16 November 2000
Jesse Ventura, whose candor and fresh perspective helped him get elected governor of Minnesota in 1998, today was named analyst on NBCs upcoming XFL broadcasts. The joint announcement was made by Dick Ebersol, Chairman NBC Sports and Olympics and Vince McMahon, Chairman of World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc. The XFL, which is co-owned and operated by WWFE, Inc. and NBC, begins its first season on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2001. NBC will televise a weekly game in primetime each Saturday at 8 p.m. ET.
Were thrilled to have one of the most interesting and colorful leaders in America today joining us as an integral part of the XFL, said Ebersol. This demonstrates our commitment to present real football in a fresh, new, fun way.
Said McMahon: "The XFL will be the best reality show on television and nobody can add color commentary to our brand of football the way Jesse Ventura can. He's naturally opinionated, charismatic, and genuine -- just like the XFL will be. From day one, we've promised that the XFL will allow the true personality of the game to shine and we believe that Jesse is the best person to make that happen."
Venturas job approval rating of 71 percent is the highest of any governor in Minnesotas history and ranks among the highest of any governor in recent memory. His previous broadcasting experience includes two years (1989-90) as the NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers radio analyst. He also worked one season on Minnesota Vikings radio broadcasts. In addition, Ventura hosted a sports radio talk show in Minneapolis.
Venturas professional wrestling career spanned 11 years. He was known as one of the best interviews and most colorful and popular entertainers in the sport. When his in-ring career was complete, he became an analyst with the WWF and co-hosted the WWFs Prime Time Wrestling. He also hosted a WWF talk show called The Body Shop.
In 1984, Ventura a former Navy SEAL who served in Vietnam - retired from wrestling and became an actor. He has appeared in several films including Predator (with Arnold Schwarzenegger) and Batman & Robin.
The XFLs eight teams will play a 10-week regular season and a two-week playoff, culminating with the XFL championship game on April 21, 2001. XFL rule modifications most notably its no fair catch rule are designed to add excitement while encouraging offense.
NBCs coverage will provide viewers with an all-access backstage pass through the use of cameras and microphones placed everywhere from the players and coaches themselves to the huddles and sidelines.
eight teams are: Birmingham Thunderbolts, Chicago Enforcers, New
York/New Jersey Hitmen, Orlando Rage, Memphis Maniax, San Francisco
Demons, Los Angeles Xtreme and Las Vegas Outlaws.