Who's to blame for the XFL's dismal ratings? The media, says star announcer and Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura.
"Give yourselves a hand," he told Washington's National Press Club Monday. "A lot of the media dislikes Vince McMahon with a passion." Also, the XFL's naysayers initially missed the point by jeering that the league is nothing more than a gimmick for bringing pro-wrestling antics to the gridiron. "The media assumed it would be football players hitting each other with chairs," he said. "When it turned out they were fooled, then it was `Well it's not the NFL; the talent isn't as good.' We never said we were going to be the NFL." Instead the XFL is about plucky athletes who play for big dreams and small paychecks, Ventura said: "This league about players who want to play the game and continue to play the game because they love it." In the spirit of the perennial benchwarmer who finally played one game at Notre Dame, the Minnesota governor said: "I like to call it the Rudy league." - Bill McConnell