Posts Tagged ‘Washington D.C.’

The XFL, the spring pro football league fronted by Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia, took a big step toward finalizing its plans Sunday with a press conference that revealed the cities, venues and head coaches for its upcoming 2023 season.

The regular season is set to kick off February 18, 2023 with eight teams. Those include in newly announced cities — Las Vegas, Orlando and San Antonio — which are replacing existing teams in Los Angeles, New York and Tampa, FL. ESPN says those were the three cities with the lowest turnout in 2020, the league’s most recent season, which was halted midway through because of the Covid pandemic.

Two other XFL teams on the 2023 slate reside in Texas (Arlington and Houston), with other franchises in Seattle, St. Louis and Washington, D.C.

All 43 XFL games will air on Disney platforms in a carriage deal announced in May by Garcia, the league’s chairwoman and owner, and her movie and TV producing partner Johnson, after the duo with RedBird Capitol Partners acquired the league for $15 million from Vince McMahon in 2020 after it had started bankruptcy proceedings.

McMahon originally bankrolled the return of the league, which he resurrected after a 20-year absence. It had played just one season previously, in 2001, as joint venture between McMahon’s WWF (now the WWE) and NBC.

This year’s games will air on Disney platforms ABC, ESPN and FX.

“We’ve had a clear vision for the XFL – the values to instill, the diversity of our leaders, the innovation of the game and how we want to deeply engage with our communities so they can help bring this vision to life. Today, our league takes another step closer to 2023 kickoff as we officially announce where our teams will play,” Garcia said today during a press conference livestreamed on the XFL’s YouTube channel. “What brings a league to life is the passion of the fandom behind it. In each of these cities we will co-create with our fans and build these teams from the ground up so that they represent the unique fabric of our communities. We welcome all football fans to join us as we get ready for kickoff in February.”

Along with the cities, the league revealed its head coaching assignments with most names familiar to football fans: former Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops (Arlington), Wade Phillips (Houston), Terrell Buckley (Orlando), Rod Woodson (Las Vegas), Hines Ward (San Antonio), Jim Haslett (Seattle), Anthony Becht (St. Louis) and Reggie Barlow (Washington, DC).

Said Johnson, who was coming off his appearance at Warner Bros’ Black Adam panel at Comic-Con in San Diego, added: “I’m psyched to reveal the cities that our players will have the chance to represent and compete in. This is another massive moment for the XFL, and I’m ready to feel the electricity our dedicated fans will bring to these iconic venues.

“There is great energy building within our league and there is still much more to come… and I can promise it’s going to be worth the wait. We have been working on fresh, new logos and uniforms – even working with some of the team names you already know – that will match the dynamic and innovative vision of our league. We see you, we hear you and your excitement fuels us to continue to bring you the absolute best. We have just under seven months until kickoff and the countdown is officially on.”

The XFL has cemented the cities it will play in upon its return to play in 2023 and assigned coaches to the teams, Pro Football Network reported Sunday.

XFL teams are set for three Texas cities — Houston, Dallas and San Antonio — as well as Seattle, Las Vegas, Orlando, St. Louis and Washington, D.C.

The XFL named the coaches in April and still have not officially announced the cities. The league also has not confirmed where each coach will be assigned.

Per Pro Football Network, Wade Phillips is heading home to Houston, where he went to college and once was an assistant coach with the NFL’s Texans. He also was the head coach of the Denver Broncos, Buffalo Bills and Dallas Cowboys.

Joining him in Texas are former Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, who will lead the Dallas team, and Super Bowl-winning wide receiver Hines Ward, who will be the head coach in San Antonio.

Stoops was the head coach of the Dallas Renegades in the XFL in 2020 before it ended the season prematurely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Former New Orleans Saints head coach Jim Haslett will coach the Seattle team.

The four other teams will be led by first-time head coaches at the pro level: Reggie Barlow in Washington, D.C., Pro Football Hall of Fame member Rod Woodson in Las Vegas, Terrell Buckley in Orlando and Anthony Becht in St. Louis.

Ward also is a first-time head coach.

The rebooted XFL is scheduled to begin play Feb. 18, 2023, less than a week after the NFL plays Super Bowl LVII at Phoenix.

Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Jaylen Twyman was shot four times Monday while visiting family in Washington, D.C., his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

“In talking to (Twyman) today, he’s going to be OK – that’s all that matters,” Rosenhaus said. “We’re thankful he’s OK. He will make a full recovery.”

Rosenhaus said Twyman was in the “wrong place, at the wrong time.”

Twyman was in his car when shot and suffered “superficial, exit wounds,” and he won’t require surgery, Rosenhaus told Schefter. X-rays returned negative, and the Vikings are aware of the situation.

Minnesota selected the defensive lineman in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft. He spent three years at Pittsburgh before going pro.

LeBron James and his Los Angeles Lakers teammates were already upset after a Wisconsin prosecutor on Tuesday decided not to charge a police officer who shot a Black man last year.

Then came Wednesday when a violent mob loyal to President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol to delay Congress from certifying the results of November’s election.

What James watched on television along with his family continued to reinforce his view of the wide divide in the country.

“We live in two Americas and a prime example of that was yesterday. If you don’t understand or see that then you need to take a step back. Not just one step but four or five or even 10 steps backward,” James said Thursday night after the Los Angeles Lakers lost to the San Antonio Spurs 118-109. “How do you want your kids or grandkids to live in this beautiful country? Yesterday was not it. I couldn’t help but to wonder if those were my kind storming the Capitol what would have been the outcome. We all know what would have happened if anyone even got close let alone storm or get in the offices.”

James wore a shirt walking into Staples Center before the game that said “Do you understand now.” He also had it written on his sneakers during the game. Players and coaches from both teams locked arms in a circle at midcourt during the national anthem.

When asked what we meant by his shirt, James said he wants people to understand what athletes and Black people are saying.

“You will never understand the feeling of being a black man and woman in America,” James said. “Do you understand how hard it is to continue to inspire and give everything we got? Everyone jumps on the bandwagon of what we provide, what we bring. How we dress, our music, our culture, our food. Everyone steals from what we do and then they want to act like we did it or brought it to this world. We don’t get our due diligence or anything back to his country except a slap in the face.”

Tuesday’s decision by a prosecutor in Kenosha, Wisconsin, not to bring charges against the officer who shot Jacob Blake, drew ire throughout the NBA. Blake’s shooting was one of many social issues players focused on last summer when play resumed in the Orlando, Florida, bubble.

James has remained a critic of Trump during his four years in office and said that what happened at the U.S. Capitol was a direct correlation of what Trump represents.

“He doesn’t care about this country or his family. We saw the tweets along the whole path to this destruction. Over the last four years we all knew,” he said. “One thing you can never get back is time. We’ve literally just (thrown) away four years.”

“Yesterday was shameful. We are supposed to be setting an example for all other countries on how to run things and change the world and yesterday we looked like a third-, fourth-, fifth-world country. It was embarrassing.”

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who also hasn’t held back in expressing his views about President Trump, said he believed Trump enjoyed Wednesday’s insurrection.

“I believe with all my heart that Trump enjoyed it,” Popovich said 90 minutes before tipoff. “They talked about the police and how easy it was and the barriers were pulled and they just walked right in. That doesn’t happen unless there’s a wink and a nod somewhere. That just doesn’t happen. It’s never happened at any protest anybody’s ever been to.

“That’s why I don’t think it’s so far fetched for people to start talking about the 25th amendment. We know it probably won’t happen.”

Popovich also took time to laud James, calling him an “iconic figure.”

“As a human being and citizen and someone who looks at the social issues of our time, he doesn’t do it with hate. He just tells the truth,” Popovich said of James.

Reaction to the events in Washington, D.C., from around the NBA continued Wednesday night, and Kyle Lowry didn’t hold back.

The Toronto Raptors point guard said the outgoing president is solely responsible for the pro-Donald Trump extremists who stormed the U.S. Capitol building.

The Associated Press reported Wednesday night that four people had died during the incident.

“I was reading … there was four dead after the rioters stormed Congress,” Lowry told reporters after Toronto’s 123-115 loss to the Phoenix Suns. “And the man that was president, like he told them to do it. That man is a criminal, like he should be charged. You basically told them to go do this, and people died.”

Lowry echoed Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers, saying it was notable that law enforcement and security failed to stop the rioters because if they were a different ethnicity, the results may have been different.

“The fact that people were allowed to basically rush in and take over a federal building … if they were people of color it would have been a whole different situation,” Lowry said.

Lowry also voiced his opinion after Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley decided on Tuesday not to charge the police officer who shot Black man Jacob Blake seven times in the back last summer.

“What happened in Kenosha with the officer not being charged is just kind of a slap in the face to Black people all over the world,” he said.

The Raptors and Suns linked arms in solidarity during the national anthems Wednesday. Lowry said the decision was made by both teams as a statement.

“We just kind of wanted to show our unity together,” he said.

Anaheim Ducks head coach Dallas Eakins condemned the violent protests by supporters of President Donald Trump at the United States Capitol on Wednesday.

“When I was young, 18 or 19 years old, it was like this pause and you’d look up at these buildings and how long they had been there and what they meant to this country and what they have endured over the years and all the unbelievably important decisions that went on there,” Eakins said Thursday, according to The Orange County Register’s Elliott Teaford.

“And what happened yesterday is something we usually see on TV, and it’s a reporter very far away in another country showing us what’s going on in another country,” he added. “And to me, the amount of sacrifice that all these people who have put their lives on the line, around the world, in the military to keep us safe, to keep us safe from something like that, it literally sickens me.”

Eakins was born in Florida and has coached in both the United States and Canada. He voiced his frustration with how divided the U.S. is and the violence that has arisen as a result.

“It makes me want to tear up. It makes me angry that we don’t have the common sense to debate, talk, use your vote, anything peaceful to get change,” he said. “You might see things one way. I might see things another. That doesn’t mean we’ve got to stand there and punch the crap out of each other.”

The Ducks began their training camp last week, and Eakins said Wednesday’s events were “a big topic” in the club’s dressing room.

WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley has apparently called on WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon to remove President Donald Trump from the Hall of Fame.

Foley took to Twitter this afternoon, shortly after Trump’s speech at a rally in Washington, DC and pro-Trump protesters stormed the U.S. Capitol. While Foley did not name the President, he seemingly asked McMahon to remove Trump from the WWE Hall of Fame.

“Hey Vince – how about throwing this sorry son of a b—h out of our Hall of Fame? @VinceMcMahon,” Foley wrote.

Foley has posted other tweets and re-tweeted other messages critical of Trump today.

Trump was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by Vince McMahon in 2013, the same year that Foley was inducted. Vince has been friends with Trump over the years, while Linda McMahon once worked in the Trump Administration, and remains a supporter.

Riho became the first ever AEW Women’s Champion after an exhilarating encounter that comfortably stole the first ever episode of the company’s new TNT vehicle.

An unlikely outcome considering the promotion’s focus on Rose thus far (she has appeared on every pay-per-view and is heavily featured in the show’s branding and promotional material), Riho’s sold, sold and sold for the awesome monster Rose to build to her climactic and evocative victory. Winning with the double stop, she barely suppressed Rose for the three and took a further kicking afterwards, suggesting that the two may go again in the near future.

Going head-to-head with NXT’s own Women’s Title clash (in an act of serendipity or covert design), the contest was made all the more historic for both brands representing the league so proudly during important second hour slots. Fans will likely argue which match bettered the other, but both were roundly favoured as match-of-the-night efforts, highlighting again how hard so many wrestlers have worked to elevate it over the last decade. 

A post-match scene saw Champion Riho and Michael Nakazawa (acting as her interviewer and interpreter) decked by Rose before Kenny Omega himself made the save.

AEW has finally revealed the debut of its weekly live TV show.

As announced on TNT Twitter account (@AEWonTNT), AEW’s first tv show will premiere on October 2nd in the 8PM ET time slot and will air LIVE from the Capitol One Arena in Washington, DC. 

Curiously, AEW’s weekly tv show does not yet appear to have a name. The promotional material is all about the All Elite Wrestling branding. 

Still, this expected news is truly a game-changer of a development: big time, mainstream pro wrestling is back. This is something fans have yearned for for a very, very long time.

Tickets and pricing for AEW’s first live show will be announced Monday 29th July at 12pm ET via AEW’s social media platforms. 

The show, if nothing else, will help establish AEW’s credentials as competition, and bring to an end increasingly tiresome dialogue. The sweeping, babyface statements and the momentum generated by Double Or Nothing comes to a head in October.

Will wins and losses truly matter? How big a draw are the Elite, really?

Ironically, at Fight For The Fallen, Cody remarked that, “You can’t counter-programme AEW”. Recent reports indicate that WWE are planning to do precisely that by airing NXT on FS1 head to head.

Everybody wanted a new wrestling war, and here it is.

But whose side are you on?

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It has been officially announced that Pep Hamilton will become the XFL’s second coach and general manager, as he will oversee the untitled Washington D.C. XFL team. This comes just a couple of weeks after the announcement that Bob Stoops will be head coach and general manager of the Dallas franchise.

In a statement, Hamilton said, “I’m excited to join the XFL and lead the team in Washington, a city with which I have a lifelong attachment. I appreciate the confidence Vince McMahon and Oliver Luck have in me, providing an opportunity to be the head coach and placing the football operations of their Washington team in my hands. We plan to put together a terrific, hard-working staff, and a great football team for fans in and around our nation’s capital.”

Hamilton has worked with the Browns, Colts, Bears, 49ers, and Jets, as well as Michigan, Stanford, and Howard University’s football teams. This will mark his first job head coaching a team.

The six cities that have yet to determine a head coach for their XFL teams are:

* Houston, Texas
* Los Angeles, California
* New York
* St. Louis, Missouri
* Seattle, Washington
* Tampa Bay, Florida

Vince McMahon is scheduled to relaunch the XFL in 2020 on Saturday, February 8 and Sunday, February 9, the weekend following the NFL’s Super Bowl.