(Tommy Maddox photo courtesy of the Pittsburgh Steelers)
Talk of Fame Network
The XFL wasn’t around a long time, but it had a good time.
The made-for-TV league lasted but one season in 2001. But it gave football fans one of the most memorable nicknames in football lore – “He Hate Me” – and it gave the NFL its comeback player of the year in 2002.
The XFL allowed players to identify themselves any way they so chose on the backs of their jerseys, and Rod Smart put the words, “He Hate Me,” on his. That gave him a cult following along after his XFL days were over.
Tommy Maddox quarterbacked the Los Angeles Extreme to the lone XFL championship that season, then went on to quarterback the Pittsburgh Steelers to an AFC North title in 2002 to win comeback-of-the-year honors.
We asked our Talk of Fame Network listeners and readers to vote on the best player ever to come out of the XFL in last week’s poll, and, not surprisingly, it was a two-player race between Smart and Maddox — and Smart won. “He Hate Me” found the voters loved him as he received 31 percent of the vote. Maddox came in second at 28 percent.
Wide receiver Mike Furrey, who went on to lead the NFC in receiving with the Detroit Lions in 2006, finished third at with 17 percent of the vote, followed by linebacker Paris Lenon at 14 percent and guard Bobby Singh, one of the few players to win championships in three different pro leagues, at 10 percent.