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The New York/New Jersey Hitmen (later shortened simply to the New Jersey Hitmen) were a short-lived American football team based in the Giants Stadiummarker of the Meadowlands Sports Complexmarker in East Rutherford, New Jerseymarker.

This team was part of the failed XFL begun by Vince McMahon of the World Wrestling Federation and by NBC, a major television network in the United Statesmarker. Its general manager was former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver, and New Jerseymarker native, Drew Pearson.

They were part of the Eastern Division with the Birmingham Thunderbolts, Orlando Rage and Chicago Enforcers. They finished in 3rd place with a 4-6 record. The head coach was former NFL assistant Rusty Tillman, who was not a fan of the league's gimmicks or personalities - specifically commentator Jesse Ventura, who called him "Gutless Rusty" on a regular basis.

NBC dropped the XFL concept after the first season 2001 due to dismal ratings, and the league folded shortly afterwards.

The name "Hitmen," which implies a hired criminal, was one of the icons of the XFL's short life and the butt of many jokes about the league (quips of teams such as the fictional "Kansas City Shoplifters" coined by Saturday Night Live, for instance). The name was taken from former World Wrestling Federation star Bret "The Hitman" Hart.


NY-NJ Hitmen players

  • 24 Dino Philyaw RB college (Oregon): Philyaw saw playing time in the NFL for New England, Carolina, New Orleans and St. Louis as well as NFL Europe

  • 43 Jon Rucini WR college (Alcorn State): Played with the Hitmen before launching a campaign for the Office of New Jersey State Comptroller.

  • 36 Brad Trout Safety (Valdosta State Universitymarker) Made the All-XFL team as a Free Safety. Also played for the following NFL teams: Denver Broncos, Atlanta Falcons, and the KC Chiefs. Spent a year with the NFL Europe Barcelona Dragons.

Team Leaders

Hitmen Alternate Logo
Rushing Yards: 328, Joe Aska.

Receiving Yards: 404, Kirby Dar Dar.

Passing Yards: 804, Wally Richardson.

External links

2001 4 6 0 3rd Eastern --

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