LOS ANGELES A hot tub brimming with bikini-clad women, a lifeguard stand on a patch of sand and a party tent just beyond the end zone: Pro football returned to Los Angeles on Saturday night, but it obviously wasn't the NFL.
Tommy Maddox lived up to his old UCLA nickname, gunning down the Enforcers with 65 passes.
Former UCLA quarterback Tommy Maddox, an NFL castoff, threw 65 passes, completing 38 for 412 yards and four touchdowns Saturday night, the last on Los Angeles' second possession of overtime, as the Xtreme won their home debut 39-32 over Chicago.
A loud, slightly rowdy crowd of 35,813, many of whom wore Raiders' gear, watched as the Xtreme evened their record at 1-1 and the Enforcers fell to 0-2.
"To be able to give them a game like this is going to do a lot for our franchise," a slightly giddy Maddox said. "It's going to make people realize how exciting it is. With the fireworks, the crowd and everything, there's nothing that compares with this."
After bringing Los Angeles back from a 25-13 deficit with two fourth-quarter scoring drives, Maddox capped his big homecoming with a 20-yard scoring pass to Darnell McDonald in the second overtime.
The game also was a homecoming for Xtreme defensive tackle Matt Keneley, who played for the USC Trojans.
"The last game I played here at the Coliseum was against Notre Dame. We ended their streak (against USC) in 1996," Keneley said. "It's hard to tell whether tonight's game was sweeter. But tonight's game was the most exciting game I have ever played in."
Los Angeles coach Al Luginbill was impressed by the atmosphere.
"People, music, interviews (during the game)," he said. "And the fact that you can afford to bring your family. I would bring my family."
Ken Hammergren, a sometime fan who last attended a football game at the Coliseum when the Raiders were in town, noted that the XFL game attracted a lot of fans in their 20s.
"People really seem to be really enjoying the game. I think this XFL may just take off," Hammergren said.
The game, the first pro football contest of any significance in the Los Angeles area since the Raiders and Rams left following the 1994 NFL season, had a few technical glitches.
NBC, which co-owns the new league with Vince McMahon's World Wrestling Federation, lost power to its truck a generator ran out of gas and missed televising most of the first quarter. The network lost its feed 1:45 into the contest, switched to San Francisco's game at Orlando, then returned to the Enforcers-Xtreme with 4:30 left in the first quarter when the generator was refueled.
When Los Angeles' Rashan Sheehee headed for the goal line early in the game, celebratory fireworks erupted on the rim of the Coliseum. Only Sheehee's 3-yard run was a yard shy of the end zone. Maddox then sneaked in for the TD, and the fireworks began again.
There was a carnival atmosphere in the stands, and particularly in the "Xtreme Zone" ? the potted palm-lined area where the party tent was located. Early in the second half, one Chicago fan stood isolated in the stands ? with others scrambling to get out of the line of fire as Xtreme fans pelted him with wadded-up paper, food and beer. He seemed unfazed.
Another fan waved a sign reading, "I'm here for nothing but cheerleaders."
Los Angeles kicker Jose Cortez slipped on his first field goal try, missing from 34 yards. He missed another 34-yarder in the first half, and one fan said, "He better have kept his roofing tools." Cortez has worked as a roofer in Corvallis, Ore.
Led by Lester, a high school math teacher and assistant coach back in Michigan, and former Miami Dolphins running back John Avery, the Enforcers built a 25-13 halftime lead.
Jermaine Copeland, a member of the University of Tennessee's 1998 national champions who played for NFL Europe's Barcelona team last year, had 17 receptions for 190 yards for the Xtreme.
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