By The Masked Prognosticator
(13 February 2001) — For those out there who think the XFL has not gone mainstream should have listened to the Mike and Mad Dog Show on New York’s top rated sports talk station, WFAN 660-am on Monday. Despite the Big Apple featuring eight major league sports teams, including two that won a title and one that fell short of such, the talk of the town was obviously the New York-New Jersey Hitmen.
The main attraction of today’s show was NY-NJ GM Drew Pearson. Pearson, who called in, is a former Dallas Cowboys All-Pro receiver who started a very successful sports headwear company upon retiring. That business indirectly landed him the XFL gig.
Among some of the more interesting remarks Pearson made on today’s show:
Pearson was asked if he was bitter about not getting a break in the from office of the NFL after retiring…
In 1985 Pearson was an assistant coach and scout for the Cowboys. He thought this would be his “in” in the NFL. Unfortunately, that did not take place, but he said any bitterness he has in not succeeding in the NFL: “That is a non-issue now.”.
Interestingly, Mike and the Mad Dog kept pressing Drew as to whether or not he harbors ill-resentment to the NFL. He sounded like he has bitterness in his voice, but said he had ” . . been bitter.” but kept emphasizing he was not now. He said “I’ve done everything you would want . . .said the right things . .” but still could not the big break he thought he deserved in the NFL.
Pearson was asked if the XFL player thought the all-access cameras were intrusive…
Pearson said “If they had a problem with it, they needed to express it at that point” (when they were signed by the XFL).
As expected, Pearson was drilled about the talent level of the XFL…
Pearson pointed out that when he entered the NFL in the 1970s, he was an unsigned, undrafted free agent, and was picked among 100 guys in the Cowboys training camp. (and eventually went on to be a great receiver) Asked if there was a “short list” or what backup there was should several players get injured, Pearson admitted the talent pool out there right now was “severely limited”.
In a remark that could bear research, he did say that “100%” of the talent in the XFL had NFL experience of some kind, though this included training camp rejects.
He remarked that the quality of play “is not surprising to me” and “can improve, and will improve”.
He pointed out that the players were together for only 5 weeks and “It takes a long time . . . it binds trust and loyalty, knowing that your teammate is going to carry out his assignment. He pointed out that this is the reason the NFL’s quality of play has suffered some because some players don’t keep their players long enough. At least in the XFL, because every team is in the same boat, every team is on a “level playing field”.
When asked about New York’s pathetic QB situation…
Drew Pearson reminded the hosts, tongue in cheek of course, that he used to play quarterback.
Pearson also recounted how he got involved in the XFL…
He was a licenser of NFL headware, for which he paid $7,000,000 for the rights to the league.
He eventually became the sole distributor of WWF headwear, and that is how he hooked up with Basil DeVito and Mike Keller. When he was convinced that the XFL “was not going to compete with the NFL” and that it would be “real football” he signed on for the Hitmen job.
What was encouraging about the broadcast…
After the interview, the hosts did not get into the quality of the XFL. In typical New York fashion, the main topic seemed to be whether or not the Hitmen should get rid of Chuck Puleri.