No, these are not three answers from last
night’s episode of “Who Wants to be a
Millionaire.” They are three of the many
reasons why I can not wait for the XFL.
A few months ago, I was out with a couple of
friends watching the AFC Championship game. As
the Titans made their way out for the second
half, a television field correspondent caught up
with Jeff Fisher to ask what he needed from his
team in the upcoming thirty minutes. At this
point, one of my buddies nearly choked on his
buffalo wing and said, “since when do they
talk to the coaches during the game?”
Another one of my friends was quick to
respond. “Oh they’ve been doing that for a
while now. But they only talk to them before or
after the half. You know, I can’t wait until
they start interrupting the coaches in the
middle of the game to ask things like, Why
didn’t you go for that fourth down
coach…don’t you have confidence in your
Well if my friend heard anything Michael
Weisman said on February 3 during the XFL press
conference, I’m sure he’s sleeping better
these days. Weisman, who has joined the XFL as a
broadcast consultant, talked about his visions
for the new league with the excitement of a CEO
on IPO day. He kept referring to the “blank
canvas” he had in front of him; knowing that
there are no pre-determined rules or boundaries
for Weisman and his team.
The bottom line is that when the XFL is first
broadcast, it will be the most interactive
sports presentation in history. We’ll probably
hear from the coaches, the players, the fans and
even the beer vendor during the course of a
Vince McMahon told the world that the XFL
would take you “where the NFL is afraid to.”
Does this mean I’ll see video packages of the
players hanging out after the game? I sure hope
so. Cameras in the helmet, on the water cooler,
in the ball, on the goalposts? Why not. You want
to chat with the announcer’s during the
broadcast or e-mail a question to the coach
during the post-game press conference? Bring it
After enjoying a tremendous rookie season in
1988, Ickey Woods suffered through three easily
forgettable ones in Cincinnati. Unlike other
one-year wonders though, no one will ever forget
Woods – thanks to the “Ickey Shuffle.”
What started out as a little something for Mama
Ickey during a game with the New York Jets,
quickly turned into a national craze.
At the time of “Ickey-mania” I was 15
years old and remember how every game of
schoolyard football was prolonged by about 20
minutes because after every touchdown, someone
would bust out the “Ickey Shuffle.” My
friends and I all bought into the craze in a
major way. That is until the “Ickey rule”
took affect in 1990.
The commissioner had spoken – no more
shuffle, no more celebrating, no more fun.
There’s a reason the "Ickey Shuffle"
got so popular so fast; people liked it! Why
take away a part of the game that the fans –
the people who keep the game going – really
Well, XFL players don’t have to worry about
being penalized for having a good time! Go
ahead, do the "Ickey Shuffle" until
your feet hurt. Do the high-five thing the
Redskins used to do in the early 80’s. Make up
a bunch of new dances. Taunt your opponent after
you sack them. When you have them down and
you’re looking to finish them off, do the
thumb across the throat gesture.
"If the NFL is the ‘no fun league’
then we’re the ‘X-tra fun league.’ We’re
gonna have a blast!" said Vince McMahon.
I can’t wait to see how many different
dances the kids are going to be doing in the
schoolyards over the next few years.
At the end of this year’s Super Bowl, everyone
was left hoping for one more foot. That was the
distance that separated the Tennessee Titans
from sending the game into overtime. And with
the hope for one more foot, was the hope for one
In his latest book, "A Season on the
Reservation," Kareem Abdul-Jabbar says one
of the most important parts of competition is
that there’s a definite result – a winner
and loser. Everyone involved – the players,
the coaches, the fans – all need to feel
Now I know there was a winner and loser in
Super Bowl XXXIV, but the way the game ended
made me feel like there needed to be more; I
didn’t have the feeling of finality. An
extension of McNair’s last minute heroics. One
more bruising off-tackle run by Eddie George.
I wanted Tennessee / St. Louis best of three!
(Okay, I really wanted Tennessee / Tampa Bay
best of three, but the point was, I wanted more
If there was an XFL game set for the
following Saturday, I know I would have watched.
I know that millions of other football fans out
there would have joined me. The 1999 NFL
playoffs were tremendous. I watched every game
and at the end I wanted to see more.
Thanks to the XFL, starting next year there
will be more.
E-mail me anytime with questions or comments
about the XFL. Lucas@XFL.com