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Ravens win doesn't improve Cleveland's mood

By PETE YOUNG, JOHN C. COTEY, Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 29, 2001


Art Modell finally won a Super Bowl, but it earned him more enmity in his former hometown.

The owner of the Ravens, a team known as the Cleveland Browns until Modell moved it to Baltimore in 1995, was labeled a traitor and a crybaby Sunday night by fans in Cleveland.

Henry Casey, 38, said Modell betrayed the city.

"I don't think he should have ever moved the old Cleveland Browns to Baltimore. It made everyone feel down," he said.

With Cleveland bundled up against a 25-degree night, outward signs of anti-Modell feelings were hard to find during the game.

Still, fans were willing to vent if given the chance.

"I thought Art really cheated Cleveland," said Ken Thomas, 39, of suburban Parma, as he emerged from a bar in the Flats section of the city. "I really feel he's a traitor."

Not everyone in Cleveland dislikes Modell.

Rob Dintaman, 28, of Parma, working as a nightclub security guard, was mellow on the issue. "I don't feel that bad about it," he said.

Do his buddies feel the same way? "Split down the middle, surprising, same way," said Dintaman, who was complimentary of the Ravens fans in the club. "They've actually behaved themselves."

GIANTS CROWD: The crowd at Raymond James Stadium clearly was pro-Giants. New York fans outnumbered Ravens supporters approximately 2-1, and the first indication came on the Ravens' first possession. With Baltimore facing third and 6 from its 41-yard line, thousands of white towels were waved, and a cry of "Dee-fense!, Dee-fense!" went up.

TOUGH START: Jason Sehorn was the Giants' early goat. The cornerback was beaten deep by Ravens receiver Patrick Johnson on the second series, but Trent Dilfer's throw was a fraction long.

Later in the quarter, Sehorn allowed Ravens receiver Brandon Stokley to blow by him, and this time Dilfer's throw went for a 38-yard touchdown and the game's first points.

It was the first time the AFC scored first in the Super Bowl since 1993, when the Bills did it against the Cowboys.

Just before the end of the quarter, Sehorn slipped while in pass coverage, and Johnson was open deep down the sideline. Dilfer's throw was out of bounds.

LONG TIME COMING: In the fourth quarter, Jamal Lewis became the first rookie running back in 13 years to rush for a touchdown in the Super Bowl since Timmy Smith had two in the 1988 game. His 3-yard run gave the Ravens a 31-7 lead.

Lewis' 101 yards on 27 carries was second to Smith's 204 for the top rookie total in a Super Bowl.

TOUGH GUY: Ravens defensive lineman Mike McCrary broke his right hand but returned after missing a few plays.

NOT SO SHARPE: Shannon Sharpe was supposed to be Baltimore's big weapon, but he dropped the first two passes thrown to him before catching one to end the third quarter.

The big weapon turned out to be Stokley, who was inactive for seven games and didn't play in another during the regular season. He was a solid post-season performer. Stokley finished with three catches for a team-high 53 yards.

ONLY ONE: Before Stokley's touchdown catch, the only player in the game with a Super Bowl score was the Ravens' Ben Coates, who caught a touchdown pass from Drew Bledsoe for the Patriots in the 1996 Super Bowl.

NOT SO BAD: With all the talk about the Ravens defense and the offense's slump during the early part of the season, consider: The Ravens' 34 points marked the fifth time Baltimore scored more than 30 and the seventh time it scored at least 27.

The Giants went over 30 three times this season.

NEAR SWEEP: Duane Starks' interception return for a touchdown in the third quarter gave three of the four Ravens defensive backs interceptions in the game. The exception was Rod Woodson, who has 58 career interceptions but one in 17 post-season contests.

SHARPER THAN EVER: Ravens linebacker Jamie Sharper continued his run of post-season success.

He had an interception in the second quarter on a pass tipped by Ray Lewis, giving him interceptions in consecutive games. In the AFC Championship Game against Oakland, Sharper led the team with nine tackles, two sacks and an interception.

During the regular season, Sharper had one interception.

He had two tackles in the Super Bowl.

SAY WHAT?: The play after Sharper's interception, Dilfer was picked off on a screen-pass attempt by Jessie Armstead, who returned it for a touchdown that would have tied the score at 7. But a holding penalty was called on Giants defensive tackle Keith Hamilton, negating the score. Replays indicated the Ravens might have caught a huge break; Hamilton did not appear to hold on the play.

FINALLY: Baltimore's Kim Herring finally got back on the field and finally got an interception.

The Ravens safety missed the AFC divisional and championship games with an ankle injury sustained in the win over Denver, but he started Sunday and played well.

Herring just missed making interceptions on two of the first three plays. In the third quarter, he cut in front of a pass and got the interception in Giants territory to set up a field goal attempt that Matt Stover missed.

PUNT RECORD: The teams combined to set the record for punts in a game, 21. The previous record was 15. The 16th punt Sunday occurred with 4:11 left in the third quarter.

MR. SUPER BOWL: Ravens tight end Shannon Sharpe was on the winning team for the third time in the past four years.

"This one is incredible because nobody thought we could do it," said Sharpe, who had one reception for 5 yards. "We came out of nowhere."

NOT AGAIN: Giants guard Glenn Parker tied a record by being on the losing end of the Super Bowl for the fifth time. Parker played with the Bills from 1991 to 1994. Cornelius Bennett lost five Super Bowls, four with the Bills and one with the Flacons.

SAME GUY, DIFFERENT OPPONENT: The contrast between Collins' statistics in the NFC Championship Game against the Vikings and in the Super Bowl was startling.

Collins was 28-of-39 for 381 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions against the Vikings. He was 15-of-39 for 112 yards, no touchdowns and four interceptions against the Ravens.

SACK MAN: A second-quarter sack and a third-quarter half-sack by the Giants' Michael Strahan gave him 41/2 sacks in three playoff games.

LATE SCRATCHES: The Ravens and Giants each deactivated four players 90 minutes before the game.

Baltimore's inactives were safety Anthony Poindexter, guard Orlando Bobo, defensive end Adalius Thomas and third quarterback Chris Redman. New York deactivated kicker Jaret Holmes, fullback Craig Walendy, defensive tackle George Williams and No. 3 quarterback Mike Cherry.

TAMPA REDUX: The respective winning coaches (Tom Flores and Bill Parcells) and Most Valuable Players (Marcus Allen and Ottis Anderson) from the first two Super Bowls played in Tampa (1984 and 1991) handled the coin toss. The Ravens called heads. Flores flipped the coin, and it came up tails. The Giants chose to receive.

BLOATED RAYJAY: Bleachers in both end zones expanded the capacity of the stadium, and attendance was 71,921.

SALE!: Official Super Bowl merchandise will be sold at half-price from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and Tuesday outside of Gate C at Raymond James Stadium.

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