LOS ANGELES (April 22, 2001 12:53 a.m. EDT
http://www.sportserver.com) - Tommy Maddox, out
of football and running an insurance agency two
years ago, beamed and held the XFL championship
trophy high over his head as he trotted first to
the stands on one side, then across the field to
The fans remaining in the Coliseum cheered
Maddox after he led the Los Angeles Xtreme to a
38-6 victory over the San Francisco Demons in
the XFL's first title game Saturday night.
"I'm going to enjoy this for a long
time," Maddox, an NFL backup from 1992-96,
said after throwing for two touchdowns. "To
be the first XFL team to win a championship,
it's just so exciting I don't even know what to
The "Million Dollar Game" drew a
crowd of 24,153 to the 90,000-seat Coliseum.
Attendance was some 10,000 fewer than the
Xtreme's inaugural game at home, but almost
double the gate of 13,081 for Los Angeles'
semifinal victory over Chicago a week earlier.
The Xtreme's defense, led by Ron Carpenter's
two interceptions, shut out the Demons until the
final 25 seconds after earlier blanking San
Francisco in the regular-season finale.
"Our defense played great; they made
some huge plays," Maddox said. "We
thought it was going to be a dogfight, that the
last game was kind of a fluke.
"You never imagine a championship being
38-6, so it was a great feeling."
Jose Cortez, who had been working as a roofer
in Oregon before the new league started, kicked
four field goals, including a 50-yarder that put
the Xtreme up 21-0 as time expired in the first
San Francisco coach Jim Skipper was
"It seemed like we could never get
anything going," he said. "It was the
same old thing, whatever could go wrong, went
wrong. It was one of those nights.
"We couldn't catch the ball. We fumbled
it. They intercepted it, they squibbed the ball,
we can't field it. We tried a quick kick, they
fumbled it and we're all running to it and
'Zoom,' they're out the back door."
That "out the back door" was Reggie
Durden's 71-yard punt return for a TD as Los
Angeles took control in the first two quarters.
The Xtreme, who finished 9-3, will split the
$1 million bonus 45 ways because the 38 players
on the regular roster voted to include the seven
players on their practice squad. That works out
to $22,222 per man, about half what each earned
for the entire 10-game regular season.
Maddox, taken by Denver in the first round of
the 1992 NFL draft, completed 16 of 28 for 210
yards and was intercepted once in the
Cortez, who finished the inaugural XFL season
by making 24 of his last 26 field-goal attempts,
connected from 37, 34 and 50 yards. He added a
22-yarder in the third quarter.
Saladin McCullough rushed for 109 yards on 20
carries for Los Angeles.
"I don't think if we went out and wrote
a script, we could have played better. It was a
dominating effort," said Xtreme coach Al
Luginbill, whose background includes time as the
San Diego State coach and more recently as coach
of NFL Europe's Amsterdam team.
The Demons, who finished 6-6, were unable to
generate any offense against the Xtreme, who had
beaten them 24-0 in the final regular-season
game after losing 15-13 in the season opener at
In the rematch for the title, the Demons'
Mike Pawlawkski threw for just 74 yards,
completing 8 of 20, with two interceptions. The
Xtreme so dominated that its first punt of the
game came early in the fourth quarter.
Until third-string quarterback Oteman Sampson
ran 21 yards for a TD in the final minute, the
closest the Demons had come to scoring was when
Mike Panasuk's 44-yard field goal try that fell
short in the second quarter.
While small, the crowd was lively and vocal.
Some fans wore Xtreme jerseys, a few sported
Demons jerseys, but even more wore Raiders
silver and black.
McMahon, whose World Wrestling Federation and
NBC jointly own the XFL, presented the
championship trophy, giving fans handslaps as he
worked his way down the stands and onto the
Although the XFL's TV ratings were poor this
year and NBC likely won't continue to televise
games, McMahon says the league will be back for
a second season, telling the fans at the
Coliseum, "See you next year."