Monday, Feb. 5, 2001 | 11:35 a.m.
A sampling of what others are saying about the XFL:
"The XFL promised all-access. NBC delivered it on the league's opening night. There were microphones and awkward camera angles everywhere. Sideline reporters asked silly questions of players and coaches during the game and got ho-hum, cliched responses. That's when they got answers at all. And there has to be more action at your local morgue than the cameras found in the halftime locker rooms."
-- Dallas Morning News
"The XFL debuted last night. It stunk. Not even jiggling cheerleaders could cover for this mess. In theory, there is room for another professional league. But not the XFL. Not yet. Take away WWF head Vince McMahon's ability to market sex and manliness and the NBC television deal -- and the game itself provided little evidence that NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue should lose one second of sleep."
-- Howard Manley
"The XFL will work. It will work for the same reason that Jenny and Jerry and "Sex in the City" and "Survivor" work. No, there won't be any Peyton Mannings and Marshall Faulks coming from this league. What there will be, though, is wild television. The league is counting on that and, quite frankly, that's all it really wants."
-- Michael Holley
"The XFL's Las Vegas-New York/New Jersey main telecast showed off just how far a network will go to dress it up, then strip it down to titillate the spectators who don't know about Court TV. It's the Jerry Springer League. It's illegitimate sport. Once you get past the hype to see the gimmick, it all becomes clear."
-- Los Angeles Daily News
"There was an exciting moment there when the XFL seemed like it was going to be something thrilling, in an evil, semi-staged, reality-show sort of way. It was the coin toss. Or the XFL's version of the coin toss.
To begin the league's first night of play Saturday, one player from each team scrambled after a free ball at midfield. After a brief tussle, the guy from Chicago won. While 36,000 people in the Citrus Bowl cheered and laughed, the loser from Orlando laid on his back and pounded the ground as if he were in pain.
Turned out Hassan Shamsid-Deen really did dislocate his left shoulder. It is a tribute to the power of wrestling promoter Vince McMahon, whose WWF owns the XFL with NBC, that no one could be completely sure whether to believe it."
-- Palm Beach (Fla.) Post
"Only one bump-and-wiggle routine by a Birmingham cheerleader was put on the video board in the first half. And the cheerleading crew wasn't featured in its entirety on the Jumbotron until midway through the third quarter.
Most popular part of Legion Field, however, was the area behind the cheerleaders' sideline stage. There, an almost entirely male contingent of fans was allowed to gather. It stood shoulder-to-shoulder for much of the game."
-- USA Today
"The XFL surprised the sports establishment with ratings that were more than double the 4.0 to 4.5 that NBC told advertisers to expect. Saturday night's telecast produced a 10.3 overnight Nielsen rating as XFL officials targeted males 12 years and older with ads that featured scantily clad cheerleaders and promoted football as a form of war."
-- New York Times