Friday, September 19, 2014

XFL

http://mentalfloss.com/article/58829/good-honest-football-re-watching-xfl

Scott, Here is a great article on the XFL. I thought this might be a good read for the blog as NFL season is in full swing. The XFL is also a perverse look into the mind of Vince McMahon and how he operates. Although most think XFL was doomed from the start I actually thought it was a good idea and worth trying. Had they stuck it out a few more years they may have had access to a few very controversial college stars, namely Maurice Clarett, Mike Williams, and Marcus Vick. Check it out. 

White Thunder

Maybe Vince should buy the rights to the NFL Blitz game engine and produce an XFL game to celebrate the nostalgia for the league?  

81 comments:

  1. It's funny watching Raws from early 01 and all the hype that they give to the XFL. It gradually seemed to die later in the year once they realized that the league was a bust.
    I truthfully didn't watch a single XFL game outside of the first week of the season.

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  2. I still don't understand the Johnny Manziel controversy from while he was a student at A&M...I bet all the blind rage directed his way could have made hin a big XFL name

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  3. Adam "Colorado" CurrySeptember 19, 2014 at 1:33 PM

    Marcus Vick having a job playing football is not a good thing.

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  4. It made him a big NFL name already, so yeah...

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  5. It's because he seems like a douchebag, and most likely is. Compared to Gronkowski who just seems like a big jock goofball, which he most likely is.

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  6. I remember on that "McMahon" DVD, Joey Styles says the problem from the start was the Rock and Vince in Mr. McMahon mode, just made it look cheap and too much wrestling influence so it didn't have a good start.
    Also funny on that disc, they talk about Vince's interview with Costas as he gets hotter and hotter, Stephanie groaning "please don't hit Bob Costas, please don't hit Bob Costas" and HHH laughing "It's a good thing he didn't because Costas would have killed him."
    Read the book "Long Bomb," goes nice detail and ironic that while trashed then, a bunch of XFL stuff (like over-the-field cameras and more in-your-face shots/commentary) is commonplace in football today.

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  7. Had Vince stuck with the XFL, he could have just convinced kids coming out of high school to skip college and join up.

    That would have been awesome.

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  8. They pitched it as an alternative, but really at the end of the day it was just bad football.

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  9. Yeah, Vince realized too late a very good reason the NFL passed on all these guys in the first place.

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  10. The reasoning was just stupid too. JR would tell us that these guys are working hard and busting their asses. So do many people in their line of work, doesn't mean we should watch them if it's boring.

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  11. They rushed into it... in my memory, the games got a bit more watchable towards the end once they had more time to practice and play together. They barely had a camp and rushed right into nationally televised games.

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  12. Don't forget vince git desperate towards the end with storylines and fights between coaches and ventura. Total bust

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  13. God I hate Gronk. DOUCHE

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  14. I remember being fairly excited for the XFL b/c they employed Ryan Clement. He was one of my favorite players when I was at UM. Wasn't the best qb we had by far but he was definitely a tough bastard.

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  15. What are you talking about? Nothing more thrilling that watching a hard-workin' mailman!

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  16. I was one of the few that followed the whole season (GO OUTLAWS!), probably because of all the CFL players. Even joined a Yahoo fantasy league (which I won because everyone stopped caring after weeks 2-4) and I still rock my XFL shirt (which I bought after it was marked down four times to $6).

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  17. Yeah, i'd totally play an XFL game built off of the last few Blitz games.

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  18. I came here to post about the Joey Style stuff. He put it best... the first XFL thing you see is The Rock... in full on Rock mode... and the second thing you see is Vince McMahon... doing full on Vince McMahon intro voice. So before a ball was ever kicked off... it already wasn't about football.

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  19. I'm always disappointed in myself for brushing off Eddie Guerrero his entire career until about 2002. Guy was amazing in every instance.

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  20. I cringed at whatever reversal or thing happened on that superplex. Looked awkward.

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  21. better late than never.

    (and also better - in terms of: more fun - than starting to "get" some wrestler/director/musician after he has already passed away)

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  22. Tommy Maddox: MVP

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  23. Botch aside, excellent match. One of Jericho's best WCW bouts, I'd say. Really nice, innovative stuff from both guys.

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  24. Hey, the XFL resurrected Tommy Maddox's career, dude came in the next season for the Steelers and mercifully put an end to the half decade long Kordell Stewart experiment and won a playoff game along with the NFL Comeback Player of the Year. So it did something positive for someone at least.


    And fucking 13 years later, EVERYONE still knows who He Hate Me is.

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  25. Ahhh he's harmless, he's just a real life Thad Castle, and the world needs a Thad Castle.

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  26. Did Vegas take odds on XFL games or did they assume they were fixed because it was run by Vince McMahon?

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  27. Manziel is probably a douche, but if I was the first freshman to ever win the Heisman, I'd be a huge douche too.

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  28. The linked article states that not only did Vegas take odds, but commentators would openly talk about betting lines during games to emphasize the whole thing was real.

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  29. I'm gonna look up some old XFL videos. I remember my friends and I gathering to watch the opening games when I was a kid but we were disinterested by halftime.

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  30. Youtube has the games, I'm not sure if they have the full season, but I would not be surprised...

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  31. That's one DVD set from WWE productions I don't anticipate being released.

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  32. The league was fucked as soon as they decided that they needed to split a team between NY and NJ.

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  33. Man, the XFL. If they treated it like an actual sports league instead of trying to WWF-ize it (Coach feud with Ventura? Cams in the cheerleaders locker room? Come on...), it may have an had an outside shot. Maybe they just tried to do too much too soon...

    However, we still feel the XFL's influence today. The X-Cam remains in widespread use for football events.

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  34. Marcus Vick having a job doing anything isn't a thing.

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  35. Watched this on the Network...I'm so accustomed to Jericho's WWF music I didn't even notice the fact that he clearly wasn't actually using it at that point in time and it was dubbed in.

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  36. I can only imagine the fun McMahon would be having busting the NFL's balls over the current scandal. I get the feeling it was only a few years too soon, with the current complaints about the games being "too soft" and "nobody's allowed to play defense anymore," a league that's "the way it USE'TA be, damn it!" could've worked now.

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  37. Vegas did take odds. It was nice at the time, adding legitimacy to the league

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  38. Least Vince had no problem admitting he f'ed up. I remember the commercial (not the whole premise of it) that ran during Raw/Smackdown a few years after the XFL disaster. At the end Vince was saying to himself, 'Hmm, the WWF and football....Nah.'

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  39. NBC owned a piece of the league, they had games on UPN and TNT. Low player salaries and low ratings targets. It could have been a home run, the reason I think it failed was because of the WWF influence. Many people didn't like the WWF, so having promos by the Rock and Austin would only scare them away. While Jim Ross and the King weren't bad announcers for the games, it made it look like a wrestling event, which gave people the impression the games were fixed. The first game got a huge rating, but the WWF influence and bad play scared people away.

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  40. No, it could have been slightly less of a trainwreck, but it could never, under even the best of circumstances, drawn enough of an audience away from the NFL to justify the money NBC and other media companies were putting into it.

    The entire reason why they invested in the first place was the desire to have football, spite that the NFL spurned them in contract negotiations and because wrestling was super-popular, so maybe this "Vince McMann" guy can make his football thing super popular too!

    It's a choice between the XFL dying when it did or dying a year (at best) later.

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  41. Raw had a shit rating after they made a desperate attempt to steal MNF viewers at halftime. There's still time for Vince to wedge an awful NFL-mockery skit into Raw next week.

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  42. HowmuchdoesthisguyweighSeptember 19, 2014 at 5:59 PM

    Blitz the league games were very fun

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  43. I live in Chicago. I like to watch Chicago teams. The XFL dd a featured game every week. I was not always able to see my local team. All interest was lost for me. I don't want to watch random no names in a second tier league if I can't even watch my local no names.

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  44. The very first thing you see in the XFL is The Rock. That says it all right there. The whole thing was an overpriced ad exposure for WWF. It might have worked as a decent minor league alternative to the NFL but they had already wet the bed on that opening night and couldn't recover.

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  45. Marcus Vick could play some ball and was a controversial character. He would've tore up the XFL.

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  46. The comment section of that article is really good too. Someone tells a story about XFL getting high school kids to test out there production at Notre Dame. I added this tidbit that I quoted from wikipedia:

    "WWE Chairman Vince McMahon initially announced that the XFL would continue, as it still had UPN and TNN as broadcast outlets.[21] In fact, expansion teams were being explored for cities such as Washington, D.C. and Detroit. However, in order to continue broadcasting XFL games, UPN demanded thatWWE SmackDown! broadcasts be cut from two hours to one and a half hours.[21] McMahon found these terms unacceptable and he announced the XFL's closure on May 10, 2001."



    XFL actually may have lived on but vince was unwilling to give up 30 minutes of Smackdown.

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  47. Man, that interview is Vince at his best, he's the right mix of a sleazy businessman and a performance artist playing a parody of a sleazy businessman.

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  48. I love this Eddie, too, but 2005 "Gangsta Lean" Eddie as both a smileball and viciously psychotic, so that character gets the nod for me. Anyone else happy that the angle they were working, that being Eddie pretending to be friends with Batista, didn't get a chance to finish and become more predictable garbage? I say that because of course Eddie was going to "turn" on Batista eventually. It also saved us from a Cole meticulously describing it...

    Cole: "Eddie didn't want to be friends with Batista! He tricked him! He was just trying to get a shot at the World Championship!"

    Dark Helmet: "Everybody got that?!"

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  49. Plus ESPN never mentioned the XFL on SportsCenter due to the NFL threatening to pull all of their Sunday night games from ESPN if they gave fair coverage to a rival league so beacuse of the lack of acknowledgement from ESPN (which also meant the XFL did not have a "cool factor" to the young males that regularly watch SportsCenter) it was doomed to fail regardless of what the WWF and NBC did.

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  50. Eh, they'll just imitate old news, like the Patriots camera scandal or the whole Brett Favre/Jenn Sterger controversy (does anybody even know who Jenn Sterger is anymore? That would be the wrestling equivalent of CNN heavily covering the Jodi Arias trial loooong after everyone else stopped giving a shit and then wondering why no one watches them anymore).

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  51. Pretty amazing that Tommy ended up being a damn good QB for the Steelers. If he hadn't gotten injured, Big Ben likely wouldn't even be around today.

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  52. Why mailmen have not gotten their own reality show by now is a mystery. Coal miners and meth addicted truckers got their own shows for crying out loud!

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  53. haha vince doing a scripted storyline of cheerleaders in the locker room for ratings

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LuT7b6Vxkw&feature=player_embedded

    they wonder why it failed. hillarious content though and a must click!

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  54. its funny how now ESPN has the opposite effect on me. If its on, its NOT cool to me anymore. I cant stand that channel now and only watch it when a game is on.

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  55. they have all 33 games haha

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  56. haha the campy commercials for the game with LT were even better!

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  57. a big U fan here and I hated Clement. I just remember him and Frank Costa as the 2 qbs before pt 2. of the dynasty was resurrected with Dorsey and one year of the Brock lol. Dan Morgan was my fav player on the under 500 team that clement qbd.

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  58. they started practice in nov it said. the games started in feb. thats plenty of practice time if you ask me, and college doesnt have a preseason.

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  59. football is way different than baskettball when it comes to spotting talent and how they will progress. most top 5 hs players dont even make it into the nfl.

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  60. dont forget about the biker taker in the first commercial break giving his thoughts!

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  61. why didnt he tear up the ufl?? he played there and was a back up. clarrett did good in the ufl after he got out of the can.

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  62. redshirt freshman to be exact which is a huge difference bt them and true frosh's. however still admirable heisman. For instance Tebow won the Heisman as a true Soph. the same age as Manziel.

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  63. how bout the ep of the simpsons where homer takes bart to the steel mill run by roscoe "we work hard, we play hard" (as everybody dance now is blasting) lol.

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  64. mailmen alot of them that have been doing it for at least a decade are very self loathing lol. their job is the same thing everyday no wonder alot of them take up arms and go insane. my buddy did mail for 4 years he said the highlight o his month one time was his route got changed so he got to take different roads for a few weeks.

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  65. They would have had a chance if they just stuck with fixing what was wrong with pro football and got people to take them seriously.

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  66. I definitely believe the upn story. As a proud Hitmen season ticket holder, I had already received my invoice for year two before they announced that the league was folding.....

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  67. The league was doomed when on the first play from scrimmage in the first game, a DL sacked the QB. Before the snap. Before anyone moved. It just screamed vkm preplanned angle.

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  68. Wow, absolutely forgot about that... had to look it up.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpbpsViIrY8

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  69. And that doesn't even compare to the ridiculous locker room skit he did. It was like all the bad parts of Monday Night Raw were coming together in a football setting.

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  70. College has a de facto pre-season. Every major team plays at least one game against a cupcake to kick things off.

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  71. That story seems realllly dubious. Either way, Vince made the right call.

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  72. I kinda disagree about the Rock. This was 2001 and he was becoming a huge crossover star at that point. HS and college kids everywhere were wearing Rock/3:16 shirts and doing crotch chops at that time. Today, starting off an XFL with a John Cena promo would obviously be fucking insane, but the atmosphere was different in 2001. That being said...100% agree about Rock AND Vince being too much.

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  73. This is that alternative world:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOSUEFqszK8
    "Hey bro, toss me a Zima!"

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  74. Well to be fair, there were nowhere near as many insufferable talking heads or so-called "analysis" shows in 2001 as there are today.

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  75. I blame J-LO and her green drapery :P

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  76. GET IT STRAIGHT JABRONIS! EITHER CALL IT DA U OR I'LL SEND RAY LEWIS AND HIS FRIENDS OVER TO YOUR HOUSE!-IF YOU SMELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL WHAT THE ROCK IS COOKING!

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  77. Don't forget Da Rock went to DA U!

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  78. I had NY/NJ Hitmen Season tickets, and let me just say how much FUN everyone had at these games. The worst part was obviously the freezing cold. These games were in February, and the cheerleaders wore next to nothing. Everyone just felt bad for them.

    Anyway, that double overtime XFL game that is linked in that article was FANTASTIC at the time. I can't believe it was thirteen years ago.

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