Photo Credit: Whatistheexcel.com
I loved the XFL.
There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. For all the hate the XFL received over the years, I genuinely find it unjust. Granted, Vince McMahon founded the league and it got all this hate from the media, fans, and the like, but I enjoyed the XFL for what it was: simple, fun football.
There was a lot more to the league than meets the eye. Forget the ploy for cheap ratings or fake feuds, a lot of entertaining stories took place with the football alone. 8 teams, working their tails off, scratching and clawing for 10 weeks, just to earn the right to make the playoffs, play a one game semi-final, and the “Big Game at the End of the Season”, the Million Dollar Game. So many tremendous stories had been told.
And with the victor go the spoils, as the Los Angeles Xtreme became the only team to win the inaugural XFL championship, defeating the San Francisco Demons to 38-6 in LA on April 21, 2001. But in truth, you never hear about their championship run.
In spite of all the jokes that went on about the league, no one really ever talks about how Tommy Maddox rejuvenated his career in the lone XFL season, just to make it back to the NFL and be the 2002 Comeback Player of the Year as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers. No one goes into how Jose Cortez became a journeyman for 5 years in NFL after his banner kicking year as a member of the Xtreme. And no one really describes how this franchise gelled together well enough to become champions.
PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest.com
I was 15 years old when the XFL came and went, and needless to say, I don’t 100% remember every moment of every game. Especially on the East Coast, where South River alumni and New York/New Jersey Hitman executive Drew Pearson made South River a heavy-duty Hitmen town, I wasn’t privy to the majority of LA’s games during Saturday and Sunday. I mean, WE HAD CHARLES PULERI!
Thanks to the power of YouTube, I was impressed to see every XFL game ever on there. And since 2017 is rolling around, combined with the buzz the XFL has recently received through ESPN with the 30-for-30and the New York Post announcing a walk-through XFL Hall of Fame in the city within the next few weeks, I got inspired for a writing project. And since I have the platform, the games, and (thanks to http://All-XFL.com) statistics, I’ve decided to have some fun with this one:
Photo Credit: Wikipedia.org
Starting in early January 2017, I will be reviewing and writing about every game on the magical Los Angeles Xtreme season en route to the XFL Championship.
This will be rigorous and exhausting, as well as fun, reliving my youth as a rebel (not really), and dreaming of the black with red Spalding football spiraling through the air. This is a perfect test of trying to relive a time period and see if the XFL was TRULY as bad as the mainstream media, fans, wrestling haters, and football purists said.
I’m going to bet on this and say it was BETTER than first thought. I hope after the 12 weeks of the Xtreme’s run, I will be right. If not…at least I can always hang my hat on a few Jesse Ventura called games. Most of all, I can see how much the XFL transcended and changed the way sports were broadcasted and produced. It had to start somewhere!
JANUARY 2017: THE XTREME’S RUN TO THE XFL CHAMPIONSHIP debuts in the Professional 3 Blog. I hope you jump in and enjoy this unique look into a team that worked hard and earned its due to become CHAMPIONS.