Online advantage: It's too close to call a winner
By GREG AUMAN
© St. Petersburg Times, published January 27, 2001
As closely contested as Sunday's game looks to be, something as peripheral as the Internet might offer insight as to which team will win.
There are signs all over the place, and no, not those ubiquitous Ravens billboards. Type "New York Giants" into search engine google.com, and you get 376,000 related pages. "Baltimore Ravens," with far less history and no old baseball teams to help, produces 81,100 pages. Advantage, Giants.
Which team is master of its domain? Go to Giants.com and you get the team's official site. Go to www.ravens.com and you find the home of the New Haven Ravens, a minor-league affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. To find the NFL Ravens' site, you have to labor through baltimoreravens.com. Again, the edge is New York's.
Official player pages? By our count, the Giants have mikestrahan.com, lomasbrown.com, rondayne.com, center Dusty Zeigler's dz52.com, cornerback Jason Sehorn's sehornscorner.com, receiver Amani Toomer's amani.com and tailback Tiki Barber's nfltwins.com. The Ravens have raylewis52.com, chrisredman.org, rodwoodsonfootballcamp.org and linebacker Jamie Sharper's nflstyle.com. The Ravens' Mike McCrary, Shannon Sharpe and Ozzie Newsome are on Athletesdirect.com, as is New York's Kerry Collins. Final score: Giants 8-7.
But what about maintaining those pages? Let's look closer:
Strahan: Site hasn't been updated since Week 13 ... of 1999 (minus 3 points).
Brown: We were going to deduct points for having Lomas in a Browns uniform, but they took that down midweek and added a diary entry Thursday (plus 2 points).
Dayne: Hasn't been updated since the Giants drafted him in April (minus 3 points).
Zeigler: "Next victim, Baltimore," one page reads. Lists favorite food as "anything uneaten," then answers "One thing people don't realize about me:" with "The ocean makes me really nervous." Candor is good (plus 4 points).
Sehorn: Prominent link to his charity foundation, and the news page has a story on his engagement to actress Angie Harmon (plus 3 points).
Toomer: Work in progress, but it's built by his mom. That alone gives him 2 points.
Barber: This page, like Sehorn's, is produced by Tampa's Bigpros.com. Its lead story is the same as Sehorn's: weak. Dock 2 points, so the Giants finish with 4.
Lewis: Perhaps the best site among the Super Bowl crowd. You can buy a Ravens lunchbox or "Defensivus Maximus" T-shirt. Doesn't mention any criminal activity, but would you? All we're judging here is the site (plus 3 points).
Redman: Promising, like the rookie quarterback (plus 2 points).
Woodson: Nothing about Rod, all about his charities. Gotta respect that (plus 2 points).
Sharper: Main page flashes these messages: "Dim the Lights ... Lock the Door ... Find a Corner ... We Will Deliver It ... Prepare Yourself." Turns out it's just about a party he's throwing next month (minus 2 points).
Add up those, and the Ravens get the nod. Still awfully close, so we do the sensible thing: consult the all-knowing Magic 8 ball online at 8ball.federated.com. An actual transcript follows:
Will the Ravens win the Super Bowl? "My sources say no."
Will the Giants win? "Concentrate and ask again."
Seriously, will the Giants win? "My sources say no."
Okay. This sounds familiar. Hey, are the Glazers selling the Bucs? "Signs point to yes."
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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