I've heard all the talk shows blasting it. I've read all the articles about the plunging ratings. I've listened to media pundits slam the whole premise of creating such a league.
But, as much as it pains me to say it…..I'm hooked on the XFL.
I am not a wrestling fan. Other than the household names, I could not tell you who the "stars" are in the WWF or NWA. And, I don't think that I have ever sat down and watched a match, or meet, or whatever you call it.
And I did not think that I would like the XFL. But, for some reason, I do.
So, who is making up this league of "almost NFL'ers"? Well, you may be surprised by some of the names.
Let's start with the Atlantic Coast Conference and the names we all recognize for their playing days in college. There is Casey Weldon, Scott Milanovich, Charles Wiley, Omar Brown, Brian Kuklick, and Terry Billups. All are solid contributors for their respective XFL teams.
But there are also some names from the ACC that you may not remember. What about Reggie Johnson, Greg Williams, Robert Hunt, Mark Thomas, Jermale Miles, Sterlin Palmer, and Derrick Turner. Don't remember where these guys played? Although this is not a trivia quiz, here are the answers. Florida State, North Carolina, Virginia, NC State, Georgia Tech, Florida State, and Florida State.
And what about Clemson players playing for scraps in this fledging league? Let's start with Glen Roundtree. This former Tiger is playing offensive guard for the Memphis Maniax. Jason Gamble is trudging it out in the trenches as an offensive guard for the Orlando Rage. And what about former Clemson quarterback Patrick Sapp? After several years in the NFL, the 6-4, 258 pound Sapp is playing linebacker for the Memphis Maniax. Leamont Evans has dropped a few pounds to a svelte 202 as he roams the defensive backfields for the Los Angeles Extreme. And finally, old school tight end Keith Jennings is catching passes for the Las Vegas Outlaws.
So, should you be proud of the fact that former Tigers are making a decent living in the XFL? Well, before you answer, let's break down the ACC by number of players competing as of week 7.
Florida State leads the way with 9 players on current XFL rosters. North Carolina pulls up second in the ACC with 7 players. Clemson is third with 5 players. Georgia Tech is fourth with 4 players. North Carolina State is fifth with 3 players. Maryland and Duke each have 2 players. And bringing up the rear is Wake Forest and Virginia with 1 player each.
Nobody will argue that FSU has been the class of the ACC in the last 10 years. And, it would be hard to argue that UNC, Clemson, and Georgia Tech would follow in step behind the Seminoles. Those opinions follow with the numbers that are playing in the XFL.
What do the numbers mean? Absolutely nothing.
But the guys that are coaching the XFL are not complete idiots. They have drafted players proportional to the quality of the ACC over the last ten years.
Should you even care?
I can't speak for you. But as I write this article the Las Vegas Outlaws are leading the Birmigham Bolts 12-9 in the first half. And yes, I'm watching.
If the XFL is a sinking ship, I'm on my way down with it.
But, I'm still waiting for Patrick Sapp to move back to QB and throw the winning touchdown pass in the waning seconds of the game. Has it been that long since Tommy West's first game at Clemson as the Tigers beat Kentucky?
You bet it has.
You can reach Scott Rhymer at email@example.com.