It’s pretty good football. That’s my assessment following the first season of this iteration of the XFL. The impressive thing to me is that the resurrected league learned from its earlier mistakes. The championship game came off well Saturday night in the Alamo and produced a stunning upset as the Arlington Renegades upset the heavily favored D.C. Defenders 35-26. That was an impressive coaching job by Arlington’s Bob Stoops, whose team was just 4-6 in the regular season and had to have a lot of help just to make the playoffs. The Renegades scored on all five first-half possessions to boat-race the Defenders, who entered as 8.5 point favorites. D.C.’s defense had been dominant, but Saturday night allowed the Renegades to convert ten of their first 12 third downs.
The XFL has earned the right to return in 2024, and I genuinely look forward to next season. It’s pretty good football.
Being an NBA head coach has always been a rough gig. But that job has now become brutal. Monty Williams won an NBA Coach of the Year Award in Phoenix, and turned the Suns from a joke into a force in his four years in the desert. But Williams nevertheless got Saturday Night Massacred, as he was fired by Phoenix owner Mat Ishbia after the Suns got blown out in the finale of their playoff series against the Nuggets.
I suggest that Williams get together with recently axed Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer for a beer or twenty.
I’m guessing Sixers coach Doc Rivers has a case of the shivering shakes as his team heads into a Game Seven against the Celtics Sunday afternoon. Rivers’ teams have lost nine Game Sevens, including four straight the in the past eight years. Gulp.
Tampa Bay Bucs coach Todd Bowles had an excused absence from the team’s rookie camp Saturday. Bowles walked the stage at Mount St. Mary’s University, 37 years after he left school to chase his NFL dream. Bowles’ motivation? He promised his mom he would go back and finish his degree in youth and community development. That’s quite the Mothers’ Day present!
Cowboys Coach Mike McCarthy got a pass from his team’s rookie session, too, since he is recovering from a back procedure performed last Thursday. McCarthy is fine and should be back in time for OTA’s, which begin in two weeks.
The Texans took a calculated risk Saturday when they signed former Seahawks and Jaguars cornerback Shaquill Griffin to a one-year deal. Griffin landed a $40 million contract in 2021 in Jacksonville, but frankly never reached the level of production he had shown previously in Seattle and was released by the Jags in March.
Never underestimate the human spirit. Saints tight end Foster Moreau was diagnosed with the blood cancer known as Hodgkin lymphoma in March. Now? There is an excellent chance that Moreau will take part in the Saints’ OTAs, which begin in a couple of weeks.
That was a scary moment Saturday night in Denver, where Rockies pitcher Ryan Feltner was struck in the head by a line drive off the bat of the Phillies’ Nick Castellanos. While Feltner was able to walk off the field with assistance, he was taken to a local hospital for tests. More info is expected Sunday.
The Astros and White Sox were tied at one heading into the bottom of the 8th when I briefly exited for a quick shower. When I returned the Sox were closing out a 3-1 win, proving to me only that cleanliness is overrated.
The Dallas Stars and the Seattle Kraken will meet in a Game Seen in their NHL Western Conference semifinal series. There. There’s my hockey note for 2023.