ST. LOUIS — If the St. Louis BattleHawks were a stock, you would definitely be buying as much as you could right now. Not only is St. Louis' XFL team impressing on the field, they're rallying all of St. Louis together with them.
After four weeks the BattleHawks are on top of their division, selling out The Dome, endearing themselves to St. Louis and looking like the class of the XFL.
Now, before a bunch of angry Houston Roughnecks fans find this article and remind me that they're still undefeated — including a win over St. Louis — I want them to know I'm aware of it. Houston has proven to be the best team in the league on the field. They're undefeated and Phillip Walker and Cam Phillips are the must-see TV.
But there's something truly special happening in St. Louis. It remains to be seen just how long the XFL will be relevant, but right now, the BattleHawks are showing the rest of the league how to do things right.
On the field, the BattleHawks are alone at the top of the XFL East at 3-1, with that only loss coming by just four points in Week 2 against Houston.
St. Louis quarterback Jordan Ta'amu looks like one of the front-runners for league MVP, sitting second in the XFL in passing and fifth in rushing. The defense has been suffocating, allowing just 15.5 points per game. And the special teams unit led by kicker Taylor Russolino and punter Marquette King has become an easy fan favorite.
If the BattleHawks can beat D.C. on Sunday, they'll be 4-1 through the first half of their schedule and could have a two-game lead in the division. In a ten-game season, that should nearly guarantee them a spot on the four-team playoffs.
And if you ask the players, the 3-1 start is just the beginning.
"I feel great about where we're at. I know what type of team we are," safety Will Hill said."I love our coaches. I know everybody is going to fight. That's all you can ask for in a team."
"We haven't even reached where we can go yet. Most of this is new," receiver L'Damian Washington said. "Developing chemistry and seeing how certain people react to certain games. So we're learning on the fly, but it's good when you're learning and winning."
But the BattleHawks aren't just getting it done on the field. They're getting it done all over St. Louis.
More than 57,000 were sold to watch the BattleHawks take flight at The Dome for the first two home games of the season. Their first two games rank as the No. 1 and No. 3 biggest crowds of any XFL game this season.
The BattleHawks have sold more apparel than any other team in the league, and have churned out TV ratings that dwarf other markets.
But the BattleHawks are also building a relationship with their new town. The players have been very engaging with fans, and are making an effort to get out into the community and volunteer. Creating a relationship with St. Louis was something head coach Johnathan Hayes was always going to emphasize from the day he took over.
"Our guys are out every Tuesday. Every day off in the community," Hayes said. "When I first got here and you guys were in the press conference with me I told you we were going to be a part of this community. We were going to be a part of St. Louis."
It seems like both city and team are rolling with the same mentality. Nobody knows just how long this is going to last, but let's enjoy it while it's here. It's a mentality that has very clearly paid off nearly halfway through the season.
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