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February 3, 2002
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Super Bowl XXXVI

Gary Shelton: Under the Big Top: The Greatest Show on Turf

Football philosopher, defensive mastermind
NEW ORLEANS -- They talk about him as if his strategic defense skills are so advanced he could stop the speed of light, which, come to think of it, is close to what he's being asked to do today against the supersonic Rams.

Rams ready for either Patriots QB
NEW ORLEANS -- Tom Brady or Drew Bledsoe consumed the Patriots' camp last week, but registered only a blip or two on the Rams' radar.

Warner gets well at Pats' expense
FOXBORO, Mass. -- Kurt Warner, bothered all season by a sprained right thumb injured in the Rams' 20-17 overtime opening-game victory at Philadelphia, was pain-free against the Patriots in the regular-season meeting of the eventual Super Bowl teams.

Super TV
10 a.m. -- NFL This Morning, Fox Sports Net. With analysts Marv Levy, Deacon Jones, Boomer Esiason, Jay Mohr and Billy Ray Smith.

Another ex-Buc on cusp of title
One of four Rams who played for the Bucs last year, defensive tackle Tyoka Jackson never was the type to mince words.

Coaches corner
Mike Martz

Side line
The top line

Hubert Mizell
Much ado about a nobody: Let Tyson fade away
When do we, the media, become sufficiently embarrassed to loudly discredit or wholly ignore animalistic boxing promos that have all the seamy style of Jerry Springer outtakes, especially if one of the perpetrators is low-class, over-the-hill, felonious lunatic Mike Tyson?

McKay's recommendation on hold
NEW ORLEANS -- Just when he thought he found the Bucs' new coach, Rich McKay was told to keep looking.

NHL All-Star Game/Lightning
He makes the World a better team
LOS ANGELES -- When it comes to earning MVP honors at the NHL All-Star Game, timing apparently is everything.

Khabibulin misses out on MVP
LOS ANGELES -- The NHL really could not do anything about the vote that gave the All-Star MVP award to Chicago's Eric Daze instead of Lightning goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin.

This one resembles NHL game
LOS ANGELES -- A different kind of All-Star Game. That's what Pittsburgh's Mario Lemieux called Saturday's 8-5 World Team victory at the Staples Center.

Labor talks Bettman's next hurdle
LOS ANGELES -- Commissioner Gary Bettman sounded one ominous note during Friday's news conference at the Staples Center: labor relations.

Devil Rays/Spring Training
Rays sign Creek for one year
ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays are down to one potential arbitration case after agreeing to terms Saturday night with Doug Creek on a one-year deal for $685,000.

Going wherever the road leads
Spring training starts in about 10 days, and Jeff Torborg is getting ready to go.

Doping gets a little tougher for Olympians
Few people are snow-blind enough to presume that Winter Olympic athletes are as pure as the driven ... well, you know.

Rings and things
WE HAVE YOUR DREAM TEAM: For the U.S. women's hockey team, it was billed as a pre-Olympic tour.

Common medicines can be costly
The little extra pep of a cold pill can leave an athlete out in the snow.

Eagles have qualities of a Super contender
So, Gary Shelton needs a hero in order to watch the Super Bowl? Whether it's the Rams or the Eagles, about 150-million Americans will watch at least a portion of the game.

Gentilozzi alone and out front again
DAYTONA BEACH -- Two things Paul Gentilozzi knows: racing cars -- any kind of cars -- and being different when he does so.

Tampa pair gets view from back of the pack
DAYTONA BEACH -- John Annis and Larry Baisden knew they had some work to do when the 40th annual 24 Hours at Daytona started Saturday afternoon.

College basketball
Lineup changes don't help Seminoles
TALLAHASSEE -- After a 77-46 loss to Georgia Tech on Wednesday, in which Florida State shot 35 percent, coach Steve Robinson decided to make some lineup changes.

Gators get better quickly against Bulldogs
GAINESVILLE -- Florida forward Matt Bonner was feeling a little confused in the midst of a three-game losing streak.

Late basket and block propel Miami over UConn
MIAMI -- Elton Tyler made a tie-breaking layup with 13 seconds left and 6-foot-1 Michael Simmons blocked a shot with 5 seconds left to help No.15 Miami beat No.17 Connecticut 68-66 Saturday.

College football
Zook has time to gain ground
GAINESVILLE -- From the moment Steve Spurrier announced his resignation one week before spring recruiting season, the biggest concern for Florida was how the decision would affect the program.

Overton in a must-win situation
Jay Overton got a second chance Saturday at the Royal Caribbean Classic, and he took advantage, shooting 7-under-par 65 at Crandon Park Golf Club to lead the Senior PGA Tour event.

Arm yourself for big snook
Snook season opened Friday, and it's time to grab your favorite snook outfit and head to the backwater bays and bayous. Big snook have set up in wintering holes, and with a little planning and good fortune they may bite.

Daily fishing report
Big-lipped crank baits are taking more than their share of large grouper from Tampa Bay and hard bottom in 20-30 feet of water. Downriggers and planers aren't necessary when using deep-diving plugs, most of which will dive 20-30 feet.

Rough, tough Titans have a soft side
TAMPA -- Meet the warmest, fuzziest team in Hillsborough County.

Wildcats handle SPC in tuneup
WESLEY CHAPEL -- Wesley Chapel coach Kent Mills placed St. Petersburg Catholic on the schedule with the upcoming Class 3A, District 10 tournament in mind. And the Wildcats showed their coach they're ready for the postseason by beating the visiting Barons 75-61 on Saturday.

Brandon's title run is under way
BRANDON -- Only the Western Conference's best gathered Saturday for one last warmup before next week's district tournaments.

Tornadoes carry off title 76-47
GULFPORT -- Clearwater blew through Boca Ciega on Saturday for a 76-47 win in the Pinellas County Athletic Conference girl's basketball championship.

Defense makes the difference
Four county teams won district finals with shutouts. Don't expect their strategy to change in the regionals.

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