Let's get ready
to fumble

Vince McMahon, the man who put the WWF (World Wrestling Federation) on the stock exchange and, for better or worse, made Jesse Ventura a household name, wants your ass. He wants it in front of your television, tuned to your local NBC affiliate, watching a cranked-up minor-league football game. Stripped of its in-your-face WWF trappings, the XFL is a simple concept. It's a way for football junkies to get a pigskin fix while Vinny Testaverde is off playing golf. The fledgling eight-team league will play a 10-game schedule, starting on 2/3/01, complete with prime-time network coverage on NBC every Saturday and UPN on Sunday. It all ends with the Big Game at the End, the league's Super-Bowl-meets-SmackDown on 4/21/01.

Dick Butkus, the league's director of competition and an infamous NFL Hall of Fame linebacker says, there are a bunch of Kurt Warners out there and we're gonna make them stars. In reality, while most of the guys will be CFL and Arena Football veterans trying to impress NFL scouts, the XFL is not about the players or the game - or how badly either gets injured. It's about the show. Add miked cheerleaders, announcers on the sidelines, the elimination of the fair-catch (all punts will be run back, by someone). The bump-and-run is back, and there is no in-the-grasp rule for quarterbacks. In this league the play's not over until the signal caller is eating the frozen tundra. (Sounds like a perfect place for Tony Siragusa and company.) And, in this league, McMahon and the owners are the only ones getting rich. All players are contracted to the league, the base salary for the first season is $45,000 - with 5 thou more for quarterbacks, ten thou less for kickers and players will share a $100,000 pool for winning a regular-season game and a $1 million pot for the league's championship game. But, even with that pile of cash, the top players in the league will just barely break into six figures.

Teams include the Birmingham Thunderbolts at Legion Field, Chicago Enforcers at Soldier Field, Memphis Maniax at Liberty Bowl, Las Vegas Outlaws at Sam Boyd Stadium, San Francisco Demons at Pacific Bell Park, NY/NJ Hitmen at Giants Stadium, Orlando Rage at Florida Citrus Bowl, and Los Angeles Xtreme at the LA Coliseum. www.xfl.com

Source: Maxim, 2/01

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I write about violence as naturally as Jane Austen wrote about manners. Violence shapes and obsesses our society, and if we do not stop being violent we have no future. - Edward Bond

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