QB Charles Puleri gets checked out
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.
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
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
August 3, 2000
Black and blue
odds to win championship:
3rd place XFL East