Orlando Rage
Team logo
Founded2001
Folded2001; 21 years ago (2001)
Based inOrlando, Florida
Home stadiumCitrus Bowl
Head coachGalen Hall
General managerTom Veit
LeagueXFL
DivisionEastern
ColorsRed, navy blue, gold, white[1]
       
Division titles1 (2001)

The Orlando Rage was an American football team based in Orlando, Florida as part of the XFL, begun by Vince McMahon of the World Wrestling Federation and by NBC, a major television network in the United States.

History

The team's colors were scarlet, yellow, navy blue and white with jersey numbers in a unique jagged font. They played their home games at Orlando's Florida Citrus Bowl, which was configured so that the upper deck was closed off and all fans were seated in the lower bowl to give a better appearance for television (a move that was effective, as the Rage had one of the stronger fan bases in the league, with average attendance at over two-thirds of the lower bowl's capacity; the team sold out all 36,000 lower bowl seats for its home opener).[2] The team's General Manager was Tom Veit a former Major League Soccer Vice President and were coached by former Florida Gators head coach Galen Hall. They were in the XFL's Eastern Division with the NY/NJ Hitmen, Chicago Enforcers and Birmingham Thunderbolts.

The Rage were one of the two teams who opted not to don nicknames on the back of their jerseys. In the Rage's case, the decision was made by a majority vote of the players (despite the objections of starting quarterback Jeff Brohm, who openly embraced the XFL's approach to sports entertainment and wanted to wear "J Bro" on his jersey).[3]

Jeff Brohm, at the time also under contract to the Cleveland Browns, was the quarterback of the Rage for most of the regular season, amassing a 6–0 record as starter during his first time at the helm. The team looked to be the league's powerhouse franchise under Brohm and was on pace for a perfect season (coincidentally, Orlando's next professional football team, the Florida Tuskers, would also win their first six games in a row before losing the seventh). He showed his toughness after he suffered an injury from a devastating hit by at the hands of Memphis Maniax defensive end Shante Carver in Week 5. Despite suffering a concussion in the hit and doctors' advice not to play, Brohm came back a week later against Las Vegas, giving a rousing speech stating that he was returning because it was the XFL and he still had a pulse.[3] The following week he suffered a shoulder injury against the Los Angeles Xtreme and his season (and playing career) was done for good. It led to him being replaced by Brian Kuklick after six games. While Kuklick filled in the role of quarterback acceptably, the team lost a valuable leader on offense. The team went 2–2 in Kuklick's care; Kuklick, despite only starting four games, led the league in interceptions with 10.

The team finished their only regular season with an 8–2 record, the best in the league, but were upset in the first round of the playoffs by the 5–5 San Francisco Demons. Orlando had an early 16–0 advantage but allowed San Francisco to pull ahead and take a 26–16 lead by the fourth quarter. Using the XFL's newly introduced three-point conversion rule on a subsequent touchdown, the Rage got within one point but the Demons successfully ran out the clock and won 26–25. San Francisco would go on to lose the XFL Championship Game versus Los Angeles 38–6. Many in the league were disappointed, hoping for a match-up against the two division champions. NBC dropped the XFL after the first season (2001) due to dismal ratings, and the league folded soon afterward.

XFL returns to Florida

Main article: Tampa Bay Vipers

In December 2018, the revival of the XFL announced that it would return to Florida. Because the Alliance of American Football's Orlando Apollos already laid claim to the Orlando market, the XFL opted to place the new team in Tampa, Florida, 80 miles (130 km) southwest of Orlando and connected to that city by way of Interstate 4. The league was exploring relocating the Vipers to Orlando shortly before the league suspended operations and went bankrupt in April 2020.[4]

Season-by-season

Season records
Season W L T Finish Playoff results
2001 8 2 0 1st Eastern Lost Semifinals (San Francisco)
Totals 8 3 0 (including playoffs)

Schedule

Regular season

Date Opponent Result Record Game site
Saturday, February 3, 2001 Chicago Enforcers W 33–29 1–0 Florida Citrus Bowl
Saturday, February 10, 2001 San Francisco Demons W 26–14 2–0 Florida Citrus Bowl
Sunday, February 18, 2001 at New York/New Jersey Hitmen W 18–12 3–0 Giants Stadium
Saturday, February 24, 2001 Birmingham Thunderbolts W 30–6 4–0 Florida Citrus Bowl
Sunday, March 4, 2001 at Memphis Maniax W 21–19 5–0 Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
Saturday, March 10, 2001 Las Vegas Outlaws W 27–15 6–0 Florida Citrus Bowl
Sunday, March 18, 2001 at Los Angeles Xtreme L 6–31 6–1 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Sunday, March 25, 2001 New York/New Jersey Hitmen W 17–12 7–1 Florida Citrus Bowl
Saturday, March 31, 2001 at Birmingham Thunderbolts W 29–24 8–1 Legion Field
Sunday, April 8, 2001 at Chicago Enforcers L 6–23 8–2 Soldier Field

Post-season

Playoff round Date Opponent Result Record Game site
Semi-final Saturday, April 14, 2001 San Francisco Demons L 25–26 0–1 Florida Citrus Bowl

Personnel

Staff

2001 Orlando Rage staff
Front office
  • Vice president/general manager – Tom Veit
  • Director of player personnel – Will McClay

Head coaches

  • Head coach/director of football operations – Galen Hall

Offensive coaches

  • Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks – Mike Kelly
  • Wide receivers – Mike Jones
  • Tight ends – Les Moss
  • Offensive line – Whitey Jordan
  • Quality control/offense – Matt Moore
Defensive coaches
  • Defensive coordinator/linebackers – Charlie Bailey
  • Defensive line – Mickey Mays
  • Secondary – Steve Carson
  • Quality control/defense – Tom Silvanic

Special teams coaches

  • Special teams – Andy Cox


Source:[5]

Roster

2001 Orlando Rage final roster
Quarterbacks

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen

Linebackers

Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists


Practice squad


Rookies in italics
, 8 practice squad

Standings

Eastern Division
Team W L T PCT PF PA STK
Orlando Rage 8 2 0 .800 207 162 L1
Chicago Enforcers 5 5 0 .500 163 178 W1
New York/New Jersey Hitmen 4 6 0 .400 110 145 W1
Birmingham Thunderbolts 2 8 0 .200 131 217 L7

Source:[6]

Statistical leaders

Awards and honors

Awards

Season Coach Award
2001 Galen Hall Coach of the Year[7]

Honors

Season Player Position Honor
2001 Jeff Brohm QB All-XFL team [8]
James Burgess LB
Jason Gamble G

References

  1. ^ "Orlando Rage Logo Sheet". SSUR.org. Archived from the original on November 28, 2010. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  2. ^ Simmons, Roger (January 25, 2018). "XFL, fast-paced and fan-friendly, returning in 2020; Orlando interested in getting team". Orlando Sentinel.
  3. ^ a b Carmin, Mike (July 27, 2017). "Jeff Brohm's XFL mic drop moment follows him to Purdue". Gannett News Service. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  4. ^ Fischer, Ben (April 17, 2020). "Last Call for the XFL". Sports Business Journal. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
  5. ^ 2001 Orlando Rage Media Guide. XFL. pp. 4–12.
  6. ^ "XFL Standings". USA Today. May 12, 2001. Retrieved February 18, 2011.
  7. ^ "Orlando's Hall Picked As Coach Of The Year". Orlando Sentinel. April 20, 2001. Retrieved February 18, 2011.
  8. ^ "3 Rage Players Named To All-XFL Team". Orlando Sentinel. April 28, 2001. Retrieved February 18, 2011.