Picks and Pans Review: Thoughts That Have Intruded on My Enjoyment of the Xfl, the Fledgling Football League Whose Games Began Airing in February on Nbc (saturday Nights), Upn (sunday Nights) and Tnn (sunday Afternoons):
- If these guys are so proud of their “smashmouth” brand of ball, why do the helmets have face masks? Give a few teeth for the cause.
- Shouldn’t Minnesota Gov. Jesse “The Body” Ventura have something more statesmanlike to do than serve as an XFL announcer on NBC, which owns the enterprise in partnership with the World Wrestling Federation? Couldn’t the ex-grappler run Wisconsin in his spare time? In Week 2 of XFL action, Ventura seemed surprisingly content to boom banalities (“They’re throwin’ the ball excellent tonight”). UPN’s Brian Bosworth, on the other hand, is bent on putting some color into his “color commentary.” In his first XFL telecast, the former linebacker said one of the gladiators played “like he’s got a fire in his ass.” In his second, “Boz” danced with the babe-alicious cheerleaders while urging play-by-play man Chris Marlowe to “slap my butt.”
After NBC’s XFL ratings sank in Week 2—and an overtime game delayed the start of a Saturday Night Live featuring Jennifer Lopez (oooh, definite cheerleader material)—the league announced rules changes to speed play. But what if XFL founder (and WWF honcho) Vince McMahon goes further, dropping overtime in favor of cliffhangers (“Tune in next week for the exciting conclusion…”) and having cheerleaders mud-wrestle at midfield? I fear bad football will still look worse out of season.
Bottom Line: Punting situation