New York / New Jersey Hitmen


Hitmen QB Charles Puleri gets checked out after
a hard sack in Week 3.

The Hitmen started off the season with a shutout loss to Las Vegas, but themselves pitched 2 shutouts in later games (one against Chicago, another against Birmingham). In spite of having many talented players, mistakes plagued the team throughout the season, and they finished at 4-6.

The Hitmen made a change at QB in the early part of the season, replacing the struggling Charles Puleri with Wally Richardson. Richardson rallied the team to their first win, a shutout against hapless Chicago. The team rallied to fans' chants of "Wally, Wally, Wally" streaming in from the stands. Richardson, however, was himself injured later in the season and was replaced by Puleri, who led the team to a shutout victory over the Birmingham Bolts in the season finale.

Perhaps one of the most enduring moments in the Hitmen's brief history is the contrived drama between NBC announcer Jesse Ventura and Head Coach Rusty Tillman. Ventura tried to inject a little wrestling hype into XFL broadcasts of Hitmen games by publicly challenging Tillman's manhood and decision-making abilities. Coach Tillman, ever the consummate professional, brushed off the jabs by Ventura and refused to respond. In the end, Ventura's attempts failed, and this also contributed to overall decline in viewers for NBC's XFL broadcasts.

The Hitmen had a lot of talent and a lot of promise, but mistakes haunted the team all season long. There is little doubt that Coach Tillman and his staff would have been able to field a much better team had there been a second season, and it is a shame that fans will never know how much better the team would have been.

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Aggressive, Relentless, In-Your-Face, and Hard-Hitting is the best way to describe the NY/NJ style of play. The HITMEN team colors are black and blue, just like they expect their opponents to look the day after they play them. You got a problem with that?

Announced:
August 3, 2000

General Manager:
Drew Pearson

Head Coach:
Rusty Tillman

Team Colors:
Black and blue

Stadium:
Giants Stadium

Preseason odds to win championship:
6-1

Final Record:
4-6
3rd place XFL East

NY/NJ Hitmen Helmet

Team Reporter

Mike Mitchell

 


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