Dick Butkus, XFL Director of Competition and Rules Enforcement, announced a major rule change for XFL defenses this week. The league will drop the “bump-and-run” rule in favor of no contact between receiver and defender after five yards. At first thought to be balanced by the backfield forward motion of the receiver, which allowed receivers to get a head start on defensive backs, many XFL quarterbacks and receivers where unable to get open and the offenses suffered, turning most games into low-scoring, defensive struggles. While this might be “smashmouth football,” it isn’t fun football, as the XFL’s declining ratings seem to indicate. “By eliminating the bump and run rule and adopting the current rules for pass defenders used in professional football, we hope to stimulate offensive production,” said Basil V. DeVito, Jr., XFL President. “Entertaining and fast-paced football has been the XFL’s goal from the outset and this rule change is in keeping with that goal. It is our feeling that the bump and run rule has hindered the forward motion rule that was intended to give offenses greater flexibility.” Butkus has also been named as a temporary replacement for the popular Memphis wrestler Jerry “The King” Lawler, who left the WWF after his wife, Stacy “The Kat” Carter was fired from her position in the wrestling league. Butkus will join co-host Matt Vasgersian for the XFL’s secondary broadcasts until a permanent replacement is selected.


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