When Anthony Becht returned to the Hilton Garden Inn following St. Louis’ stunning Week 1 comeback over San Antonio, the hotel staff had a surprise waiting on ice – a bottle of bubbly for the Battlehawks’ rookie head coach to celebrate his first career win.

Becht posted a champagne picture on social media and a tradition was born. With each Battlehawks victory, Becht received another and he toasted along with the fans online.

“I had help from my wife the first week, after that I didn’t finish many of those bottles,” he said.

“I wanted to have nine bottles lined up after the championship and just save them all, have the last one that’s not corked yet. I had a nice little idea for that but, maybe next year we’ll come up with that.”

St. Louis was left outside the XFL playoff picture despite a 7-3 record, and Becht covered a variety of topics that are top of mind for STL fans in his last session with the media.

  • Bewilderment regarding the XFL playoff system. He believes changes will be made.
  • Gratitude for the St. Louis fan base
  • Appreciation for his quarterback A.J. McCarron, leaving open an invitation to him for 2024
  • A pledge to return as Battlehawks’ head coach next season with a playoff-caliber team

Becht’s postgame tradition inspired this season recap for Scoops – here are my the Top 7 “champagne bottles” of the year.

No. 7 – Trailing 12-11 in the 4th quarter at Seattle in Week 2, McCarron stares down a blitz and takes a hard shot after delivering a perfect ball to Hakeem Butler, who sprints 45 yards for a touchdown.

No. 6 – Donny Hageman drills an XFL record 59-yard field goal before halftime in STL’s Week 7 win at Arlington.

No. 5 – Tight end Jake Sutherland breaks wide open for his first career TD to give STL a 20-17 lead over D.C. in Week 3.

No. 4 – McCarron and Butler shred the Orlando Guardians in Week 10, as St. Louis scores XFL record 53 points and McCarron throws for 420 yards and six touchdowns.

No. 3 – As the first half clock wound under 20 seconds, McCarron connects with Darrius Shepherd for the first TD in the Dome. Cue Nelly’s Ride Wit Me and the XFL record 38,310 Battlehawks’ fans.

No. 2 – McCarron threads a bullet to Austin Proehl to cap a frantic last-minute comeback in Week 1 over San Antonio as WR coach Ricky Proehl and Becht embrace on the sidelines.

No. 1 – Punter Sterling Hofrichter and Gary Jennings Jr., connect for a 64-yard touchdown on a fake punt that sparks another Battlehawks’ come-from-behind win at the Dome, this one a 21-17 OT victory over Vegas – the first OT game in XFL history.





Andy Carroll

Andy Carroll

Andy Carroll is a freelance sports writer living in the Ozarks with his wife and four great kids. He loves St. Louis, toasted ravioli and minor league baseball. You can follow him on Twitter @carroll_sgf and Instagram @andycarroll505