A great makes it official
FSU up to the challenge
© St. Petersburg Times, published January 5, 2000
NEW ORLEANS -- Several former Seminoles watched their alma mater win its second national title, including Tampa Bay Bucs Derrick Brooks and Warrick Dunn. Among the other NFL players who attended: Derrick Alexander (Minnesota), Peter Boulware (Baltimore), Sam Cowart (Buffalo), Henri Crockett (Atlanta), Dan Footman (Cleveland), Corey Fuller (Cleveland), Marvin Jones (New York Jets), Carl Simpson (Chicago), Demetro Stephens (New England), Andre Wadsworth (Arizona) and Reinard Wilson (Cincinnati).
DECISION TIME: FSU quarterback Chris Weinke, who has a 20-game winning streak as a starter (dating to FSU's lone regular-season loss of 1998 against N.C. State), is set to announce Friday whether he will turn pro or return to FSU for his senior season.
POINTS ON PUNTS: Jeff Chaney's 6-yard run for FSU's second score was the first Sugar Bowl touchdown on a blocked punt since Brad Clarke ran one in from 28 yards for Syracuse against Louisiana State in 1965 -- the only touchdown for the Orangemen in their 13-10 loss.
And Peter Warrick's 59-yard punt return to put FSU ahead 28-7 early in the second quarter was the first in the Sugar Bowl since Virginia Tech's Bryan Still took one 60 yards for a touchdown in the Hokies' 28-10 victory against Texas.
GRAB SOME PYNE: Former Buccaneer lineman Jim Pyne prowled the sideline rooting for Virginia Tech, his alma mater. After four years with Tampa Bay, Pyne left after the 1997 season and signed as a free agent with Detroit. He was with the expansion Cleveland Browns in 1999.
Pyne's No. 73 is one of four numbers retired by Tech. In 1993 he was the Hokies' first unanimous All-American.
SAY IT AIN'T SO, JOE: Bob Moderhak of Holmes Beach won $500,000 in a halftime promotion by Nokia, the Sugar Bowl's principal sponsor. It could have been $2-million, but Moderhak got little help from former NFL quarterback Joe Theismann.
Theismann connected on only one of his four passes through a large cutout of a cellular phone from 15 yards away. Each attempt was worth $50,000.
Moderhak then attempted one throw from the same distance, to multiply Theismann's total by 10. He connected for a $500,000 prize.
FLIRTING WITH PERFECTION: Under Bobby Bowden, FSU had entered a bowl with a perfect record two other times, after the 1979 and 1996 seasons. The Seminoles lost the 1980 Orange Bowl to Oklahoma and the 1997 Sugar Bowl to Florida.
SWEET WINDFALL: FSU will receive $1.5-million right off the top from the Sugar Bowl's estimated $13-million payout to cover expenses, with the rest going to the ACC for an equal dispersion to the nine members. That means FSU will get about $1.3-million more.
DID YOU KNOW?: FSU appeared in its sixth No. 1 vs. No. 2 game since 1991. In the previous five matchups, the Seminoles were 2-3, including 1-2 as the top-ranked team (a 17-16 loss to Miami in 1991, a 31-24 loss to Notre Dame in 1993 and an 18-16 win for the national title against Nebraska on Jan. 1, 1994). SWEET WINDFALL, PART II: As part of his new contract signed earlier this season, Bowden receives a $75,000 bonus for guiding the Seminoles to the national title game.
NUMBERS GAME: Including television requests, the Sugar Bowl issued about 1,200 media credentials.
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