Sports 101

First there was Dennis Miller on ABC Sport's Monday Night Football. Then comedian Jay Mohr joined Fox's football lineup as commentator.

Now you can add Jesse Ventura to the mix. He will join NBC and Vince McMahon's new Xtreme Football League (XFL) as its commentator. The former World Wrestling Federation star will analyze the XFL's new 10-week season, which starts Feb. 3. The new league will no doubt create some controversy. Dick Butkus, the XFL's director of football competition, told ESPN magazine: "We're going to play real football: smashmouth, in-your-face stuff...." Yet - McMahon, also the WWF chairman, has an upbeat point of view. "We're here to have fun," he said recently. "Football is fun."

Q: How many XFL teams are there, and where are they located?

A: There are eight XFL teams, located in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Memphis, Tenn., Birmingham, Ala., and Orlando, Fla. Their names aren't the most welcoming - Las Vegas Outlaws, Los Angeles Xtreme, Memphis Maniax.

Q: How is the XFL different from the NFL?

* The football will be black with red and white stripes.

* Players, locker rooms, and huddles will have microphones; cameras will be placed in locker rooms, on sidelines, and in players' helmets.

* Only one foot is required in-bounds on pass receptions.

* Scantily clad cheerleaders or dancers will be a regular feature.

Q: Who are the players and where did they come from?

A: A variety of places, such as the Arena Football League, college teams, and the NFL. The XFL pays its players a minimum of $35,000 per year.

Will the XFL succeed? E-mail me at

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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