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What could Disney do that Giants couldn't? Shut down Ray Lewis

By SHARON GINN

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 30, 2001


Ray Lewis may have been named Super Bowl MVP, but Trent Dilfer got to go to Disney World.

Dilfer appeared in the Walt Disney Co.'s traditional postgame "I'm going to Disney World!" commercial and rode in a parade Monday at the Magic Kingdom theme park.

The commercial debuted Sunday night on the West Coast and was shown nationally Monday during the network morning shows.

Pregame speculation was that even if he was named MVP, Lewis did not fit the company's family image and would not be asked to do the spot. Of the past 15 Super Bowl MVPs, all but four were selected by Disney to do the commercial: Jerry Rice was passed over in favor of Joe Montana in 1989, Emmitt Smith went in 1996 instead of MVP Larry Brown, John Elway was taken over Terrell Davis in 1998, and Dilfer instead of Lewis.

A Disney spokesman would not comment on the selection process, saying only that Dilfer's victory with the Ravens in Tampa, coming a year after he was released by the Bucs, made him the kind of player the company wanted to honor.

"That was a great Cinderella story," spokesman Craig Dezern said.

"We're Disney World. We love Cinderella stories."

Lewis also was not pictured on a Wheaties cereal box commemorating the victory.

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