MAD DOG: Why the XFL Needs More Sex

According to the National Climatic Data Center (motto: "That's as in climate, not climax. But please don't go away.") the average temperature in the United States last year was 1.3 degrees higher than that of the previous 106 years. And if you believe the XFL, this year will be even hotter.

The XFL, for those of you who have been too busy trying to figure out why Tattoo isn't running around Temptation Island saying "Forget da plane, boss. Look at da rack on her!", is what you get when you cross the World Wrestling Federation with NBC, two gene pools that should never have been allowed to mingle. It proves that those who have been so worried about genetic manipulation have been putting their energies in the wrong place. Personally I'd much rather chow down on DNA flavored Doritos than listen to Jesse Ventura ramble on about players who are in it for the love of the game when we all know it's the $45,000 and a chance to be play real football in the NFL that keeps them going.

But it's not all bad. At least it gives men an alternative to wasting their time drooling over the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders. Now they can drool over the Memphis Maniax cheerleaders. And just in case that isn't enough to ensure an audience, the XFL instituted a handful of new rules, including no fair catch on punts, no extra point kicks after a touchdown, and no games played at the same time as the NFL.

If they really want to capture viewers and rejuvenate football they need to do more. Like create the XXXFL. Face it, nothing sells like sex. Real sex. If half the team was female and uniforms were jettisoned, they could just let nature take its course and they'd have a hit on their hands. The object would still be to score, except how you score would be, oh, a little different. The terminology could remain the same, though it would give new meaning to tight ends, wide receivers, completing a pass, and sacking the quarterback. And of course there would be no such penalty as illegal use of hands.

Viewership would soar, especially on rainy days with muddy fields. Plus they'd save tons of money. There would be no uniforms to buy and clean, announcers would be superfluous since all they'd need is some cheesy wah-wah guitar playing in the background, and the cheerleaders would be history. After all, why look at them when there's all that action on the field?

Ancillary marketing would be big. Besides the obvious like magazines, calendars, and imprinted condoms, they could branch out into home video, with releases like Birmingham Does Dallas, Behind the Green Locker Room Door, and Go Deep Throat.

Or maybe they should start the GFL, the Gladiator Football League. Put them in an arena and let them play to the death. Recruit the Detroit Lions and let them add the real thing to the roster. Animals are cheaper, more exciting, plus it would give them a shot at the title for a change. Best of all, it would finally be a good use for that interactivity we keep hearing about. Imagine sitting in your new $1,300 La-Z-Boy "e-cliner" with its interactive TV receiver, computer jacks, and drink holder and being able to vote thumbs up or thumbs down after each touchdown. Regis could come on and ask if it's your final answer. When we all hit "yes" we'll see some real entertainment.

While we're at it, we really need to update other sports and activities. Baseball needs help. Badly. If random baseballs had hand grenades in them batters would have one more thing to think about before swinging at a pitch. Planting land mines under the base paths would add a whole new dimension to base stealing. And how about timing the pitcher? If the clock runs out before he throws the ball, he has to take off an article of clothing. Strip baseball would be a hit.

Elections need freshening too, as anyone who's even heard of George Bush and Al Gore can attest. We should hand the whole process over to Vince McMahon and the WWF. Sure they're busy putting the ex in XFL, but that means they'll have a lot of free time on their hands soon.

In an X-Election, each candidate would choose a character and personality. As in traditional elections, this doesn't have to have anything to do with their real personality or beliefs, those will show up after they're in office and it's too late. They'd duke it out weekly on TV, with the winner getting to wear the championship belt in the Oval Office. They can take on all challengers, recruit the vice president for a tag team match, and even have their wives or interns parade around the ring scantily clad. Okay, maybe that's going too far.

This would eliminate lengthy, expensive elections, vote counting problems, recount lawsuits, and hand examination of ballots. Come to think of it, Hanging Chad would make a great name for a candidate/wrestler. Sure the results of an X-Election would be predetermined, but aren't they now? At least this way the winner won't be the one with the most money backing him.

Award shows need updating too. How many lip-synched performances, tired jokes by presenters who can't read a TelePrompTer, and slinky revealing dresses cut down to here do we need? Okay, I take back that last one.

The answer? Live Celebrity Death Matches. I'd watch. Hell, if they were smart they'd use the same concept for the Miss America pageant. There's nothing like a good cat fight to boost sagging, uh, ratings. Add some Wesson oil or Jell-o and they might have an Emmy winner on their hands. Providing, of course, Miss America can kick Susan Lucci's butt. And if she can, she might just have a career waiting for her in the XXXFL.

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