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Mizell's Mailbag

One vote for XFL, some votes against ... well, everything

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 11, 2001

Now comes the XFL. It is fun, fun, fun. I love the games. Repartee between players and coaches is delightful. On-field TV shots are fascinating. Players seem to have a great time and love the game, taking the punishment for peanuts compared with arrogant NFL wise guys.

I started watching the XFL as a skeptic. Afraid it was too brutal and undisciplined. But it is no worse than the NFL.

(Hearing) grunts and groans makes it fun. I even feared sexy cheerleaders might be too X-rated for old ladies like me. Instead, the girls are cute and funny; no worse than can be seen on MTV.

Don't be such a purist, Hubert. Tell your Times colleagues to stop being so arrogant about the XFL. At least a photograph or two and a story about each game.
-- Jeanne Pugh, South Pasadena

Because you detest the XFL, I decided to watch. Needing to prove it for myself. Gads, is that awful! Stupid shenanigans. Really bad brand of football. Rampant sexism.

I see TV ratings are dropping like a golf ball in a lake. On merit, I would say.
-- Ben Cohen, Palm Harbor

Like so much on TV, it's there for those who desire. My surprise was NBC's involvement, but the network didn't plunge without thinking it might click. In the extended run, the football must carry it, not gimmicks. Prognosis is becoming sickly.

You're right, the XFL is a farce, but that doesn't ease the pain of what I've been seeing lately from NFL egomaniacs, including our own precious Buccaneers.

My two young sons and I attended an NFL golf event during Super Bowl week. It wasn't surprising when Warren Sapp acted like a jerk, brushing off people with vulgar language. I've heard that is his chosen demeanor toward the public.

What was a shock was seeing a measure of nasty attitude from Shaun King. We have read so much, a lot of it from you, about the quarterback's solid upbringing and Christian beliefs. Is something going wrong?
-- Denise Kohl, e-mail

Sapp has his own questionable guidelines for out-in-public behavior. Bucs management has received many complaints. As for King, that's a stunner, but I've heard it from other sources. I don't want to think he is changing from the great kid we grew to love, opting to become something less. I hope he is not being negatively influenced by some associates. I'm hoping any non-positive occurances can be blamed on being 23, having a quick gushing of home-area celebrity and being no worse than temporary diversion from an admirable path.

I'm a 50-year-old truck driver who makes average money. Moved here from Cleveland.

I enjoyed going to see Early Wynn, Dick Radatz and Mudcat Grant. Ballplayers of he '40s, '50s and '60s were not tainted by incredible greed.

Sports have been destroyed by greed, crass violence and rotten personal conduct. I won't pay the money for their agenda.
-- Jay Brda Spring Hill

Having dealt with athletes from all generations you mention, I believe we would've detected plenty of greed 30 or 40 years ago if revenues had been as high as now.

Attitudes of players, more than anything, reflect public attitudes. I think evolution of attitudes has been no worse in locker rooms than on too many streets and in too many businesses and households.

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