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Norwood isn't running from miss

The Super Bowl failure hasn't haunted the kicker, who says he remains proud of his career.

By BRUCE LOWITT

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 28, 2001


TAMPA -- The TV monitor showed the Bills driving into field goal range and Scott Norwood setting up for the 47-yard field-goal attempt that would decide Super Bowl XXV.

Norwood, waiting to appear Saturday on ESPN Classic's Road Show in Ybor City, turned right and exchanged pleasantries with a technician. He didn't see the ball sail wide right with four seconds to play, the miss that preserved the Giants' 20-19 victory.

He never again played at old Tampa Stadium, but being back in Tampa rekindled some of the emotions he felt -- none good -- with the kick that, for many, defined his career. "Time, by itself, has kind of muted a lot of those emotions," he said.

He can't escape that identity. That is not necessarily a bad thing. He works in the insurance industry and, because he's in Virginia rather than Buffalo, many of his clients don't recognize the name "until someone mentions it to them.

"If they're football fans of any sort it usually comes up at some point," he said. "It's a positive. I think athletes who have had success, you kind of carry that with you, that you've worked hard at something and been successful. I think that adds to your capabilities."

Unlike former Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner, who became something of a pariah in Boston after his error helped give the 1986 World Series to the Mets, Norwood said he never was demonized in Buffalo.

"They've always been supportive. ... The fans in Buffalo saw me as somebody who had a great career up there, won a lot of football games for them, was an All-Pro and handled myself well in the community," he said.

Nor, he added, did he wallow in self-pity. "I don't approach life like that. I'm very fortunate to be living the life I am, had the opportunity to play in the NFL and had a great career up there. I lived a dream."

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