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Super Bowl 34: Bucs vs. Titans

January 31, 2000

Click for main story
Rams coach Dick Vermeil, holding football's ultimate prize, and Titans RB Eddie George provided the final contrasting views of Super Bowl XXXIV in Atlanta. [AP photo]

Rams hang on for title
In the final 2:05, the Rams get a 73-yard TD pass and a tackle at the 1 to win the NFL title. Story

Gary Shelton
This one finally lives up to name
ATLANTA -- It ended the way all of these things should end, the way none of them ever do. It ended with one noble team staving off another, with one brand of magnificence enduring one almost as grand.

Hubert Mizell
Warner's mettle proves he belongs with best

ATLANTA -- Kurt Warner, the storybook quarterback, came to a captivating Super Bowl chapter and had the happiest of endings.

Tennessee runs out of fantastic finishes
Rally would have capped one of the most impressive in Super Bowl history, but ends at the 1.

Titans tandem is almost enough
With quarterback Steve McNair and running back Eddie George leading the way, Tennessee comes back from a big deficit but comes up short.

Bishop strains neck in collision
ATLANTA -- Tennessee safety Blaine Bishop strained his neck in a scary collision during the third quarter and lay motionless on the field for several minutes.

Tennessee finishes short by one miracle
Rally would have capped one of the most impressive in Super Bowl history, but ends at the 1.

RJS so close, tickets far away
No home-field advantage for Super Bowl XXXV, but resourceful fans can get in.

Best and worst
BEST PREGAME FEATURE: Dan and Claire Marino's adoption of a Chinese girl. A nice story that had nothing to do with the game but was a respite from warmed-over stories on the coaches and Marshall Faulk. Claire's emotion during the piece came off as quite real. Runner-up: Feature on the first black NFL player and coach, Fritz Pollard.

In Ad Bowl battle, cost doesn't ensure quality
Let other critics wring their hands about the rampant commercialism and hype. The rest of us know the coolest Super Bowl show Sunday had nothing to do with Phil Collins, Enrique Iglesias or 10,000 dancing klieg lights.

Rams stretch field until D breaks
With Torry Holt covering the middle ground and Isaac Bruce running deep, the St. Louis receivers eventually subdue the Titans.

January 30, 2000

Kurt Warner
ATLANTA -- It's the greatest story ever retold.

Steve McNair

ATLANTA -- His arm. Thank goodness, we're talking about his arm.
Bygone Bucs find their way into the big game
Times changed, and Lorenzo Neal and Jackie Harris departed Tampa Bay. Today those moves result in their big chance.

A dream so sweet goes sour
ATLANTA -- It seems so long ago, that Bucs near-miss Sunday in St. Louis, but as Super Bowl XXXIV kickoff nears, my Tampa Bay eyes and ears atuned to Atlanta goings on, I so easily imagine what might've been.
Hubert Mizell

Super predictions
RAMS 28, TITANS 17: Fans in Los Angeles should not try to feel bitterness, and fans in Houston should not try to share pain. Most of all, however, fans in Tampa Bay should not think about how it could have been their team in the winner's circle. -- Gary Shelton, St. Petersburg Times

Expect big plays, and Titans win
ATLANTA -- I think Tennessee is a team that's going to surprise people by how well they play. They play very physical on offense as well as on defense and I think if the Rams are going to win, it'll be a couple of big special-teams plays. I'll be surprised if they shut them down offensively and defensively.
Tony Dungy

Analysis provided by Boomer Esiason
The excitement of the Super Bowl lent itself to being the most exciting two weeks of my career. All players today relish the pressure to be in this game.

Montana, Lott lead class of five into Hall of Fame
ATLANTA -- Growing up in western Pennsylvania, Joe Montana crafted backyard dreams that included making game-winning passes and capturing Super Bowl championships.

Quick hits
The Rams are the third team to win their division and go to the Super Bowl one season after finishing last in the division. Cincinnati did it twice, in 1981 and '88.

2-man crew suits Michaels
ATLANTA -- ABC will have three men in the booth for today's Super Bowl broadcast: Al Michaels, Boomer Esiason and the specter of a second analyst who isn't really desired by Michaels and Esiason.

Fire and ice

January 29, 2000

Gary Shelton
London bridges work, fun

ATLANTA -- The first thing you notice about London Fletcher is his teeth. Provided you are not a member of the opposing offense, you notice they are smiling.

Hubert Mizell
Wycheck hopes 'miracle' victory lasts a lifetime

ATLANTA -- Frank Wycheck was a Pro Bowl tight end, the leading Oilers/Titans pass receiver the past four seasons, but his fame was as provincial as grits. Small servings of glory in Houston, Memphis and Nashville. With a little butter left over from Maryland.

Opinions vary regarding past cities' affections
ATLANTA -- There are varying opinions about how much folks in Houston and Los Angeles still care about their woebegone teams, especially Los Angeles.

Original 5 Rams recount L.A. life
St. Louis' DeMarco Farr, Isaac Bruce, Keith Lyle, Jay Williams and Todd Lyght remember their time in Los Angeles and use it as motivation.

NFL worried about off-field problems
ATLANTA -- Commissioner Paul Tagliabue said the league is concerned about off-field crimes committed by its players. He also suggested those crimes are part of a deeper problem.

Tagliabue supports replay
NFL commissioner says the call against the Bucs was the right one to make, and that's why the system is in place.

CBS prepares for Super Bowl XXXV
ATLANTA -- CBS Sports president Sean McManus, 43, is here for Super Bowl XXXIV, but he has his sights set firmly on Tampa Bay and Super Bowl XXXV.

January 28, 2000

In the clear
Marshall Faulk Marshall Faulk
Hubert Mizell
Marshall Faulk:
Rams' RB has come a long way since his first Super Bowl, 14 years ago.
Gary Shelton
Eddie George:
A mother's difficult choice alters the course of his life.
Just as "instant replay" and "super slo-mo" captured the technology of television's coverage of sports, the Internet has its own new phrases as it continues to change the way major events like the Super Bowl are received around the world.

Braxton, Phil Collins lead cast of halftime show
ATLANTA -- For Toni Braxton, it will be a new beginning. For Phil Collins, it will be a grand finale.

Fisher has players' loyalty, respect
Titan coach's detail-oriented, motivational style has rescued the franchise.

Teams debate muscle
ATLANTA -- Receiver Torry Holt still is nursing bruised ribs, but all the Rams could be hurting Sunday.

Bucs' Gramatica joins ESPN International team
ATLANTA -- Bucs kicker Martin Gramatica makes his broadcast debut at Sunday's Super Bowl, but don't look for him next to Al Michaels and Boomer Esiason.

Companies are hoping ads generate a super response
The Tennessee Titans and St. Louis Rams aren't the only surprising entrants in Sunday's Super Bowl XXXIV lineup.

January 27, 2000

Hubert Mizell
Titans defensive coordinator has drive to be a head coach
ATLANTA -- It was so cold Wednesday, you could see the breath of Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. Was this a Super Bowl or the Winter Olympics? Air temperature 26 degrees. Wind chill a fracturing 4.

Gary Shelton
We should care about the Super Bowl. Really.
ATLANTA -- The streets are buzzing. People are so excited (or cold), they are shaking. Everywhere you go, it seems, people are talking about the Super Bowl.

Ernest Hooper
Bucs fans have allies on CNN/SI
ATLANTA -- The conference room at CNN/Sports Illustrated is not unlike the kind you would find at any corporation, assuming every company has a stack of pizza boxes and a box of doughnuts in its.

Fatal crash hangs over Rams' Little
ATLANTA -- Leonard Little sat at his assigned table in the interview room and looked down at his feet, avoiding eye contact as he was peppered with questions.

Jevon Kearse has terrorized quarterbacks around the NFL in his rookie year. [AP photo]
January 26, 2000

Gary Shelton
Kearse is new player in old story
ATLANTA -- Two brothers. One of them runs free. The other is in a cage.

Hubert Mizell
Rams' Carter has chemistry working for him
ATLANTA -- He was born blind. As a Tallahassee ninth-grader, Kevin Carter was a geeky 5-foot-8 saxophone player in Lincoln High's band.

Breeding Super Bowl buzz
Tampa Bay Super Bowl XXXV Task Force members swarm to Atlanta this week to take notes and engender excitement.

Bucs had Titans GM in draft sweat
ATLANTA -- Titans defensive end Jevon Kearse has become one of the focal points of the defense, but general manager Floyd Reese said that on draft day he was shaking over the prospect of someone trading with Bucs general manager Rich McKay to get the former Gator.

On TV:
Ernest Hooper
Kremer works on deadline

ESPN reporter Andrea Kremer made a statement about dedication this week that resonated with anyone who has given birth.

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