Lightning Does Strike Twice

Fans Can Cheer the Bolts Victory, But No Cheering from the Press Booth

By Bamaslammer - Bolts Team Reporter

The soon to be 2-1 Bolts take to the field
Photo by Bamaslammer

Birmingham - (19 February 2001) -- 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.

Birmingham fell behind as per usual 3 - 0 to the Enforcers in the first quarter. What changed for the Bolts was a significant shift toward the running game. The Bolts to this point had tried to use the pass to set up the run but today the Bolts gave the Enforcers an early dose of James Bostic. To this point Bostic hadn't seen any daylight in the first half but today was different.

As the game wore on Weldon who had not been pounded so viciously in the first two games began hitting receivers Stepfret Williams and Quincy Jackson with regularity.

Despite the increased offensive production the Enforcers stiffened every time the Bolts got in the red zone. Three times Dinardo sent out kicker Brad Palazzo and three times the field goal was blocked or fell short. At the half the Bolts held a slim lead of 7-3.

The opening half started with the Enforcers marching on an impressive drive. As Tim Lester guided them toward the Bolt red zone Birmingham Linebacker James Willis began a post-tackle strut. Enforcer lineman Chris Perez gave him a shot to the shoulder. Willis stunned by the blow reacted with a vicious hit that was best described best by the roaming XFL reporter as an "Ass Over Teeth" Hit. Flags flew and there were offsetting penalties but the damage was about to come.

The ever improving jumbotron operator put the blow on the screen. The crowd went ballistic as the play was shown repeatedly. By time the next play was run the crowd noise was shaking the old gray lady. The Enforcers next two passes fell to the ground and the scoring threat was over.

As the final minutes ticked away the Enforcers were getting it going on the Birmingham defense. A steady mix of John Avery and Tim Lester passes moved the ball toward the goal for the winning touchdown. 1:40 remained on the clock with Birmingham still protecting a slim 7 to 3 lead.

Tim Lester jumped to his left to avoid a Bolt rusher who had crashed through the protection. The hurried pass was too high for the receiver, and Duane Butler, who last week stripped the ball for the winning touchdown, again come up with the critical defensive play intercepting the ball and racing untouched for the nail in the coffin touchdown.

The view is better from field level.
Photo by Bamaslammer

NO CHEERING IN THE PRESS BOX!

As team reporter for the Bolts I have more or less invaded the secret world of the sports writers and TV people. I have much to say on this subject but I am saving that for later. In general I don't spend much time in the press box because frankly, It's like a funeral up there. I keep my stuff there and I usually return at the games end to retrieve it. As I looked down on the Enforcers, as they were moving ever closer to the winning touchdown I was hoping for a miracle. When Duane stepped in front and took it to the house I jumped and and shook my fist in the air and said "YESSSS!!!!" Not too loudly mind you as I save my serious cheering for the stands. I sat down and sipped a long drink of my Coke. In a few moments a rather large and unhappy looking person was tapping on my shoulder. It was press box security and he wanted to know where my pass was. I showed him my pass and he seemed a little irked. He told me, and I quote "We don't allow cheering in the press box". I was looking at him like… You got to be kidding me. I couldn't help but laugh at the whole thing. These people sit up in this box and pretend tell us what a football game is like. They don't have a clue. Its no wonder they all think the XFL is bad football. They never actually EXPERIENCE the XFL.