The Bucs and the XFL
The XFL was a one-year wonder league launched in 2001 by Vince McMahon of the World Wresting Federation. It featured eight teams across the US, playing a 10-week schedule and some interesting rule changes including no fair catches on punts and a two-player free-for-all instead of the coin toss at the start of the game.

The league folded after pretty dismal TV ratings and attendances, but not without making a splash in more ways than one. The cheerleaders were certainly a lot more risque than those found in the NFL, use of in-game cameras, huddle microphones and sideline interviews livened things up, but could not overcome the quite awful standard of football played at times during the season.
XFL 2001 Final Standings
Orlando Rage8-2
Los Angeles Xtreme7-3
San Francisco Demons6-4
Chicago Enforcers5-5
Memphis Maniax5-5
Las Vegas Outlaws4-6
NY/NJ Hitmen3-7
Birmingham Thunderbolts2-8


But there was a great deal of Buccaneer interest in the XFL. Rusty Tillman who served as defensive co-ordinator to Sam Wyche in 1995, was the head coach of the New York/New Jersey Hitman, and former Buc assistant coach Kippy Brown took the helm of the Memphis Maniax. NFL Europe was represented as Amsterdam's mad Al Luginbill coached the LA Xtreme, the Rhein Fire's Galen Hall was coach of the year of the Orlando Rage, and the Claymores' Jim Criner led the Las Vegas Outlaws.

The XFL even had its own draft prior to the season starting and the first two picks were former Buccaneer quarterbacks. Scott Milanovich (pictured right) went first to Los Angeles Xtreme, followed by the Birmingham Thunderbolts' selection of Casey Weldon. Another former Buc QB, Mike Pawlawski (pictured above) went to the San Francisco Demons, whilst Jeff Brohm's acquisition by the Orlando Rage meant that half the starting QBs in the XFL were ex-Buccaneers.

The 2001 XFL season ended with the Los Angeles Xtreme hammering the San Francisco Demons 38-6 in the "Million Dollar Game" and despite promises of the league being back in 2002, the announcement of its demise came later that year. It will remain a series of trivia points for gridiron fans for years to come, most notably the details of the Buccaneer players who were part of it.

Buccaneer players in the XFL
PlayerTeamPosXFL Performance
Clifton AbrahamLAXCBPlayed cornerback for the championship winning LA Xtreme and had three tackles in that game. Originally a 5th round pick of the Bucs in 1995 who played six games under Sam Wyche that season.
Tyji ArmstrongCHITEThe great Tyji - ex-Amsterdam Admiral, thankfully as an ex-Buc. Was a 3rd round pick of the Bucs back in 1992 and had four receptions for 33 yards for the Enforcers of the XFL.
Dan GoodspeedORLOL/TEA member of the 2002 Buccaneers having been signed from the practice squad. Played as a back-up lineman and tight end for the Orlando Rage.
Alvin HarperMEMWRYes the great Alvin Harper even played in the XFL. Had one reception for eight yards for the Maniax and then disappeared back into the hole that he came out of to sign for the Bucs.
Corey IvyCHICBPlied his trade for the Frankfurt Galaxy having been allocated to NFL Europe by the Bucs in 2003. Got into one game in the 2001 season at Detroit. Led the XFL with five interceptions and was named to the All-League team. Also returned kicks for a 21.2 average and had one sack.
Darnell McDonaldSFWROriginally a 7th round pick of the Bucs, he made it on to the roster briefly in 1999. Had some off-field problems and was promptly cut by Tony Dungy. Led the XFL with eight touchdowns with 34 receptions for 456 yards. Had seven catches for 82 yards in the championship game.
Scott MilanovichLAXQBSpent the XFL season as back-up to championship game MVP Tommy Maddox. Completed two of nine passes for 45 yards with one interception in mop-up duty during the season, and was 1 of 4 for 23 yards in the championship game blowout of San Francisco.
Yo MurphyLVWRThe former Claymore favourite had three receiving touchdowns for the Las Vegas Outlaws during the regular season. Wound up back in the NFL with the Rams and returned the opening kickoff of the Super Bowl against New England.
Mike PawlawskiSFQBOriginally a 1992 draft pick, he has spent the past decade playing in the Arena League before going back to quarterback outside. Led the league with 1,659 yards passing and 12 touchdowns but was held in check in the championship game loss to LA going 8 of 20 for just 74 yards and two picks.
Willy TateCHITEAnother former Claymore who spent 1996 playing as a back-up tight end with the Bucs. Had nine receptions starting for the Enforcers.
Casey WeldonBIRQBSpent four years as a back-up with the Bucs and even played in NFL Europe for the Barcelona Dragons. Led the Enforcers for most of the season with 1,228 yards passing and seven touchdowns including a 300-yard game. Also got injured before the end of the season.