A few things you should know about the World League of American Football:
?Before the Birmingham Fire's home opener, on March 23 against the Montreal Machine, Jerry Lee Lewis will perform Great Balls of Fire on a piano at midfield. The city fire marshal nixed the team's original plan to set the piano on fire when Lewis finished singing.
?Sacramento Surge quarterback Ben Bennett's new nickname is the Surgin' General.
?The London Monarch cheerleaders, the Crown Jewels, are led by choreographer Joy Howarth, who formerly worked with Paula Abdul.
?When the WLAF called to ask former University of Oklahoma running back Lydell Carr to sign on, a woman was moaning and screaming in the background. "It's my wife," said Carr. "She's having a baby."
?Former Seattle Seahawk running back Tony Burse, now a member of the Surge, was asked on a questionnaire to name the nonathlete he would most like to meet. Burse wrote, " Dave Krieg."
?The WLAF did not adopt two dreaded NFL rules—instant replay and a penalty for excessive end zone celebrations.
?Of the 66 running backs who were signed by the league, six were not taken in the draft. Among the six was Joe Dudek, the former Division III All-America from Plymouth ( N.H.) State and SI coverboy.
?Before the season is over, the USA cable network hopes to outfit a WLAF quarterback or two with a helmetcam during a game. The helmetcam, described by USA producer Ken Wolfe as "half the size of your thumb," is still being perfected.
?When the San Antonio Riders score, a white horse will circle the track at Alamo Stadium. When the opposition scores, a donkey will take a lap.