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What they’re saying

By Times staff reports

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 16, 2001


Sure, Baltimore will be favored. The Ravens' defense has been unapproachable in recent games. The Giants, I suspect, would be secretly disappointed if they weren't. They feed on disrespect like an opiate.

Wellington Mara, the venerable owner, was his feisty, frisky old self after the game.

"They said we were the worst team to get the home-field advantage in the NFC Championship Game," he said, smiling so broadly his eyes disappeared. "Well, we're going to be the worst team to win the Super Bowl."

This, of course, is a bald lie. The Giants are a talented team. They have won 14 of their 18 games this season because they are balanced and play consistently well in all three phases of the game. Until Sunday's nuclear reaction, they did not overwhelm you with offensive pyrotechnics; they merely did what was necessary to win.
-- Greg Garber, ESPN.com

I bet the Jets hire Tampa Bay defensive aide Herman Edwards by Wednesday, breaking the NFL's 40-of-the-past-41-coaching-hires-being-white schneid. ... Gutsy call on Les Steckel, Tony Dungy. It had to happen. I knew that when HBO aired the infamous in-game line from quarterback Shaun King: "Let me play!" Too much talent there for the Bucs to stumble around so much.
-- Peter King, CNNSI.com

I don't know which is more embarrassing, that at least four former Bucs quarterbacks have made the Super Bowl or that Trent Dilfer does it in his first year after being run out of here on a rail.
-- Ernest Lane, New Port Richey

Is it not poetic justice that Trent Dilfer is now going to play in this year's Super Bowl and the Buccaneers are watching the festivities at some party? Who is having the last laugh now?

I was watching the AFC Championship on Sunday and saw Trent with tears in his eyes. They were tears of joy that he now has a team that appreciates him as a football player. Not a team that dumps him for a second-rate quarterback. All Trent needed was an offensive coordinator and a quarterback coach that knew what was needed to be effective in the National Football League.

Unfortunately, he had neither here.

Best of luck to you, Trent, and I hope you show the Tampa Bay coaches, players and fans that a big mistake was made.
-- Pete Budzinski, Treasure Island

The notorious Raiders fans were as raucous as usual, but the "Black Hole" (the most infamous cheering section in the stadium) turned out to be so much silver-and-black hype -- falling eerily silent after (tight end Shannon) Sharpe broke away on his record touchdown catch and run.

"When we did that, we covered up the hole," Sharpe said.

It was hard for the Ravens to resist a few parting shots at the Raiders faithful after being peppered with coins and debris when they took the field before the game.

"An astronomer once told me that a black hole, technically, is a star that has burned out," receiver Qadry Ismail said. "You can read into that whatever you want."
-- Peter Schmuck, Baltimore Sun

This was a spanking, a bludgeoning, a beating so thorough that there was a moment when the Vikings almost required pity. The weather was to their liking, as moderate as a mid-January can be around these parts, but they played as if frozen in time

There is no adequate way to describe the utter disregard the Giants had for the Minnesota defense and the utter disdain they showed to a Vikings secondary that so incompetent that Collins and his receivers have had more trouble in summer seven-on-seven drills.
-- Paul Schwartz, New York Post

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