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XFL Announcers Keep Their Heads On A Swivel, Stay On Their Toes On The Sidelines

Entering Week 2, former soccer player Dianna Russini says she'll need marathon running skills; former QB Tom Luginbill might have pulled a hammy

Fans had an overwhelmingly positive reaction to last week’s 2020 XFL kickoff. In addition to offering live audio of play calls and coach-to-player communication, in-game interviews were another popular aspect of the coverage on ABC and ESPN. On-field reporter Dianna Russini and field-level analysts Tom Luginbill and Pat McAfee spoke with a variety of coaches and players during both games – even a DC Defenders kicker after a missed field goal.

In the video above, Russini recaps her Week 1 XFL experience, discussing the unprecedented access she enjoyed and just how exhausting it was for her to race up and down the sidelines throughout the game.

The XFL continues this weekend with a pair of Week 2 games on ABC. On Saturday at 2 p.m. ET, the New York Guardians face the DC Defenders in a battle of unbeaten teams, while the Dallas Renegades play the Los Angeles Wildcats on Sunday at 3 p.m. In the Sunday game, Cole Cubelic will fill in for McAfee as the field analyst while college football reporter Molly McGrath will also work her first XFL game.

Shelby L. Lacy and Bill Hofheimer produced the video.

Illustration by Bill Hofheimer

Luginbill: “I’ve never been so physically exhausted following a broadcast in my entire life”

After his Week 1 XFL experience, Tom Luginbill knows his way around Audi Field, home of the XFL’s DC Defenders. Luginbill: “I’ve been a field analyst for seven years and I’m used to moving around a lot and at a pretty fast pace in my normal role, but I’ve never been so physically exhausted following a broadcast in my entire life. I looked at my Apple Watch and I was over 14,000 steps – and we weren’t even done with the game yet. The other thing that is actually kind of funny – I literally think I might’ve slightly pulled my left hamstring. As a scholarship athlete, I’d never pulled a muscle in my life.”

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