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  • Thursday, August 3, 2000

    Pearson appointed GM of NY/NJ franchise

     EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- The XFL's as-yet-unnamed New York/New Jersey franchise hired three-time All-Pro receiver Drew Pearson as its general manager on Thursday.

     The announcement was made at Giants Stadium, where the team will play when the season begins Feb. 3.

     Pearson promised hard-hitting, fast-paced action, saying that would be in contrast to the NFL.

     The new league is the brainchild of Vince McMahon, head of the World Wrestling Federation. The WWF will operate it with help from a $30 million investment by NBC.

     Pearson caught the first pro touchdown pass in Giants Stadium as a member of the rival Dallas Cowboys in 1976. Since his retirement, he has headed Drew Pearson Marketing, based in Dallas.

     "It's a pleasure to finally get a round of applause here in Giants Stadium," he quipped. "I usually get booed here."

     He said the XFL will provide plenty of hard-hitting, fast-paced action. Rules designed to encourage speedy and encourage harder hitting will couple with television cameras and microphones in players' helmets, on the sidelines and in the locker rooms.

     "If you score a touchdown and you don't take your helmet off and do a dance in the end zone, that's a 15-yard penalty," he joked.

     Pearson, whose 11-year career with Dallas included three Super Bowls, promised his franchise will work hard to win football fans' hearts.

     "You don't become a professional football team simply because you say that, or because you pay your players," he said. "I have too much respect for professional football to say we're going to be that quality on Day One."

     Other franchises are in Birmingham, Ala.; Chicago; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Memphis, Tenn,; Orlando, Fla., and San Jose, Cal.



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