No matter how XFL slices it, something is missing |

No matter how XFL slices it, something is missing

Hopefully for our local buddy Mike Crawford, the XFL will last long enough to launch him back into the NFL.

But the early signs for survival aren’t that encouraging. The league lost half of its viewers between the first and second weeks and is doing everything possible to disguise the missing ingredient: high-caliber football the American public is accustomed to with NFL games.

No matter how many times the XFL focuses on scantily clad cheerleaders and utilizes in-your-face cameras, miked players, locker-room cameras and during-the-game interviews, the league still has to account for its quality of play.

Not to say that all the teams are playing poor football. Crawford’s Las Vegas Outlaws have only surrendered three points in two games and are looking like the early favorite to play in the XFL’s first championship.

But Vince McMahon may need to raid the NFL of some of its players if he wants the league to survive longer than the three years the United States Football League lasted. Give McMahon credit, though. He got rid of the opening coin toss and gave the fans a reason to find their seats early. Watching opposing players run down the field and dive for a loose pigskin to see who has rights to the opening kickoff is better than the game itself.

However, following the conclusion of the NFL season may not have been the brightest of McMahon’s ideas. With college basketball nearing March Madness, the NBA and NHL halfway though their seasons and the “Tiger Tour” in full swing, there are many other more respected sports for the fan to tune in. By waiting until late May or early June, the XFL would have had a better chance taking on Major League Baseball.

Oh well, enjoy the league while it lasts.

Bumps & Jumps won’t lose its drawing cards

Fear not local bump fans, it appears as if the area’s rising World Cup stars will be able to compete in the Bumps & Jumps March 3 and 4 at Heavenly Ski Resort, after all.

There was some concern that preparations for the World Cup Finals in Finland and national championships would prevent Chris Hernandez, Travis Ramos and Travis Cabral from competing in their hometown. But Ramos will squeeze in the event before going to the World Cup Finals March 9-11 and Hernandez and Cabral will reportedly use the competition to prepare for nationals.

“I’ve always wanted to do it,” said Ramos, who captured his first World Cup win earlier this season in Sunday River, Maine. “I’m totally looking forward to it. Gunbarrel’s venue is similar to the Olympic course, and I’ve been down that course as much as anybody, except for the true face rats out there.

“On top of that, I want to put on a show for the hometown crowd and possibly win some money.”

Referee takes on mascot by the horns

School mascots are some of the worst examples of sportsmanship today. But one referee put the “Ram,” North Carolina’s mascot, in his place Saturday.

The Tar Heels’ mascot was tossed by referee Duke Edsall after pretending to kick one of Edsall’s partners during halftime of the Maryland-North Carolina game.

“We were walking off the floor and when I turned around the mascot was acting like he was kicking my partner in the end,” Edsall told the Associated Press. “This is not what (mascots) are here for.”

Ross brothers give Vikes a postseason

Cavin and Brad Ross will carry more than the torch for the South Tahoe High wrestling team to the Nevada 4A wrestling tournament this weekend in Elko.

The brothers are actually carrying the weight of the school’s postseason involvement on their shoulders. With the boys and girls basketball teams eliminated, it’s up to the Rosses to deliver a memorable finish from one of the traditional winter sports.

“We’ll probably get a little more attention at school this week, but I haven’t really seen that yet,” Brad said.

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