Report Card Day
Birmingham Bolts Co-Reporter
are 3 months away from a furious thrashing of the
Memphis Maniacs at Legion Field. At this point I thought
a first semester report card would be in order.
The local media descended upon the XFL and the nameless
Birmingham team like vultures. The papers had daily
stories touting the XFL as the literal coming of the
devil and McMahon being the Anti-Christ. There were
jokes of body slams and naked cheerleaders.
Fast-forward a few months and there are no more stories.
Where are Clyde Bolton and his little clone Kevin
Scarbinsky? They are quiet because the XFL ignored
their shortsighted "and unpopular" opinion
and have made one solid move after another. They have
hired quality coaches and businessmen to put a good
product on the field.
Now the media covers the Bolts like any other sporting
event. I give the XFL an "A" for simply
ignoring the whiners and doing what they knew would
The XFL web site as well as the Birmingham Bolts official
site is for the most part fairly static and unchanging.
There is virtually no timely information or news provided.
They would get an "A" for graphics if you
include the photos of the cheerleader commercials
but for providing information on what is going on
you had better look elsewhere. The coverage of the
draft was weak at best.
As a programmer I can defend them to some degree.
If they are going to provide world class service and
information on their web site they may be busy programming
the site to deliver that. If that's the case I can
see where they would not have time to show much at
Overall I give them a "D"
Rodney Dangerfield once said, "If you want to
look thin, Hang around FAT people". Dinardo has
the fortune to be working in the same state with the
embattled coach of the University of Alabama. The
choice of Gerry Dinardo for coach was questioned early
and often in the local media. Many Alabama fans still
remembered Dinardo's LSU Tigers blowing a last minute
lead to the Tide during his time there. Fortunately
for Dinardo, Coach Mike Dubose is drawing so much
fire and criticism that next to him Dinardo looks
like Vince Lombardy. Dinardo has also helped himself
with public opinion by his frequent visits to the
local sports call in shows. On the air he has sounded
decisive, confident and seem to have a plan. This
is in sharp contrast to the bumbling, confused, bible
thumping coach Coach Dubose. Dinardo also has gone
about hiring a solid staff that includes coaching
veterans Curly Hallman, Don Lindsey and Rick Rhodes.
I give Dinardo an "A" at this point. Of
course everybody looks good in shorts and Dubose won't
be around come February.
The truth of the matter is that no one knows how good
the Bolts drafted until the season is over. Rather
than comment on the players they drafted I feel that
draft strategy is more important. Securing a "Field
General" is a first priority. Casey Weldon certainly
fills that need. Securing the Heart and Soul of your
team is definitely
the next step. The BIG UGLIES are the Heart of any
great team and Dinardo wasted no time in making Michael
Lies, an Offensive Lineman from Kansas his second
choice. Overall Dinardo took 6 of his first 10 draft
picks for lineman. Dinardo seems to be looking to
the "local boys" to fill his need for skill
position players. One exception
is Stepfret Williams. Look for Stepfret to cause major
down field problems for Memphis on February 4th.
Overall I have Birmingham a "B" in drafting.
There were other notable teams in the draft. Memphis,
Chicago, and Los Angeles took a lot of good players.
Overall I give The XFL and the Birmingham
Bolts a sold "B+". They are
way ahead of other professional leagues
have been in the past at this point and
I hope it translates to a first every
XFL Championship for Birmingham.