Fire in the Sky
By Bamaslammer – Birmingham Bolts Co-Reporter
1 September 2000 – A huge emotional mushroom cloud rose above Birmingham and once again a seemingly unrelated subject was drawn into the endless racial bickering that has been common in Birmingham for several generations.
The Blast lay dead in the street… another victim of the Birmingham political bull dozer. Everyone waited for the Thursday news conference. What would the league do now? Surely they must regret involving themselves with such a mixed up city.
At noon, I checked on XFLBoard.com for the news. I knew someone would have retrieved the info at 12:01 and would be posting it on the board. To my horror, I got the drop dead error from my browser. NOOOOO!!!
How could this be happening? I had visions of Paul Tagliabu’s men in black pulling up in cadillacs cutting the power lines to the server.
I looked elsewhere and searched other boards. They were days even weeks behind…nothing about the names. I searched the web, sporting news, ESPN, USA Today, CNN, MSNBC, XFL.com. Nothing. It was as if the XFL had been wiped from the face of the earth. I ran to my car, turned on my favorite AM sports talk assuming they would have live coverage. I heard one word… “tiger.” OH MY GOD!!! I drove to the grease palace to drown my grief in a hamburger and fries.
After returning to the office I was able to find a list on www.smashmouth-football.com. I was a little confused at first. Bolts… as in nuts and bolts? I had visions of snap-on tools being our biggest sponsor. What had the vin man done to us?!
Finally I looked again at XFL.com and to my surprise everything had changed. The usual old “tired” web site was gone and in its place was a REAL web site. There I saw all the logos including a web site just for Birmingham. I paused for a moment as the Birmingham logo formed in my browser window. As I sat back to take in the beautiful purple and gold lightning bolts forming a star around the unusual looking B, I instantly knew this logo would be a hit.
I called my closest football buddy (the only man who ever turned a refs head from 30 rows up at Legion Field). He logged on and had the same reaction. I’m a football nut and one of the biggest Bolt fans out there so I needed an unbiased opinion. I asked a woman. She loved it too! Everyone who I showed it to thought it was great. Everyone also seemed to like the name ThunderBolts better than Blast anyway.
Further research of the web site brought me to the unusual Birmingham helmet with the Big B in front with lightning bolts around the sides. I imagine that big “B” could be the last thing opposing Quarterbacks remember prior to waking up at UAB hospital.
Having recently been in Chicago and having seen their local news and talked to the people there, the XFL hasn’t even registered on their scope yet. The people all snarl at the mention of the XFL. They say “It’s a joke. It won’t last two years!.”
The reason Birmingham has been the biggest pain in the XFL’s neck recently is because it is more important here than in most places. The local paper bashes it at every turn but the fact that they write about it constantly means it is certainly important here. Sometimes it’s better to be reported badly than to not to be reported at all.