to quietly wonder if the critics were right. Since that time the Bolts have become one of the better teams in the XFL and the questions about his abilities as a head coach have diminished. ... Click Here for More Information

Week 4: A Look Ahead Against the Spread
The Masked Prognosticator - 2001.02.23
Maniax @ Xtreme: I guess before taking this game, keep in mind that sloppy play aside, the Maniax do out stat the Xtreme so far in yards per rush both in offense and defense. Back to the original question- who will win the game, thus covering the spread? Unless Memphis can get it's act together in quick order, the real question might be: what will be higher, UPN's rating or the number of Maniax turnovers? If it's the latter, we have a funny feeling someone with funny hair, sideburns and sunglasses back in Memphis will be shooting their TV set Sunday night. ... Click Here for More Information

5-point plan to increase TV ratings is X-actly what the doctor ordered
Dallas News - 2001.02.23
Three weeks in, the average ratings for the league still are more than what was promised advertisers. But ratings last week slipped below that magic 10 rating (one ratings point equals approximately 1 million homes) combined for the three televised games. Now the WWF and NBC, co-XFL owners, are left wondering how to increase interest in a football league that, earlier this month, was the rage of the sports world. ... Click Here for More Information

FOR ENFORCERS COACH, CONTROVERSY PART OF THE GAME
Chicago Tribune - 2001.02.23
The weather forecast is for mild temperatures and possible rain Saturday night when the XFL makes its Soldier Field debut. But February in Chicago is rarely predictable, so Enforcers coach Ron Meyer is thinking of having a snowplow handy on the sidelines just in case. "You never know," Meyer said. "We might need one." ... Click Here for More Information

O-Town Confidence Running High
Mark Zelakowski - XFLBoard.com - 2001.02.22
The fans in Orlando knew it from the first play from scrimmage. We have ourselves a football team. QB Jeff Brohm's first pass resulted in the first touchdown in XFL history and an exciting start to our clubs winning ways. "I think with the balance of the team in all positions we should be able to win it all". Rage fan Chris Pfaff said. "The Rage showed they are here to win, and have the ability to score when they need to." ... Click Here for More Information

XFL president: Ratings won't prompt NBC pullout
The Birmingham News - 2001.02.22
XFL President Basil DeVito Jr. says reports of the league's demise have been greatly exaggerated, even as speculation of NBC's frustration with dropping television ratings grows. "There's no chance NBC will pull the plug," DeVito told TheBirmingham News this week. "The economic reality of the ratings is that we're giving them the top rankings in the demographic (males 18-to-34) they want." DeVito dismisses speculation that NBC won't honor a three-year commitment, pointing out that the network's financial investment in the XFL - $50 million over three years, $17 million per year - is relatively minor. Consider that the three-year funding is less than the salaries for just nine episodes of the sitcom Friends, which is struggling on Thursday nights against CBS' Survivor. ... Click Here for More Information

The XFL is Bringing Us Real Football
Mark Nelson - XFLBoard.com - 2001.02.21
Why not report on the real story here? Why not take the XFL for what it is: Real football, presented in a unique way, and setting a standard for the method in which televised sports will be presented in the future. You just know that the NFL, and other football leagues, are going to be using some of the XFL's gadgetry when they come back in their next season. For me, the XFL moment that most impacted my opinion came in Week 2. I keep picturing Outlaw's quarterback Ryan Clement rolling on the field and moaning. Then he pointing out the "later than usual" hit by Shante Carver that helped cause his shoulder injury. Then he kept telling the training staff "It's separated, it's separated" as they escorted him off then field. ... Click Here for More Information

Enforcers to Make Home Debut
Bob Williams - Troy Pringle - XFLBoard.com - 2001.02.21
Some might say the Enforcers are a lousy team in disarray. I disagree. Why would anyone want to fight the February weather on the shore Lake Michigan? Here's why: If you look at each of their three losses you will see that the Enforcers had a more than realistic shot to win each and every game. -- Will the 12th man Show Up? Saturday's game against the New York/New Jersey Hitmen should prove to be an exciting game. This could be the game that turns the season around for Chicago. Tim Lester is having a hard time carrying the Enforcers in clutch situations, so we must depend on that 12th man, the fans, to put them over the top. ... Click Here for More Information

There is a Place for the XFL
San Francisco Examiner - 2001.02.21
Sportswriters remind us almost daily of how vastly inferior the football played in this new league is to the game we see in the mighty NFL. They base this assumption the knowledge that most XFL players are either NFL rejects or wondering fugitives ignored by the draft. So? Indeed, if the games are close and the play exciting enough, who cares? Are we to reject college football because it is beneath NFL standards and think of the players only as NFL aspirants? Besides, how can these pundits tell bad from good? Football games, we are incessantly reminded, are won in the line. And to be perfectly honest with you, I have worked with very few sportswriters who knew beans about line play. ... Click Here for More Information

Xtreme Notebook
Long Beach Press-Telegram - 2001.02.21
Los Angeles Xtreme head coach Al Luginbill takes a glance around the XFL and said he sees four teams who have received consistent play at quarterback. And he added that it's no coincidence that it's those four teams who have the league's best records. "We've been fortunate to have one of them (Tommy Maddox)," Luginbill said. "San Francisco has one of them (Mike Pawlawski), Birmingham has one (Casey Weldon) and Orlando has one (Jeff Brohm)." ... Click Here for More Information

XFLBoard.com Announces the 3rd Week's Fan Choices for Players of the Week
XFLBoard.com - 2001.02.20
The Fans Have Spoken!At XFLBoard.com we'd like to think that the fans are the most important commodity in the equation. Who is better than to choose the XFL players of the Week than the same fans who cheer them on? Week 3 voting has ended and the results have been tabulated. The results are Mike Pawlawski- San Francisco Demons - Offensive Player of the Week, Duane Butler - Birmingham Bolts - Defensive Player of the Week, Eric Johnson - LA Xtreme - Lineman of the Week and Jose Cortez - LA Xtreme - Special teams Player of the Week. ... Click Here for More Information

XFL Announces Battle and Butler as Players of the Week
XFL Press Release - 2001.02.20
The XFL today named San Francisco Demons running back Terry Battle as its Offensive Player of the Week and Birmingham Thunderbolts safety Duane Butler as its Defensive Player of the Week for week three. Battle, who was on the Demons' practice squad for the first two games, was activated for the first time in week three and responded with a two-touchdown performance to lead San Francisco to a 13-6 win in Memphis on Saturday night. The tailback racked up 145 all-purpose yards on six carries for 35 yards, five catches for 54 yards and two kickoff returns for 56 yards. ... Click Here for More Information

XFL Advertisers Staying Put
USA Today - 2001.02.20
Advertisers and backers say they're sticking by the XFL despite the drubbing it got in the ratings in its third week on NBC. "We're staying the course," says Tony Ponturo, vice president of corporate media and sports marketing for XFL sponsor Anheuser-Busch. Ponturo says it's "way too early" for advertisers to bail out. "If you're realistic, you have to see this is as a work in progress." A-B runs two 30-second ads in each XFL game. Sponsors aren't panicked, because the XFL is still, on average, delivering the audience it guaranteed across the three networks that air games each week -- NBC, UPN and TNN. Advertisers pay about $140,000 for a 30-second spot that runs on all three.

Dance Fever
Entertainment Weekly - 2001.02.19
NY/NJ Hitmen Cheerleader Karla, on the XFL Cheerleader tryouts: "I was dancing for the New Jersey Nets. My girlfriend called me the night before and said there's a huge audition tomorrow at 9 a.m., so I went. They taught us the combinations, and by 5 p.m., they cut us down from about 400 girls to 27. Then we did a quick bit for the camera, saying something special like, 'I'm a contortionist'." ... Click Here for More Information

Bolt's Attendance Stunted by NASCAR and Nature
Sonny Sanders - XFLBoard.com - 2001.02.19
Don't judge the size of the crowd for the Bolts - Enforcers game to harshly. The fact that a severe storm hit the area on Friday surely played a huge factor in the Bolts attendance of 17,582. The storm caused a great deal of damage and left hundreds of thousands without power. Football was not a priority for most this weekend and that is understandable. There was also a little thing called Daytona 500 that may have kept a few people at home. ... Click Here for More Information

Lightning Does Strike Twice
Bamaslammer - XFLBoard.com - 2001.02.19
Over 100,000 Birmingham area residents spent Saturday night in the dark after lightning and 90 MPH winds struck the area. Legion field saw damage as some of the highest winds pounded the old stadium. Despite what Elmer Fudd says, lightning does strike twice in the same place as Duane Butler stepped in front of a Tim Lester pass and raced 98 yards for the game-securing touchdown. Pictured at right is Casey Weldon - Birmingham Bolts winning Quarterback. ... Click Here for More Information

XFL Football Ratings in Perspective
XFLBoard.com - 2001.02.19
The ratings drop for this week's Saturday broadcast is not good news for NBC - but it isn't the end of the world either. The good news is that the XFL's viewership flattened out over the course of the night, during the 8-8:30 half hour, XFL Football ran 31 percent behind its overnights of the previous week, but that rate of decline dropped to just 7 percent in the 10:30-11 p.m. half hour. This suggests the league has shed most of the curiosity seekers and the telecasts are settling in with a more loyal viewer base. The league could be closer to finding its ratings level and it won't be too far from the projected 4.5 goal.

Bolts stop Enforcers
Associated Press - 2001.02.19
Duane Butler scored on a 98-yard interception return with less than two minutes to play as the Birmingham Bolts beat the Chicago Enforcers 14-3 in the XFL on Sunday. "I saw the pass and just broke on the ball and was able to grab it and there wasn't anybody in front of me," Butler said. The interception was the third turnover by Chicago. The others also came in Birmingham territory, including a fumble by running back John Avery in the first quarter. ... Click Here for More Information

Rage Rub Out Hitmen
NY Post - 2001.02.19
The quarterback might have been different, but the outcome was just the same last night for the Hitmen, losers to the Orlando Rage, 18-12, in front of 26,626 at Giants Stadium. Charles Puleri went into the halftime locker room as the starting quarterback of the Hitmen. When he returned to the field for the second half, Puleri's uniform consisted of the blue parka and clipboard of a backup quarterback. ... Click Here for More Information

Pawlawski's passes devilishly good
Associated Press - 2001.02.18
Mike Pawlawski threw two second-half touchdown passes to Terry Battle as the San Francisco Demons beat the Memphis Maniax 13-6 in the XFL on Saturday night. Pawlawski, the league's leading passer, connected with Battle on passes of 9 and 24 yards as San Francisco (2-1) overcame a 6-0 halftime deficit. The Maniax (1-2) had a chance to tie it, but Jim Druckenmiller's fourth-down pass was intercepted by Wendell Davis at the San Francisco 11 with less than a minute to play. ... Click Here for More Information

Cortez Pans Gold-and-Black in Nevada
David Curtis - XFLBoard.com - 2001.02.18
For the third consecutive game, the Las Vegas Outlaws held their opponent without a touchdown. Only this time it didn’t matter. Instead, Xtreme placekicker Jose Cortez struck it rich with four field goals that resulted in a last-second win. Cortez found what he was looking for after missing two 34-yarders last week, connecting on the night from 44, 45, 36, and 48. His accuracy improved throughout, from an initial effort which nearly grazed an upright to a final boot down the middle with distance to spare. ... Click Here for More Information

Demons Need to Win
Nstarz Ha - XFLBoard.com - 2001.02.17
QB Mike Pawlawski is leading the league in both passing yards (577) and accuracy (67.7%). But he won't be able to pass to starting TE Brian Roche. He suffered a season ending torn right Achilles tendon. He has already been put on the injured list. Demons WR Brian Roberson will be back after missing one game. ... Click Here for More Information

Bolts face Avery tough task against Chicago's star back
Birmingham Post-Herald - 2001.02.17
The Birmingham Thunderbolts saw a glimpse of the future, and it wasn't pretty. When they played the Memphis Maniax in the season opener two weeks ago, the Thunderbolts were pushed aside by Maniax running back Rashaan Salaam, who rushed for 157 yards on 24 carries. He ground both the clock and Thunderbolts down in Memphis' 22-20 victory. Birmingham's job does not get any easier as it plays host to the Chicago Enforcers at 3 p.m. Sunday at Legion Field. Yes, the Enforcers are 0-2 and tied with New York/New Jersey for last place in the Eastern Division. But they also have arguably the best all-purpose back in the XFL: former Ole Miss star and Miami Dolphins draft choice John Avery. ... Click Here for More Information

Three cheers for the XFL
Montreal Gazette - 2001.02.17
I am shocked - shocked, I tell you! - at the hypocritical, hyperbolic and hysterical bashing of the upstart XFL by the Fourth Estate. Just kidding. What did you expect from a hopelessly out-of-touch press corps that tosses two bits worth at every easy target, but can't see the forest for the trees? ... Click Here for More Information

Outlaws defense an Xtreme test
Los Angeles Daily News - 2001.02.17
Talk around the XFL at the conclusion of training camp was that there might not be a better offense in the league than the one in Los Angeles. Talk around the XFL after the first two weeks of regular-season play is that there might not be a better defense in the league than the one in Las Vegas. The talk gets a rest today when the two teams meet on in a 5 p.m. Western Division contest at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. ... Click Here for More Information

Question Irks Xtreme Coach
Las Vegas Review-Journal - 2001.02.17
Trailing Chicago 25-13 early in the third quarter, Los Angeles Xtreme coach Al Luginbill decided to go for a first down on fourth and 1 on his own 40. The gamble failed and the Enforcers took over with great field position. Predictably, sideline reporter Fred Roggin was in Luginbill's face only seconds after the play wanting to know why the coach went for it. This was what the league promised when it said it would take fans where they hadn't been before. Roggin's questioning prompted Luginbill to bark angrily, "I felt we needed a push there. We didn't get it. It's a bad decision. Hell, if we make it, it's a great decision." ... Click Here for More Information

Team Reporters Needed
XFLBoard.com Editor - 2001.02.17
XFLBoard.com has plans to expand coverage on certain XFL teams and we need more team reporters! If you are interested in helping us out by writing about your favorite XFL team in front of fans just like you, and writing articles that will be read by more than 100,000 web visitor's a week, this job is for you. ... Click Here for More Information

The Bolts Face a Challenge
Sonny Sanders - XFLBoard.com - 2001.02.16
After two games Birmingham faces it's toughest challenge to date. I'm not talking about the 0-2 Chicago Enforcers. The Bolts will certainly have their hands full with the Enforcers and Avery. But as hard as it will be to beat the Enforcers it will not be the toughest battle that the Bolts face Sunday. ... Click Here for More Information

Criticism of XFL Smacks of Hypocrisy
MSNBC.com - 2001.02.16
In New York, the hypocrisy of this moral outrage in the press couldn’t get any higher. Phil Mushnick, the New York Post’s crusader for all that is good and right in the world, has taken McMahon and NBC’s Ebersol to task from Day 1. Almost on cue, Mushnick wrote his manifesto on the XFL after its opening weekend and continued his assault last Sunday. "For however much longer the XFL lasts, there’s really only one scorecard worth keeping. It’s the one that notes all the sellouts who lent their names, careers, reputations and consciences to this predictably unmitigated garbage," Mushnick said in his Feb. 11 column. When referring to "unmitigated garbage," was Mushnick speaking about the advertising found in his own sports section? ... Click Here for More Information

A Look Ahead Against the Spread
The Masked Prognosticator - 2001.02.16
...Orlando could be a BIT overrated. They failed to cover and came close to getting beat by Chicago opening night. Last week, they survived a scare by the Demons, and won handily. But the Rage were outgained by 359-297 yards on the field. Rage QB Jeff Brohm went from being the most highly touted passer in the XFL to yet another NFL cast-off by week 2, completing just 10 passes for 164 yards and an interception ... Click Here for More Information

The Roster Shuffle
XFL Fantasy Doctor - FantasyRef.com - 2001.02.16
Well, we are two weeks into the XFL season. Hopefully you are all having success in your fantasy leagues. Last week I talked about defensive players and what to look for in a trade. This week, let's take a look at your fantasy roster. Players on your roster fit into one of three categories: 1) Fantasy Starters, 2) Backups, and 3) Long Shots. This holds true no matter what fantasy league you are in, or even what sport you are following. However, you are all here for XFL advice, and most of you are enrolled in the Sandbox league, so we will focus on the 20-man Sandbox roster. That being said, with some minor modifications, this blueprint can be made to fit the restrictions of any fantasy league. ... Click Here for More Information

XFL Cheerleader Bares All in Nude Pictorial and Interview in Mystique Magazine
Mystique Magazine - 2001.02.15
It had to happen. Bonnie-Jill Laflin, a cheerleader with the XFL's Los Angeles Xtreme football team and one of the models in the national TV commercials for the league, speaks frankly about the XFL in a no-holds barred interview and nude pictorial published today at Mystique Magazine's website. Accompanying the sexy pictures from a recent photo shoot in Costa Rica is an interview with Bonnie-Jill about what is really happening on the XFL sidelines and going on behind the scenes of the XFL PR machine. ... Click Here for More Information

XFL Hits Paydirt with Its No Fair Catch Rule
XFL Press Release - 2001.02.15
It didn't take long, only two weeks into the season, for the XFL's "No Fair Catch" rule to pay handsome dividends. The first to take full advantage of the rule were the Birmingham Thunderbolts and their fleet-footed punt return man Stepfret Williams. Fielding a New York/New Jersey Hitmen punt on his own five yard line midway through the third period in his team's game in Giants Stadium last Sunday, Williams found a seam in the Hitmen's defense and sped 95 yards for a touchdown. The return turned a 6-6 tie into a 12-6 Bolts' lead and was crucial in the team's 19-12 first-ever victory. ... Click Here for More Information

Demons Adjust Receiving Corp
San Francisco Demons - 2001.02.15
The San Francisco Demons added to their roster at receiver Thursday for a couple of reasons Thursday. Firstly, reveiver Brian Roberson will be available Saturday night the Demons continue their road trip at Memphis. Secondly, the Demons claimed one of the leading receivers in the Canadian Football League the last four seasons. Travis Moore, an all-Canadian selection with Calgary in 1999, joined the Demons Wednesday and began practicing with the team Thursday. ... Click Here for More Information

Please Put XFL Ratings in Perspective
XFLBoard.com - 2001.02.15
The XFL is taking a lot of heat for it's rating drop from Week 1 to Week 2. It can be said that a lot of people tuned into the XFL in the inaugural week because of curiosity. In Week 2 we had the real football crowd watching. What the media reports have not been telling you though, is that most sports on TV are not doing well lately. NBC's ratings for the NBA all-star game on Sunday were the worst in history with a 6.9 overnight rating and an 11 share. That was down 17 per cent from the 8.3 overnight rating and 13 share for last year's game. All-star game ratings have declined for all sports. Last summer's baseball all-star game got a record-low rating of 10.1, down 16 per cent from a 12.0 the previous year. The NFL Pro Bowl on ABC got a 4.7 on Feb. 4, down 45 per cent from an 8.6 in 2000. The NHL all-star game, also played that Sunday, got a 1.7 national rating, down 37 per cent from a 2.7 the previous year. It's tough all over.

XFL Joins NTN and QB1
Business Wire - 2001.02.15
NTN Communications Inc., the world's largest interactive television network for hospitality venues and the XFL, today announced that they have signed a licensing agreement to develop and produce an XFL-branded version of QB1 "Predict-the-Play"(TM). The agreement calls for co-branded promotion of the interactive game on the XFL.com website and the NTN hospitality network. The game will also receive on-air promotion during national broadcasts of XFL games on NBC, UPN and TNN, the XFL's broadcast partners. ... Click Here for More Information

Return to XFLBoard.com Archive Index