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Ravens big on surfing


© St. Petersburg Times, published January 26, 2001

In 27 years in the NFL, Bill Tessendorf never has had to deal with so many players coming into his training room.

It's not that the Ravens are injured in any way. The only thing wrong with them seems to be that they're too lazy to buy their own computer.

"Any time you see one of the guys at Bill's computer, that means he's on the Net," veteran safety Rod Woodson said. "There's somebody on that computer every day."

"It's used by quite a number of regulars," said Tessendorf, who needs the computer to input daily injury reports. With increasing regularity, he finds a player already typing away, and asking them to log off isn't easy.

"You try to tell that to guys like (defensive linemen Mike) McCrary and (Tony) Siragusa," Tessendorf said. "You tend not to p--- the big guys off."

Another 300-pounder Tessendorf often finds is starting right guard Mike Flynn, who explained that the problem is the Ravens don't have enough keyboards to go around, which makes the training room a busy place.

"It's tough to get in there," he said. "There's like two computers in the whole complex, and everybody's trying to get on them."

Special-teams whiz Corey Harris said when his teammates aren't online, they're playing computer games -- high-stakes trash-talking rivalries surrounding ... Freecell. What next? A little Minesweeper at halftime?

"Guys are constantly checking their mail, getting online, looking at no telling what," Harris said. "Some guys are car fanatics, another guy's looking at a vacation home. It's a versatile group."

Receiver Brandon Stokley has found more than 40 of his football cards on eBay.com, but the Ravens' online auction king might be receiver Marcus Nash.

"I like eBay," he said. "I'm a big anime cartoon fan, and I buy a lot of anime off eBay. I win auctions all the time. I haven't lost yet."

Keeping your computer isn't always an easy task. Rookie quarterback Chris Redman said he made the mistake of letting Stokley "borrow" his laptop during the season. "I've had it for the last couple of months," said Stokley, who gets stock quotes for Redman and himself and reads newspapers online. "I asked him if I could borrow it, then never let him have it back." Offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh has learned from coach Brian Billick to integrate computer technology into his meetings with players.

"The day of drawing it on a chalkboard or putting an overlay on a projector are gone," Cavanaugh said. "Now we use PowerPoint, and we add color and movement and noise, something to get guys' attention. "I can carry my laptop from my office to my meetings, and on that laptop, I've got every game plan we've used in the last two years. If I need to reference something, I don't have to go back through a bunch of papers in a drawer and find something."

CHATWATCH: CNNSI.com has Sports Tonight host Vince Cellini chatting from Tampa at 1 p.m. today. ... Superbowl.com has Vikings receiver Cris Carter chatting at 3 p.m., followed by Steelers quarterback Kordell Stewart at 3:30 and ex-Pittsburgh linebacker Jack Ham at 4.

TID-BYTES: Superbowl.com reports its traffic already has exceeded last year's to the official site. ... Athletesdirect.com is polling its players for Super Bowl predictions. Nine, including Bucs receiver Keyshawn Johnson, picked the Ravens. Only former New York cornerback Mark Collins picked the Giants.

- If you have a question or comment about the Internet or a site to suggest, send an e-mail to staff writer Greg Auman at aumanac1@aol.com.

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