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The XFL
February 2, 2001 9:00 PM   Subscribe

The XFL takes to the field this Saturday.
posted by tamim (33 comments total)

 
Can't wait! :D
posted by swank6 at 1:21 AM on February 3, 2001


dude, i'm so excited. they can fight the refs, right?
posted by sugarfish at 1:33 AM on February 3, 2001


Actually, I think they're allowed to pack heat on the field. But nothing bigger than a 9mm.
posted by Optamystic at 2:39 AM on February 3, 2001


I love the WWF and my more liberal (middle class) friends don't understand why.



So right, I have this theory...

You know that GWB and Murdoch et al are members of a Global conspiracy to pump our brains full of "good thoughts". Well, what if the WWF and the Pornography Barons were a left-wing conspiracy to fight against everything that is "good" and "wholesome" in the world.

WWF is, after all, violence as porn (passionless but physically impressive, twenty minutes of build-up and interruptus until the inevitable three count).

Now the NFL is full of wholesome propoganda (even thought they are steroid fueled psychos) and so the WWF is oging after them.



That's why I love the WWF
posted by fullerine at 4:29 AM on February 3, 2001


haven't you heard of oging after someone or something?

I'm going to og an watch the rugby now.

Now that's corporate sponsored violence
posted by fullerine at 4:34 AM on February 3, 2001


Fullerine, that was far less stupid than I thought it was going to be when it started. Og on!
posted by rodii at 7:01 AM on February 3, 2001


Is anyone here familiar with an author named Norman Spinrad? (He wrote the classic Trek episode "The Doomsday Machine".) His writing is quite pungent. He wrote a short story about the development of a new sport derived from football, showing how it evolves as a series of steps, until it becomes "Combat football". The players don't wear protection; the guy with the ball can do anything whatever to defenders and they can do the same to him. By the time it's taken to its logical extreme, the teams are no longer associated with cities but rather have become associated with ethnic groups (sort of like wrestling) and the fans have started to riot and fight each other in the stands; when games are reported in the news, not only is the action on the field reported but also the number of deaths and injuries meted out by the fans of one team to the fans of the other are reported. The story is hilarious and brilliant, as each step on the road to absurdity is completely logical.

When I saw this about the XFL, it looked to me like the first step on Spinrad's path.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 8:09 AM on February 3, 2001


Well, in that case, we have to ram a antimatter powered blimp into the XFL stadium NOW, and stop this thing.
posted by lileks at 8:27 AM on February 3, 2001


Yeah, but Spinrad didn't put cameras in the cheerleaders locker rooms, did he?
posted by baylink at 9:13 AM on February 3, 2001


{gasp] are they showing that on TV? Maybe I will watch. I could care about sports, but cheerleaders are important!
posted by Steven Den Beste at 9:26 AM on February 3, 2001


Wasn't the WWF in full endorsement of the Republican convention? I remember seeing something about The Rock being invited to speak.

Sadly, the Dubya-Dubya-Eff isn't going to be overthrowing the gubmint anytime soon.
posted by Succa at 9:28 AM on February 3, 2001


But is it compliant with XFL-RPC?

Steven, don't forget about Rollerball. "Jon-a-thon! Jon-a-thon! Jon-a-thon!" (Oh, and Combat Football was almost a Steve Jackson Game.)
posted by dhartung at 10:16 AM on February 3, 2001


The Rock did speak at the republican convention, but also at the Democratic one. The WWF had a "non-partisan" campaign similar to Rock the Vote to register voters, but deep down they really hated the Democrats, since Lieberman is into the whole Hollywood morality movement. The night before the election in fact, Jerry Lawler finally made the first non-partisan comments about the election during RAW IS WAR, something about how he would never vote for Gore and Lieberman, and it was meant to look like he was just shooting his mouth off, but I'm sure he had approval beforehand from the organization.
posted by beefula at 12:09 PM on February 3, 2001


Perhaps Jackson wasn't interested because it would have been similar to Bloodbowl. Steve Jackson doesn't like to tread in the footprints left by others; he wants to be successful but he also wants to be original. He's not afraid to take ideas from books; Illuminati was based on the Illuminatus trilogy, for instance. (He acknowledges it in the rule book.) But generally he doesn't rip off other games.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 3:52 PM on February 3, 2001


Well, I watched the game just to see how it would fare, and all I can say is that the NY/NJ Hitmen can't play worth a damn.
posted by CrayDrygu at 10:39 PM on February 3, 2001


Forget the team; how were the cheerleaders?
posted by Steven Den Beste at 11:02 PM on February 3, 2001


To quote Joe Rogan: "We are three television seasons away from "The Running Man".
posted by Optamystic at 11:38 PM on February 3, 2001


Everyone's making the jokes but I think the XFL is going to turn into a legitimate (sp?) league. It has a few changes to make the game more interesting/challenging, and I think the show itself is more interesting with better camera work then the NFL. (And I don't mean just the cheerleader closeups)
posted by thirdball at 8:10 AM on February 4, 2001


Sorry, but don't expect a Vince MacMahon-run sports org to turn "legit"... much more likely, at the first sign of disappointing ratings, MacMahon will send in his team of WWF writers as "show doctors" and turn it into another staged pseudo-sport, "where everything's made up and the points don't matter". That is my prediction... Oh, and Jesse Ventura will defect to Monday Night Football where he and Dennis Miller will become the hottest comedy team since Tony Randall and Jack Klugman.
posted by wendell at 8:48 AM on February 4, 2001


I have to agree with wendell...Vince's antics will eventually backfire on him. Some of the most loyal fans of WWF are starting to turn the channel. Does anybody remember WCW? People burned out. Vince is the modern day
P.T. Barnum and doesn't know any other formula.

Good concepts of the XFL? 1.All position players earn the
same pay scale. 2. Bonus to the winning team players.
3. No fair catches on punt return.(no wimpy..yeah)

Bad concepts: 1. Vince coming out in pseudo WWF mode...keep Vince at home. 2. A carnival atmosphere on the sidelines will never attract the true football fan...its too distracting. 3. Its boring and stupid after the first 5 mins.

Prediction: XFL will go the route of the WFL and the USFL.
posted by oh posey at 9:28 AM on February 4, 2001


I was not that impressed, the whole thing reminded me of pickup truck, red neck, in-your-face television. The only thing missing was Jerry Springer on the side lines asking the players if they will go back to their 300 lb. girlfriend with 2.5 children who are living in a van, down by the river.
posted by Brilliantcrank at 10:24 AM on February 4, 2001


I've seen better high-school football. Now, Arena Football -- there's a way to make the game harder, faster, cheaper, better. Well, what do I know. We don't even have a team in Chicago ... not till spring.
posted by dhartung at 10:41 AM on February 4, 2001


This will never turn into a WWF type game, where it's rehearsed. Saying that it will after a little while is just stupid. These are real players from colleges, the NFL, and other leagues.

I found the games to be entertaining. It isn't a NFL caliber game by any means, but it is something to watch this time of year. Vince wants this to be the CBA of the NFL, where former players, or players for whatever reason need another shot can get theirs.

The rule changes are good ones, and make for a little more excitement. I mean, no fair catches, I was excited when teams had to punt.

People are killing this league before it starts, and really should look beyond who's behind it and watch a game.
posted by Mark at 10:41 AM on February 4, 2001


As much as I love the NFL, it's amazing to me the mindwipe they've done on "purists" to reject the XFL. For the first time, football fans are coming off as the old fogies I usually associate with baseball ("Interleague play? Nooooooooo!"). The NFL could learn a few things presentation-wise from the XFL. While the super-boring NBA and NHL plod on, I'll be watching XFL until the 'Skins return to the field.
posted by owillis at 11:40 AM on February 4, 2001


Plus, cheerleaders can date players. The things that turn up Googling for "xfl" and "cheerleaders".
posted by clevernickname at 12:31 PM on February 4, 2001


The football was ok. The Hitmen are pretty horrible though It was good that they switched to the Rage/Enforcers game, which was a lot better in my opinion. They kept showing the highlights from that game while showing the boring one - I think the Hitmen draft just kinda flopped. They got dominated but the other game was much more exciting.

This is something that is really hard to avoid: how do you draft an entire league of teams at once? The problem is inevitable; some teams will just be extremely HORRIBLE and others will be stacked.
posted by swank6 at 1:58 PM on February 4, 2001


The most obvious thing that occurred to me while watching the game (a little bit of it, anyway) is that Jesse Ventura has absolutely nothing of value to say about football. His color commentary was so bad, it was black-and-white (::rimshot::). The entire night he only did two things: repeat what the other guy just said, only louder, or make the sorts of statements you would make if you'd never seen a football game in your life and suddenly had a microphone thrust in front of your face for three hours. "That guy didn't even get hit! What's he crying about?" "Check out those cheerleaders!" Yeah, whatever. Simply replacing him with someone that has knowledge of the game would improve things 100%.
posted by aaron at 3:14 PM on February 4, 2001


Ventura totally sucked, yup (Ross and Lawler were about 100 times better when they switched over to that game finally), and the Hitmen died, but I mean it's their first game other than pre-season play together, so you have to give them some leeway, everyone flops sometime. Drafting a whole league at once is totally wonky, but I'm betting that after a few games things will be a bit smoother.

Someone said this would turn into staged entertainment like the WWF and that Vince's antics will backfire on himself. Come on, this is SO obviously not going to become staged, and his antics will cause him harm for a few months while people make totally inane easy jokes about pickup trucks and Jerry Springer (did you actually watch the game, or do you just watch enough Jay Leno to think that throwing "Springer" and "trailer park" into a sentence makes anything funny?).

Also, even though I know science fiction may have told everyone a lot of things, wrestling itself is LESS sexist and racist (although still has it's moments) than a few years ago, so any slippery slope arguments about filmed executions can go back to grade 10 debate class.
posted by beefula at 5:24 PM on February 4, 2001


I think the XFL is a conspiracy plot put into place by the NFL to fully win the hearts of fence-sitting casual sports fans like myself.

I enjoy watching NFL games, but I tire easily of the commercials, the insipid player comments, the meat-headed commentary, the T&A commercials, the testosterone, Howie Long.

Then here comes the XFL, which a) was just bad football and b) was so over-saturated with the things I dislike or find condescendingly amusing about the NFL that it made the NFL look like PBS to me. The whole time I watched the XFL game (37 minutes of the first one, dear god) I kept thinking, "I wish John Madden were announcing. He's so damn classy..."

posted by jennyb at 7:01 AM on February 5, 2001


The XFL is a complete death-bomb. I couldn't believe how awful it was, but I shouldn't have been surprised. A whole lot of players who couldn't make it in the NFL, with color commentary by a whole lot of loudmouths who couldn't make it in standard network? This isn't exactly a recipe for success. Quotable moment: (I confess I can't remember the yahoo's name) "I love the XFL! I love America! The land of milk and honeys! (cut to slutty cheerleaders.)"

Jesus three-toed yodeling Christ. I'll wait until the regular season, thanks.
posted by Skot at 8:45 AM on February 5, 2001


Someone needs to get some...
posted by gleemax at 7:53 PM on February 5, 2001


In my opinion, the XFL is likely to come and go in the blink of an eye. Unlike baseball, professional football didn't really need much jazzing up to begin with, and certainly not an entire new league of players who are past the age of college eligibility and below the skill level of the NFL. Between the NFL and college, football fans already get their fill of the sport. If we really craved more footbal than we already get, the USFL (which at least legitimately attempted to compete with the NFL for talent by offering competitive salaries) would have worked out. Plus, since most sports fans follow more than one sport, they don't mind that football isn't played all year round. Baseball, basketball, hockey, tennis, golf, etc. already do a fine job of filling the void. So the fact is that all the XFL has going for it is the promise of outrageousness and titillation that its predecessor the WWF already delivers. "Professional" wrestling is not a sport, but rather, pure mindless entertainment which by its nature is tailor made for the theatrics of heroes, villains and sexpots. The WWF is a live action cartoon for an adult male audience. This is why it works. It's a unique commodity, one that isn't competing against or mimicking a more established league. The NFL may attract much of the same fan base, but as a legitimate sports league, it satisfies different desires than wrestling. We watch a football game because we're rooting for one of the teams to defeat the other, because we want to see true non-rigged competition amongst athletes who are at the top of their field. Cheerleaders are a nice diversion, a choreographed touchdown celebration dance can be amusing to watch, the occasional brawl after a play satisfies our primitive blood lust, but basically, we watch the games to see the games. Everything else is just the extras that come along on the side. Now the XFL has arrived, and at least by the advertising, it seems we're supposed to be more intrigued by the extras than the games themselves. I tuned into a week 1 XFL contest expecting an inferior level of play but at least hopeful for a lot of fun, sexy stuff tossed into the mix. As it turned out, there wasn't really enough of a sideshow element to hold my interest. It was just a run of the mill football game, and if a football game is what I want to watch, I'm willing to wait for the next NFL season so I can follow my beloved Jets. If I want to see outlandish characters mock demolish other in an athletic fashion, plus get a little t&a for my money, the WWF will do. As for the XFL, I'm going to pass. After a few weeks go by and the curiousity factor wears off, I believe most others will do the same as I.
posted by nycscribe at 10:13 AM on February 7, 2001


In my opinion, the XFL is likely to come and go in the blink of an eye. Unlike baseball, professional football didn't really need much jazzing up to begin with, and certainly not an entire new league of players who are past the age of college eligibility and below the skill level of the NFL. Between the NFL and college, football fans already get their fill of the sport. If we really craved more footbal than we already get, the USFL (which at least legitimately attempted to compete with the NFL for talent by offering competitive salaries) would have worked out. Plus, since most sports fans follow more than one sport, they don't mind that football isn't played all year round. Baseball, basketball, hockey, tennis, golf, etc. already do a fine job of filling the void. So the fact is that all the XFL has going for it is the promise of outrageousness and titillation that its predecessor the WWF already delivers. "Professional" wrestling is not a sport, but rather, pure mindless entertainment which by its nature is tailor made for the theatrics of heroes, villains and sexpots. The WWF is a live action cartoon for an adult male audience. This is why it works. It's a unique commodity, one that isn't competing against or mimicking a more established league. The NFL may attract much of the same fan base, but as a legitimate sports league, it satisfies different desires than wrestling. We watch a football game because we're rooting for one of the teams to defeat the other, because we want to see true non-rigged competition amongst athletes who are at the top of their field. Cheerleaders are a nice diversion, a choreographed touchdown celebration dance can be amusing to watch, the occasional brawl after a play satisfies our primitive blood lust, but basically, we watch the games to see the games. Everything else is just the extras that come along on the side. Now the XFL has arrived, and at least by the advertising, it seems we're supposed to be more intrigued by the extras than the games themselves. I tuned into a week 1 XFL contest expecting an inferior level of play but at least hopeful for a lot of fun, sexy stuff tossed into the mix. As it turned out, there wasn't really enough of a sideshow element to hold my interest. It was just a run of the mill football game, and if a football game is what I want to watch, I'm willing to wait for the next NFL season so I can follow my beloved Jets. If I want to see outlandish characters mock demolish other in an athletic fashion, plus get a little t&a for my money, the WWF will do. As for the XFL, I'm going to pass. After a few weeks go by and the curiousity factor wears off, I believe most others will do the same as I.
posted by nycscribe at 10:14 AM on February 7, 2001


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