St. Petersburg Times: Super Bowl XXXV
St. Petesburg Times
Super Bowl XXXV Tampa, Florida 2001
The game
vs. Ravens
Game time: 6 p.m.
Raymond James
Tampa, Fla.
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Hubert Mizell
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  • The Road to Super Bowl XXXV
    Jan. 30, 2001

    Jan. 29, 2001

    Jan. 28, 2001

    • They came, they saw and they got the story half-right
      Before the elite of the national sports press corps departs Tampa, I would like to correct one misapprehension.
    • Gasparilla Supersized
      With an international audience swelled by the Super Bowl, the downtown pirate invasion thrills a record crowd.
    • From morning until night, Tampa bowled over by festivities
      TAMPA -- The city has hosted two Super Bowls before, but its punch bowl was never as full as it was Saturday.
    • Nevermore
      Will the Giants ever face a better defense than the one they'll see in today's Super Bowl? Quoth the Ravens . . . Nevermore.
    • Bucs can only wonder: What if?
      TAMPA -- Around here, Warren Sapp is fond of bellowing, when an NFL opponent threatens the Bucs in Tampa, "Not in our house!"
    • On center stage: Trent Dilfer
      Trent Dilfer, this is your day.
    • AFC guest analyst
      CNN analyst Trev Alberts retired in 1997 after three injury-plagued seasons with the Colts. He spoke with staff writer Joanne Korth about the Ravens-Giants matchup:
    • Vikings' Culpepper counts his blessings
      Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper talks with staff writer Roger Mills about adoption, feats of strength and loving life.
    • Official site is built for size
      For the past week, people walking in the Tampa Convention Center have stopped in front of the room where the official site for Super Bowl XXXV is being produced.
    • Who will win the Super Bowl and why?
      "The Ravens because of their defense. How's that? See, I've been listening."
    • Vikings' Culpepper counts his blessings
      Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper talks with staff writer Roger Mills about adoption, feats of strength and loving life.
    • NFC guest analyst
      Kurt Warner, the quarterback who led the St. Louis Rams to a Super Bowl title last year vs. Tennessee and was the MVP, spoke with staff writer Brian Landman about the Ravens-Giants matchup:
    • AFC guest analyst
      CNN analyst Trev Alberts retired in 1997 after three injury-plagued seasons with the Colts. He spoke with staff writer Joanne Korth about the Ravens-Giants matchup:
    • The last call?
      Sunday could possibly be Trent Dilfer's last game in a Ravens uniform, going from Super Bowl quarterback to possibly another team or, worse, the unemployment line.
    • Starting lines
      The Times caught up with the starting players for both Super Bowl teams and posed some off-the-wall questions.
    • Super side line
      Web site of the day
    • Celebrity predictions
      JEFF BLAKE, NEW ORLEANS QUARTERBACK: "I think New York wins 13-10. It'll be at least close enough to kick field goals."
    • Redskins RB's thrill? Meeting R&B star
      R&B singer R. Kelly had no idea he was about to meet his biggest fan Friday night. Kelly was playing in a Super Bowl celebrity basketball tournament at the University of Tampa when his biggest fan approached him before the game.
    • What they're saying
      Major league? Getting there
    • For a select few, a fantasy come true
      TAMPA -- Men stood in line Saturday night to have their pictures taken with the three blonds in red dresses.
    • Norwood isn't running from miss
      The Super Bowl failure hasn't haunted the kicker, who says he remains proud of his career.
    • 2001 Hall of Fame inductees
      Nick Buoniconti
    • Seven inducted into Hall
      Appreciation, surprise and exhilaration are the themes of the day.
    • Super ticket search continues at festival
      As Gasparilla got under way Saturday, dozens meandered through the mob holding out hope they could score Super Bowl tickets in the waning hours before Sunday's game.
    • Here's a game tip: Don't wager on it
      With the Super Bowl in town, detectives in Pinellas have stepped up enforcement of gambling rules.
    • XXXV reasons Florida is the center of the football universe
      XXXV Pop Warner Super Bowl held annually at Disney's Wide World of Sports.
    • The broadcast
      PLAY BY PLAY: Greg Gumbel, 54, is in his second stint with CBS Sports. He returned to the network in 1998 after four years at NBC. Gumbel and Phil Simms make up the lead broadcast team for NFL games, and Gumbel also hosts CBS Sports' coverage of the NCAA men's basketball tournament. While at NBC (1994-98), he did NBA and major league baseball play-by-play and hosted NFL pregame shows. During his first stint with CBS, he hosted the NFL pregame show and hosted two Olympics. Brother Bryant hosts CBS' The Early Show and HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.
    • Giants all-time team
    • Want to avoid back-ups? Leave early, know shortcuts
      Despite efforts to maintain flow, planners say fans should arrive three hours early. And those trying to get around the stadium should use back roads.
    • Tampa scores before game
      Reviews leading up to game day have been favorable, an improvement over Tampa's last tour as Super Bowl host.
    • Giants just sticking to what they know
      Against a fierce Ravens D, they're hoping their offensive diversity pays off.
    • Not bad being the next-best thing
      Giants defense doesn't get the same publicity as Ravens, but it matches up well and knows how to handle a certain ex-Bucs QB.
    • Not bad being the next-best thing
      Giants defense doesn't get the same publicity as Ravens', but it matches up well and knows how to handle a certain ex-Bucs QB.
    • Dungy likes Baltimore's old friends
      TAMPA -- When it comes to predicting a Super Bowl winner, friendship counts more than conference ties for Bucs coach Tony Dungy.
    • Today's site springs from bad deal
      Perhaps it wasn't quite that genteel. Maybe it was closer to:
    • All-time Giants team
    • Ravens numbers
      Regular- and post-season winning percentage of Brian Billick as coach.
    • All-time Ravens, uh, make that Orioles team
      The plan was to compile a position-by-position list of the greatest Ravens of all-time. Unfortunately, upon completion, we realized the list looked suspiciously like the current Ravens depth chart. Now, we were willing to leave the space blank, but the boss insists we fill it with something. One possibility was using the former incarnation of the Ravens franchise -- the Cleveland Browns -- but the last time we tried that, we got lots of angry mail (some of which even included proper grammar and correctly spelled words) that the Browns' history belongs in Cleveland. So in the interest of fun, and to see how many of you are actually paying attention, we present an all-time list of the Baltimore Orioles.
    • Giants numbers
    • There's only one thing they do well -- win
      TAMPA -- All Super Bowl week, the Ravens have heard about what their offense can't do, that Trent Dilfer can't be trusted, that Jamal Lewis is wearing down, that they lack the weapons to be successful.
    • XXV still vivid for Hostetler
      TAMPA -- Jeff Hostetler is not surprised to see Kerry Collins excelling under Jim Fassel, the Giants coach who has a history of nurturing quarterbacks.
    • The key matchups
      Ravens LB Ray Lewis vs. Giants RB Tiki Barber
    • CBS exults in game's return after 9-year hiatus
      TAMPA -- So what if ratings for CBS' pregame show dropped 10 percent this season, and the overnight ratings for the AFC and NFC championship games hit an all-time low? So what if CBS Sports president Sean McManus is hoping the postgame premiere of Survivor: The Australian Outback will boost today's game, when usually it works the other way around?
    • What's on TV
      MORNING: 10: NFL Preview, CNN.
    • TV/radio facts and figures
      TV BROADCAST: CBS (Ch. 10. locally).
    • Gumbel: QBs must be mistake-free
      CBS play-by-play man Greg Gumbel talked with staff writer Sharon Ginn about the matchup:
    • Simms: D's, big plays are key
      CBS analyst and former Giants quarterback Phil Simms talked with staff writer Sharon Ginn about the matchup:
    • New York Giants' keys to victory
      1. Stay patient with the running game. The Ravens will make any offense look bad. But they will destroy any offense they force to become one-dimensional. This is a field-position game. Since neither offense is going to put up a lot of points without help, the Giants have to be willing to punt rather than allow a sack/fumble or interception on third and long.
    • Baltimore Ravens' keys to victory
      1. Make sure the bus carrying the defense gets to the stadium okay. The only remaining debate about the defense is where it ranks among the all-time best. With oversized tackles Tony Siragusa and Sam Adams clogging the middle, pressure coming from the outside and middle linebacker Ray Lewis free to tackle with reckless abandon, the Ravens go into every game with the realistic possibility of a shutout. They have been absolutely dominating against the run, allowing 60.6 yards per game, but have been slightly vulnerable to the pass.
    • Ybor awash with flood of humanity
      9 p.m. Friday, the lobby bar at the Hyatt Regency Westshore.
    • The toughest 2 minutes
      The national anthem, with its octave-and-a-half range and plethora of similar words, can break the best performers. And then there are some who mess it up on purpose.
    • Celebrity watch
      Spotted Friday night at the NFL Players Party at the Cuban Club in Ybor City: Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper posed for pictures. Rams quarterback Kurt Warner played pool. During a player fashion show, ESPN's Stuart Scott offered a bit of advice to newly engaged Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor: "Stay out of Mons Venus."
    • MTV's live request show draws screaming NFL fans
      Carson Daly, hosting Total Request Live from outside of Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, and 98 Degrees bumped up the excitement level.
    • St. Petersburg events fall far short of goals
      Concerts and festivals are lightly attended. Some blame the events in Tampa and some blame poor marketing.
    • Sparse crowd gathers for Jazz Bowl
      Fans brave the cool weather and wait through a delay to hear the musical performances.
    • 20,000 fans 'Experience' long lines at theme park
      The buzzword about the NFL Experience on Saturday was traffic -- human and automotive.

    Jan. 27, 2001

    • Gambling: NFL’s destructive partner 
      His name is John, and he's a compulsive gambler.
    • Cell overload
      The bay area's wireless providers have prepared for a cell phone onslaught, putting in more than $1-million worth of equipment and improvements.
    • Gasparilla 2001 schedule
      INVASION -- The flotilla sails through Hillsborough Bay, starting at 11:30 a.m. Vantage points are Davis Islands, Harbour Island and around the Tampa Convention Center. At 1 p.m., the Jose Gasparilla pirate ship will dock at the Tampa Convention Center.
    • We're no Big Apple, just better
      Tampa is kind of the reverse of what they used to say about New York: "It's a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there."
    • A diverse Gasparilla appeases its critics
      TAMPA -- Sandy Freedman dates her disillusionment to the food fight.
    • Hotels buckle up for Super Bowl blitz
      Each year, Lawrence Morrison comes down from his hometown of Hollis, N.H., to roam around sunny Florida with his wife.
    • Super Bowl dancer redeems herself
      The cheerleader's story mirrors Trent Dilfer's. They take to the same field Sunday: He plays football. She dances in the pre-game show.
    • Attitude is a Giant difference
      TAMPA -- Walking among Super Bowl athletes, you feel an overload of arrogance. A snorting wealth of self-serving egomania. Sensing far too much immaturity. Hearing repetitive stories of self-inflicted horror. Making it especially calming, fulfilling, yet amply entertaining to huddle with Michael Strahan.
    • Pretty faces, party places
      From athletes to celebrities, local residents to models, those in town for the Super Bowl kicked the partying up a notch Friday night.
    • Super Side Line II
      Riding in $tyle
    • AFC guest analyst: Steve Tasker
      Steve Tasker, a former receiver and standout kick returner at Northwestern, played 12 seasons for the Bills (1986-97), including in all four of their Super Bowls, and appeared in seven Pro Bowls. He works for NFL Insider Magazine and is an analyst for CBS. He talked with staff writer Brian Landman about the Super Bowl.
    • NFC guest analyst: Sean Salisbury
      Sean Salisbury, a quarterback at Southern Cal, played largely for the Vikings (1990-94) during his eight-year NFL career. He has been an analyst for ESPN since 1997. Salisbury recently talked to staff writer Brian Landman about the Ravens-Giants matchup.
    • Visser gets TV scoop on Lewis
      Ray Lewis wanted to talk about only one thing this week ("Football. Football. Football."), but CBS reporter Lesley Visser said he spoke about more than that during her interview with him, segments of which will air Sunday.
    • Side Line
      If you were starting an NFL team, what player would you select first?
    • Online advantage: It's too close to call a winner
      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.
    • The incongruous QB
      Dilfer is not the prototype quarterback. He is not from a football-rich pocket of the United States where quarterbacks are bred -- like the steel towns of Western Pennsylvania, where Johnny Unitas, Joe Namath, Joe Montana, Dan Marino, Jim Kelly and even Sunday counterpart Kerry Collins were born and raised.
    • McNabb has advice: Be confident in King
      He dissected the Bucs in the wild-card game and appears to be one of the game's most spectacular emerging talents. Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb shares a few thoughtful offerings:
    • Bowl won’t bowl over some fans
      Clevelanders all around the United States will tune in to Super Bowl XXXV on Sunday just to boo when Baltimore Ravens owner Art Modell's image is flashed on the television screen. Natives of the city have made a habit -- some like comedian Drew Carey, a cottage industry -- of reminding the world of the evil deed Modell committed when he transplanted the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore in 1995.
    • Celebrity predictions
      AARON BROOKS, SAINTS QUARTERBACK: "I like Baltimore 7-3, in a blowout."
    • By all appearances, Brooks a busy man
      TAMPA -- It's 10:42 Friday morning and Derrick Brooks has been waiting in this hotel lobby for 20 minutes when he's told to cool his heels for another hour. He takes the news graciously, but he is not pleased.
    • Super side line
      Web site of the day
    • Strap on the feed bag, the NFL has taken over the kitchen
      YBOR CITY -- The St. Louis Rams had a secret weapon going into Super Bowl XXXIV: Grandma K's Bean Pies.
    • The Bucs’ Green rolls to Madden video title
      TAMPA -- Hold on, Tony. Sorry, Clyde. Another internal candidate has emerged for the Bucs offensive coordinator position.
    • Tagliabue defends NFL track record on violence
      TAMPA -- If you wanted to give NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue's Super Bowl news conference a title, Ray Lewis, Violence, and a Bunch of Other Stuff wouldn't be off the mark.
    • The NFL battling frauds with molecular science
      TAMPA -- Don't know how to tell authentic Super Bowl memorabilia from the fake stuff?
    • Here’s a different kind of Bowl
      Feeding the hungry is the goal of the Souper Bowl of Caring, which has raised millions of dollars since it was established 11 years ago.
    • NFL plunged into greatness
      The pro league went from diversion to pastime with the 1958 NFL Championship.
    • Giants quotebook
      COACH JIM FASSEL ON THE CLOSENESS OF COORDINATORS SEAN PAYTON AND JOHN FOX: "When I put this whole thing together ... that one thing I kept in mind was the team and the coaching staff, we don't need a collection of a bunch of individuals that are super-talented in their own areas that can't work in the framework of everything else."
    • Daluiso comfortable kicking in stadium
      EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Some kickers like to visualize making a field goal to win the Super Bowl as a way to anticipate the pressure of such a situation.
    • Costumers’ customers go for spiffier
      The Super Bowl is behind the demand for fancier Gasparilla parade threads this year, say two partners who've been making them since 1987.
    • Parade lets advertisers reach thousands of eyes
      TAMPA -- Since May, a dozen marketing executives from Anheuser-Busch headquarters in St. Louis and Sea World in Orlando have strategized, conceptualized, brainstormed, budgeted, planned, reviewed and ultimately approved what could be the theme park's most important advertisement of 2001.
    • Pirate parade should hook bigger crowd
      TAMPA -- For those who haven't heard, the pirate hordes descend on Tampa today.
    • Ravens quotebook
      BRIAN BILLICK ON PREPARING HIS TEAM FOR THE ONSLAUGHT OF MEDIA, ETC., THAT GOES WITH SUPER BOWL WEEK: "Like anything, you prepare them for it. You make them aware of it. Again, fortunately we have a number of players that have been in this game. So they can share that, and the older guys that haven't been here these next couple of days, you're going to stay cool and calm. But when you come out of that tunnel, and grew up as a kid watching that same scene, being in that scene, dreaming about being there, the flood of emotions is going to be incredible."
    • Once, twice, three times a title
      Ravens center Jeff Mitchell comes home determined to play and win. Kipp Vickers returns with similar intentions.
    • Super play not enough for the Hall of Fame
      Several Ravens and Giants play well enough to win, but they have a lot to prove if they want the ultimate honor.
    • Hall of Fame ballot is loaded this year
      TAMPA -- The buzz around Super Kingdom is that the only thing longer than the list of possible Hall of Fame candidates is the list of opinions on who is a lock to be inducted.
    • Hall of Fame candidates
      Nick Buoniconti, 51
    • Hall of Fame ballot is loaded this year
      TAMPA -- The buzz around Super Kingdom is that the only thing longer than the list of possible Hall of Fame candidates is the list of opinions on who is a lock to be inducted.
    • What was the biggest hit of your football career (given or received)?
      "This year I had a third and 1 vs. Chicago, and I hit Curtis Enis just right and stopped him for a loss, and in the collision I lost a contact and had to come out and get another contact on the sidelines. That had to be one of the hardest hits." -- Keith Newman, LB, Bills
    • ‘Through hellacious traffic’
      Bill Conlin of the Philadelphia Daily News, on coming to Tampa for the big game:
    • Celebrity watch
      Thursday night at Clearwater's Grill at Feather Sound was a feast for celebrity watchers: Giants cornerback Jason Sehorn and his fiance, Angie Harmon, of Law & Order, Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman; Giants coach Jim Fassel and Ed Marinaro, former football player and Hill Street Blues star, all stopped in.
    • Orlando takes role of Super Bowl east
      The big game's corporate sponsors are taking advantage of the proximity to Tampa without the super-hyped atmosphere.
    • Pregame stars
      Sting, Ray Charles and the Backstreet Boys will highlight the star-studded pregame show for Sunday's Super Bowl.
    • On a mission for autographs
      Craig Steinchen and his 17-year-old son Matt flew in from Chicago to get autographs, autographs, autographs. Matt Steinchen says he has nearly 3,000 pieces of sports paraphernalia signed by athletes. He figures that after three days in Tampa, he'll surpass that.
    • Celebrity watch
      Malio's in Tampa had quite the powerhouse table Thursday. Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Joe Montana, former 49ers owner Eddie Debartolo and boxer Chris Byrd all came together to kick back from the hectic Super Bowl week schedule.
    • WTSP, WFTS lead the way in TV coverage
      If you feel like you're drowning in Super Bowl news, perhaps it's because the local media are drowning in it, too.
    • CBS’s coverage gets ‘Early’ jump
      Friday's Early Show begins CBS's weekend full of live coverage.
    • Scalping innovations nothing new for police
      Creativity is key in scalpers' efforts to bypass the Florida law forbidding reselling of tickets for more than $1 above face value.

    Jan. 26, 2001

    • Experts are at odds over game’s payoff
      TAMPA -- This weekend will set New Jersey insurance agent Ron Carr back about $5,500.
    • Welcome to Tampa; sell us your tickets: As fans flood the airport on the way into town, they hold onto their tickets and consider their surroundings.
    • 2 held in scam of Super Bowl tickets
      Authorities say they used credit card receipts dredged from local motel trash bins to buy at least 10 Super Bowl tickets.
    • Experts are at odds over game's payoff
      TAMPA -- This weekend will set New Jersey insurance agent Ron Carr back about $5,500.
    • Someone funny happened on the way to the big game
      Good evening, everyone. Everybody having a good time? Anyone here from Jersey? Yeah. My name is Tony Siragusa, and I'm from Kenilworth. Thank you. How Italian is Kenilworth? Every Sunday morning, a mother walks out on her porch and yells "Anthony" and about 35 kids come running. Bada-bing. Is my neighborhood like the Sopranos? Pretty much everyone has been arrested once or twice. Ba-dump.
    • After a painful time, life is 'going really well' for Sehorn
      TAMPA -- Jason Sehorn's tumbling, flicking, acrobatic, pop-up, touchdown-scoring interception against Philadelphia in the playoffs has been chronicled by John Madden as "The greatest defensive play I ever saw."
    • Ready to shake his bon bon
      Ricky Martin will sky dive into MacDill to start his live show on CBS Saturday night.
    • Tickets tossed in trash
      A couple of Giants fans rushed back into Jackson's Bistro on Tampa's Harbour Island Tuesday night in a panic. They had just enjoyed a leisurely meal, then driven away without the three $450 Super Bowl tickets they had on their table.
    • They're Giants in name, tradition
      The tradition began for me in 1968 when my father pulled our car into the Yankee Stadium parking lot early one Sunday morning as an irritated attendant directed us to a spot.
    • Ravens big on surfing
      In 27 years in the NFL, Bill Tessendorf never has had to deal with so many players coming into his training room.
    • Too much hype? Must be Super Bowl week
      TAMPA -- The media are the ones who turned the Super Bowl into such a huge event. So they have no one to blame but themselves when they arrive a week early, then have to figure out how to fuel the hype machine.
    • No matter what, he sticks by brother
      In his rookie year from the University of California, Giants defensive end Jeremiah Parker is soaking in all the splendor of the Super Bowl moment. He is not, however, forgetting where he's come from and where he wants to go.
    • A pass-and-pray type
      Am I missing something here? Has (Trent) Dilfer undergone some transformation I'm not aware of? Not to be a killjoy, but to me he's essentially the same quarterback he was with the Bucs -- the pass-and-pray type. His statistics certainly indicate as much. His ratings in his last two years in Tampa were 74 and 75.8. His rating this season, since he replaced Tony Banks in Week 9: 76.6.
    • NFC guest analyst: David 'Deacon'' Jones
      David "Deacon" Jones played for 11 years with the Los Angeles Rams (1961-71), where he became known as one of the most dominating defensive ends in NFL history, and finished a brilliant Hall of Fame career with two seasons in San Diego and one in Washington. He is a spokesman for the national hypertension awareness program, Have a Heart. He recently talked to staff writer Brian Landman about the Ravens-Giants matchup.
    • AFC guest analyst: Kim Bokamper
      Retired defensive end Kim Bokamper, a sportscaster in Miami, played for the Dolphins in Super Bowls XVII and XIX. He spoke with staff writer Joanne Korth about the Ravens-Giants matchup.
    • What's the greatest Super Bowl of all time?
      "San Francisco and Cincinnati was the best one. Besides being a 49ers fan, that game came right down to the wire. It had Montana, it had The Drive. What else can you ask for in a Super Bowl?"
    • Celebrity predictions
      WILLIE JACKSON, SAINTS WIDE RECEIVER AND EX-FLORIDA GATOR: "I really don't know. It's going to be a great game, a great defensive battle. It's just going to be a fun game to watch."
    • Super side line
      Web site of the day
    • Whassup?! Oh, popularity, income . . .
      TAMPA -- If you grow up in New Jersey, you learn to hate Philadelphia.
    • Daunte mixes mall with NFL parties
      TAMPA -- Daunte Culpepper is struggling. He is a fortress of a man, about 6-foot-5 and more than 250 pounds, but he is stopped dead in his tracks by a nerdy-looking dweeb from Washington D.C.
    • NFL works on lingering poor image
      Carruth, Lewis and Chmura cases contribute to the problems.
    • Fullback is following in family's footsteps
      The Giants' Greg Comella doesn't get many carries or much glory, but loves what he does.
    • Giants quotebook
      DEFENSIVE END MICHAEL STRAHAN ON THE JOCULARITY IN THE LOCKER ROOM: "Micheal Barrow, we call him powdered donuts. Every time he talks he gets this white ring around his mouth, he gets so dehydrated. Christian Peter, he thinks he's a 300-pound Gucci model."
    • Fassel wants teamquiet and focused
      TAMPA -- The Ravens have been nothing if not mouthy about Super Bowl XXXV. A few of them have all guaranteed a victory over the Giants -- even going so far as to suggest a shutout.
    • Having a blast with the past
      Former Giants offer support and inspiration. "We're in this with you," Lawrence Taylor says.
    • Weekend highlights
    • Proving there's no I in team
      TAMPA -- Priest Holmes realized early that rookie Jamal Lewis was talented enough to take his job. So the Ravens running back reacted the only way he knew how. He helped Lewis along.
    • Ravens quotebook
      ROD WOODSON, DEFENSIVE BACK, ON HIS PLACE IN HISTORY: "I don't think about that. I'm thinking about the game. I'm thinking about playing Sunday. That (other stuff) is for later down the road."
    • Under the purple you'll find Brown
      Three players on Baltimore's roster were with the franchise when it shockingly left Cleveland.
    • Getting the ring can be easier than keeping it
      Troubled players often are willing to sell Super Bowl rings.
    • If Giants are feeling blue, that's the sign of a winner
      The Giants' royal blue-dominated uniforms will give them enough of a psychological boost to defeat the Ravens, said Samuelle Easton, president of a New York City color psychology firm.
    • Celebrity watch
      Buffalo Bills quarterback Doug Flutie visited the Harbour Island Athletic Club in Tampa on Wednesday night for a workout. Former Washington Redskins quarterback and current ESPN analyst Joe Theismann was there playing racquetball.
    • In a world of stars, some don't get to shine
      Thursday is the last day before the Super Bowl that the National Football League (visit our Web site at sets aside for player interviews. After that, you have to stake out places where the players hang out in order to talk to them. You know, the team hotel, some cozy, out-of-the-way antique store, the nearest planetarium.
    • Halftime puts crunch on pizza shops
      When the game is close, no one wants to miss the action, so pizza parlors get the brunt of it. They expect double to triple their usual business this weekend.
    • Two bands, two eras
      Elder statesmen Aerosmith and youngsters 'N Sync trade generational barbs and praise as they prepare for Sunday.
    • Super side line
      Has everyone succumbed to the Super Bowl hoopla?
    • Ybor home base for Super revelers
      The bar-heavy district opens its doors and closes some streets for one of the biggest weekends ever.
    • 'CBS South' invades Saddlebrook Resort in Pasco
      WESLEY CHAPEL -- The invitations are out; some of the RSVPs are back. Pasco County's Saddlebrook Resort will become "CBS South" for the Super Bowl weekend.
    • Florida's anti-tobacco ad reaches new arena
      The Truth campaign will tackle a statewide audience with a new animated ad during the Super Bowl.
    • Imus draws crowd before dawn
      The caustic talk show celebrity hosts his radio show from the Westin Innisbrook Resort.
    • ‘A quirky identity crisis’
      Thousands of media types descend on the Tampa Bay area this week to cover Super Bowl XXXV. George Diaz of the Orlando Sentinel, on the Tampa Bay area's identity crisis:
    • Mardi Gras, Tampa style
      The yearly pirate invasion started nearly a century ago and has developed into one big party -- complete with beads, booze and lively music.
    • The Ultimate Sports Fan's Tour
      Matt Malm's yearlong trip, conceived by his employer, is scheduled to end at the Super Bowl in Tampa.

    Jan. 25, 2001

    • Nothing but blue skies
      Super Bowl fans should get the kind of weather for which the Chamber of Commerce was hoping.
    • For Ravens’ Lewis, no answers, just pain
      The kick returner is trying to cope after his son is stillborn.
    • At decisive moment, Armstead went right
      TAMPA -- Ah, yes. This is the life.
    • Celebrities can eat; the rest can forget it
      Top restaurants are booked solid unless your face gets you in anywhere.
    • We paid for it; it paid off
      A county tax finances Raymond James Stadium, swelling Bucs revenues and bringing the Super Bowl to town. Not everyone calls it a good investment.
    • Be cool, be cool
      Think you've spied Justin Timberlake hanging out at Adobe Gila's in Ybor City or Carmen Electra at the Green Iguana? Here are a few tips to help you handle the situation.
    • A reward for being unique
      Amani Toomer can thank his mother for an unusual name.
    • Football, hard? Try owning a club or two
      Ravens free safety Corey Harris is a revolutionary spirit with nine seasons under his belt. Here he is basking in the Super Bowl limelight and sounding off on an array of subjects with staff writer Roger Mills.
    • AFC Guest analyst
      ESPN analyst Kevin Greene played in Super Bowl XXX as a linebacker with the Steelers. He spoke with staff writer Joanne Korth about the Super Bowl matchup.
    • NFC guest analyst
      Brian Baldinger, a former offensive lineman with the Dallas Cowboys, Indianapolis Colts and Philadelphia Eagles for 13 years (1982-94), has served as an analyst for Fox the past three years. He recently talked to staff writer Brian Landman about this matchup.
    • Sports Babe planning long vacation to regroup
      Her plan this week was to cross Tampa Bay to get to the Super Bowl. Instead Nanci Donnellan, aka the Fabulous Sports Babe, ended up flying over the Pacific Ocean -- with her future as a radio host in doubt.
    • Dilfer in his glory
      Trent Dilfer returned as a reluctant hero, a quarterback with no ego who runs an offense with no ego.
    • Sharpe remarks
      ON WHETHER THE NAME JASON GAVADZA RINGS A BELL: Who? (Jason Gavadza.) No, who is he? (He's the Ravens practice squad tight end.) Oh, him. I did not know his name. I call him Number 47, and he answers.
    • Reselling tickets is big business
      TAMPA -- The man called Moose moves through the lobby of the luxury hotel and nods to his colleagues, one by one.
    • Super side line
      Web site of the day
    • Autograph demands are a sign of Faulk's times
      Next to the 12th green, Marshall Faulk's golf cart is surrounded by at least 30 people.
    • Ravens quotebook
      CORNERBACK CHRIS MCALISTER, ON THE IMPACT SAFETY ROD WOODSON HAS HAD ON HIS CAREER: "Rod is like a father. He's been there, he's played this position. What Rod tells me, I take it like it's my father."
    • Whether wide or short, every kicker has a friend
      Failures such as Scott Norwood's Super Bowl miss remind brethren of the value of empathy, and preparation.
    • Some Sharpe words greet Lewis critics
      TAMPA -- Ray Lewis does a pretty good job taking care of himself, but loquacious teammate Shannon Sharpe on Wednesday lent a hand, and a few hundred words.
    • Reluctant convert finds his bliss on O-line
      TAMPA -- Hold your heart, Fred Sanford style. This is the big one. I'm about to say something nice about Ray Perkins, a Tampa Bay coach I found easy and necessary to criticize.
    • Celebrity predictions
      JEB BUSH, GOVERNOR OF FLORIDA: "Since my three favorite teams did not make it (can you guess which ones?), I am not too fired up about the game. I think the Giants will win for no other reason than the owner is a great guy!"
    • Hilliard can take a hit
      Giants receiver same as he was at UF: hard to cover and quick to recover.
    • Lomas Brown in line for a title
      TAMPA -- Left tackle Lomas Brown's 16-year journey to the Super Bowl snaked torturously through Detroit, Arizona and Cleveland before he landed in New York and got into the fast lane to Tampa.
    • Giants quotebook
      DEFENSIVE END MICHAEL STRAHAN ON WHY THE GIANTS HAVE BEEN VERY BUSINESSLIKE THIS WEEK: "I like boring. When we got boring, we started to win. ... Coach (Jim) Fassel told us a long time ago to have less talk and more action. That's what we plan to do."
    • Celebrity watch
      Queen Latifah, recording artist, actor, talk show host and model, will travel to Super Bowl events from a waterfront house on Redington Beach in Pinellas County. She rented the recently renovated home for four days. No word on the price.
    • A field guide to the celebrities
      Ricky Martin at a Holiday Inn on the beach? Rumors and stars proliferate as Super Bowl day gets closer.
    • Media follows the NFL's food trail
      Host cities must coddle the media, but ethicists say it hurts the profession.
    • Super volunteers have more answers than Regis Philbin
      Ready for any question, task force members prepare for the onslaught at Tampa International.
    • Rooms are available, but they'll cost you
      While most major hotels are booked, independent places still have beds at higher-than-normal rates.
    • Super Bowl side line
      Halftime set up an event itself
    • Lots of money, but not for all
      According to recently released figures from the General Accounting Office -- or maybe it was some guy on the local TV news who said it, what's the difference? -- Super Bowl XXXV will bring in about $991-trillion to the Tampa Bay area.
    • Sand sculptures fill tall order
      Officials hope the beach project sets a world record, but they say it is generating enough national publicity to justify the cost.
    • Complaint brings an apology, tickets
      A letter chastising the Glazers for excluding School Board members from ticket offers results in a surprise phone call.
    • Art of the game
      For those who like a little art with their sports, there are football-themed exhibits on both sides of the bay.
    • Highlights of the week
    • New rumor, new denial: no Parcells
      TAMPA -- One day after confirming that the Bucs are not for sale, the franchise had to deal with rumors that Bill Parcells had been contacted about becoming coach.
    • Bucs' Lynch takes a ride into the wild blue yonder
      TAMPA -- The Thunderbirds are in town, ready to roar over Raymond James Stadium following the national anthem. As a warmup Wednesday, one of the F-6 jets took Buccaneers safety John Lynch for a fast and furious ride.
    • Redner to teams and NFL: I must get this off my chest
      TAMPA -- Nude dance club owner Joe Redner apologized Wednesday to the NFL, the Ravens, the Giants and the "many fans and guests coming to Tampa for Super Bowl XXXV."
    • Loving every minute of it
      Editors note: Football is more than a game; it's a way of life. In this series, we focus on one player at each stage of the game, from pee wee football through retirement. Through their eyes you, too, may experience the life of football.

     Jan. 24, 2001

    • Gary Shelton
      He just doesn't get it
      TAMPA -- There are bodies in front of Ray Lewis. He does not seem to notice.
    • Hubert Mizell
      Master matador Dilfer handles reporters
      TAMPA -- As if in Pamplona, journalistic bulls came running Tuesday, cut loose by NFL security, a thousand or two reporters flooding onto a Raymond James Stadium sideline, hustling for field position at interviews of high-in-demand Super Bowl players.
    • Darrell Fry
      Living the life of NFL leisure
      You were probably at lunch or heading into your second meeting of the day when 49ers wide receiver J.J. Stokes was rolling out of bed at his plush, upper-level room at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort in downtown St. Petersburg.
    • Roger Mills
      Dixon hopes team can count on him
      A third-round draft pick out of Lambuth University (Tenn.), Wildwood native Ron Dixon has had an eventful rookie year, which culminated in his breathtaking 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against the Eagles in the NFC divisional playoffs. Here he sounds off.
    • Super music
      Musical time warp
      It's the return of the '70s. The Village People, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Styx are among the groups to play in the bay area this weekend.
    • Around Tampa Bay
      $600,000 Super Bowl rental may involve Bilzerian
      TAMPA -- For $600,000 per week, Super Bowl revelers may soon be able to do what the Securities and Exchange Commission has tried to do for the past decade: get into Paul Bilzerian's Avila home.
    • Turf rivals: Tractor pull, poetry
      On Super Bowl Sunday, fans of farm machinery and free verse will dare to swim against the mainstream at two separate events.
    • Media glare cuts into nude club's business
      TAMPA -- For two years, Theresa Gilmore has waited for this week to arrive.
    • Full houses, high rates
      Most of about 55,000 hotel rooms in the Tampa Bay area are booked and the leftover rooms are going at the highest legal prices. Even Orlando is seeing a piece of the action.
    • Meet the men behind the bowl: Jack Wilson
      Although he isn't involved in the day-to-day aspects of planning, Wilson is an integral part of the Super Bowl process.
    • Meet the men behind the Bowl: Michael Kelly
      Kelly performs his "matchmaker" job, not for perks or money, but simply for the opportunity to work on the big game.
    • Spotlight on Tampa
      Tampa has been busily preparing for Super Bowl XXXV. The city is planting trees, arresting nude dancers and roping off Ybor City for a deluge of private partying. The dressing up is an opportunity to assess the condition of a community residents live with every day. In that sense, the Super Bowl could do lasting good if it contrasts where Tampa is with where it ought to be.
    • Celebrity watch
      Mary J. Blige in halftime
    • Media
      Super Bowl attracts radio celebrities
      TV, music and sports celebrities are swarming for the Super Bowl, and a few notable radio folks are also getting a piece of the action.
    • Angling for fuller field view
      CBS play-by-play announcer Greg Gumbel jokes that he'll be the one playing the part of Keanu Reeves this week, but in reality that role could be filled by the Ravens' Shannon Sharpe.
    • Coverage of the big game takes on international flavor
      More than 400 credentials were issued to members of the international media. The game will be televised around the world.
    • The Buzz
      Fan chat
      If you could have dinner with any player in the Super Bowl, who would it be and why?
    • NFC guest analyst
      Jack Youngblood is a former star defensive end at Florida (1968-70) who, after being drafted in the first round by the Los Angeles Rams, earned numerous All-Pro honors during his career (1971-84). Now a consultant to the Arena Football League commissioner, Youngblood is in town and recently talked to staff writer Brian Landman about the Super Bowl.
    • Dilfer chat
      He's all yours, Tony
    • AFC guest analyst
      ESPN analyst Tom Jackson, a linebacker for the Broncos from 1973-86, spoke with staff writer Joanne Korth about the Super Bowl.
    • Sharpe remarks
      On talking trash: In a game like this, no one wants to talk to me. I don't know why.
    • 'There is nothing here'
      Thousands of media types descend on the Tampa Bay area this week to cover Super Bowl XXXV. At least one of them, San Diego Union-Tribune columnist Nick Canepa, is already less than impressed with the host city.
    • The Life of Football: Part Four
      The road of the rookie
      David Gibson is not standing at the crossroads, he is crouching in a sprinter's stance.
    • Player spotlight
      After 10 years, Cross can't take this for granted
      The one Giant who was here in '91 has made it back by working harder than anyone.
    • RBs insist there's gas in the tanks
      But some around them say rookies are worn down from long season.
    • Exactly who is hitting who here?
      Ravens running back Jamal Lewis takes pride in delivering punishment.
    • Et cetera
      Football novices: jump in the pool
      TAMPA -- There are parlays and straight bets, teasers and exotic bets, bookies, Vegas and offshore gambling houses on the Internet, but arguably the easiest and most popular form on Super Bowl Sunday is the "pool." It's simple because it's what you make it. Ten people at your party? Everyone throws in a token (playing for money is, of course, illegal) and picks the winner and total points, or game MVP. Get it right, win the pool.
    • Super side line
      Web site of the day
    • Super Bowl notebook
      Go deep for the pass, and drop those pants
    • Ravens quotebook
      Ravens owner Art Modell, on what he might have done if another owner had moved to Baltimore first:
    • Giants quotebook
      Quarterback Kerry Collins on his career controversies: "Do I like rehashing my problems all of the time? No, but that's part of the deal. To be able to talk about it openly and honestly is therapeutic. I think it shows I've turned the corner in a lot of ways."
    • Giants notebook
      Fassel's guarantee to boss came sooner
    • Ravens notebook
      Disney may balk if Ray Lewis is MVP

     Jan. 23, 2001

    • Hubert Mizell
      Boys and girls, here are the Super Friends
      TAMPA -- Long term, it's a cool relationship. Cool as in good, solid. Almost brotherly. Jim Fassel and Brian Billick, warmest of coaching buddies, become the hottest of Super Bowl XXXV rivals.
    • Gary Shelton
      Your humble scribes await your wisdom. Speak!
      TAMPA -- Okay, guys. This is your chance.
    • ‘There is no justice’
      Outraged and in searing pain, relatives of Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar say Lewis got away with murder. And no one cares.
    • Lewis: Killings a ‘closed chapter’
      But they will be a primary topic at today's Super Bowl media day.
    • Billick tees off on media
      TAMPA -- Brian Billick's team is known for its defense, but Monday the Ravens coach went on the offensive about media depictions of linebacker Ray Lewis' participation in Super Bowl XXXV.
    • Trouble will find you in Tampa Bay area
      Celebrities in the Tampa Bay area for the Super Bowl should be wary, and not just because the NFL is warning players about the potential pitfalls of Tampa's nude-dancing clubs. Celebrities and athletes have quite a history of getting into trouble in the bay area.
    • Homeowners fall short with Super Bowl fans
      With dreams of dollars, residents find renting their homes a tough sell.
    • Tom McEwen, who helped put Tampa on the sports map, is retiring -- grudgingly
      TAMPA -- He never pictured it ending this way.
    • NFC guest analyst
      Richard "Batman" Wood, a former standout linebacker at the University of Southern California and for the Tampa Bay Bucs (1976-84) who is now the coach at Wharton High, recently talked to Times staff writer Brian Landman about the Super Bowl matchup.
    • AFC guest analyst
      Lindy Infante, an NFL coach for 13 seasons, finished his career as Colts coach from 1996-97. He spoke with staff writer Joanne Korth about the ways a great defense and a mediocre offense work together for team success.
    • Check out the media day madness
      You won't be among the horde of reporters at Raymond James Stadium today. You won't have to worry about your innocent question showing up across the country as this year's dumbest did-they-really-ask-that question.
    • Super side line
      No, not THAT kind of coke party. It's Coca-Cola's "Prep-o-Rama" to prepare fans for the big game. There are recipes for "Punt Pate" and "Candied Pigskins," online paper football games and "Party Feng Shui," a trivia game that tests your game-day etiquette. If that's not enough, Joe Montana stops by to chat at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
    • Jason Taylor: Jesus would dunk on MJ
      Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor narrowly edged Warren Sapp for the NFL's Ultimate Defender crown Saturday(,) and from his perch on top he shared his insights on being a pro athlete and then some with Times staff writer Roger Mills.
    • A nice way to travel, but BYOB
      TAMPA -- Airship operation isn't rocket science.
    • The voice of the Rays -- and of the big game
      Paul Olden prepares for his yearly gig as public address announcer at the Super Bowl.
    • Quotebook
      Defensive tackle Tony Siragusa on what the Super Bowl will be like:
    • Players won't be babied
      TAMPA -- They have heard the legends about the city's nightlife. They have read the memos and listened to the warnings.
    • Leaving the demons to dry out
      Since spending eight weeks in alcohol rehab, Kerry Collins has grown to love life off the field.
    • Tiki’s hide-out: Ronde’s
      TAMPA -- There is no question Tiki Barber is enjoying his Super Bowl experience.
    • Officials confident about game-day parking
      With about 20,000 motorists looking for a place to park, spaces in residential neighborhoods are expected to be hot commodities.
    • Tampa the backdrop for ‘Raymond’
      Even after this year's Super Bowl is done, CBS will spend a little more time showcasing the Tampa Bay area, through a Monday episode of its hit sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond set at the big game.
    • Police prefer a quiet game
      Security is ready for any circumstance -- from scalpers to pickpockets to a hostage situation -- but expects to stay in the background during Super Bowl XXXV, a vast change from 1991's game held in Tampa.
    • Pop ’n’ Rock
      MTV will reach out to a diverse audience in Sunday's halftime show. The music and entertainment icon will tone down its attitude in an attempt to reach all viewers.
    • Smirnoff cashes in on Super Bowl hype
      The vodka maker's party Monday night had more to do with marketing than football.
    • The pressures of excellence
      Editors note: Football is more than a game; it's a way of life. In this series, we focus on one player at each stage of the game, from pee wee football through retirement. Through their eyes you, too, may experience the life of football.
    • Believe it, fellas, you're the stars this time
      The players had their video cameras out, shooting Raymond James Stadium as they descended on Tampa. The in-flight movie, Remember The Titans, had stirred their football emotions, and now the reality of the Super Bowl was right there out the window.
    • Celebrity predictions
      LOU HOLTZ, SOUTH CAROLINA FOOTBALL COACH: "New York, 17-7. If for no better reason than because three of the Giants' offensive linemen (Luke Petitgout, Mike Rosenthal and Dusty Zeigler) played for me at Notre Dame, so I have to figure they're going to play well."
    • Tarpon stars front and center
      It has been quite a run of athletic feats for alumni of Tarpon Springs High the past 13 months.
    • What you see is what you get: Britney at halftime
      Pop star Britney Spears will be shaking her groove thing during the Super Bowl's halftime show. On Monday, MTV confirmed a report from nationally syndicated columnist Liz Smith that Spears will be there.

     Jan. 22, 2001

    • CBS, MTV: Touched by an unlikely marriage
      The network that brings you 'Touched By an Angel' is working the game with the guys from MTV. Viacom, which controls them, hopes the pairing will boost audiences for both.
    • In Cleveland, anger remains
      If you're looking for a get-rich quick scheme, here is a gold mine of an opportunity.
    • It's tough to dislike Modell (this week, at least)
      When you talk about the great supervillains, you are talking about a certain flair.
    • Girding for gridlock
      By land and by air, the fans are coming. Officials expect delays but no serious problems.
    • Corporate jets blitz bay area for Super Bowl
      TAMPA -- Sleek and pricey private jets will be lined up to land this week at Tampa and St. Petersburg-Clearwater international airports.
    • AFL guest analyst
      The host of ESPN's NFL Matchup, Merrill Hoge played fullback for the Steelers from 1987-93 before finishing his career with the Bears in 1995. He spoke with staff writer Joanne Korth about ways the Giants can be successful against the Ravens' top-rated defense.
    • NFC guest analyst
      Tampa Bay Bucs first draft choice Lee Roy Selmon, the star defensive lineman from 1976-84 who was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1995 and is now an administrator at the University of South Florida, recently talked to Times staff writer Brian Landman about the Super Bowl matchup.
    • Many broadcasts welcome live viewers
      If your quest for Super Bowl atmosphere isn't fulfilled by the NFL Experience -- and for some reason you can't find someone to sell you a cheap game ticket -- you always can head over to Harbour Island and gawk at the dozens of analysts broadcasting live from Tampa this week.
    • Super side line
      Web site of the day
    • Autograph tip: manners matter
      Being polite, organized may convince increasingly wary athletes to sign.
    • Celebrity predictions
      EVANDER HOLYFIELD: "I think the Ravens will win just because of that defense. It seems that they're a team that is jelling together and it's not just one person. Even though Ray Lewis is racking people up and is playing his position real well, everyone else is also playing their positions real well. Ravens 21-14."
    • What they're saying
      Bucs needed Dilfer
    • Modell a rabid Giants fan from growing up in Brooklyn
      One man is believed to have more Giants season tickets than any other, and that man is none other than Ravens owner Art Modell.
    • It's same old, same old in New York/New Jersey
      Their baseball, hockey and basketball teams won or came close to titles in the past year. Now it's the Giants' turn.
    • Don't mistake where Accorsi's rooting interest is
      TAMPA -- Jim Fassel's boss, the architect of Giants who signs paychecks for Jason Sehorn, Tiki Barber and their New York playmates, was an extensive NFL dues payer in Baltimore with Colts who fled for Indianapolis, then with Browns who kissed off Cleveland to evolve into Ravens.
    • Mara is still a football giant
      Wellington Mara has had close ties to the club for 75 years.
    • NFL hopes to leave legacy in Tampa
      It's not just about the game, says the league, which plans to make its mark with a $1-million grant for two youth community centers.
    • In Baltimore, love rekindled
      BALTIMORE -- Picture the city as a spurned lover. Dumped by its true companion, the metropolis mourns for years on end. Always, forever, carrying a torch. Or, in this case, a tuba.
    • Imagine that, QBs throw hard
      TAMPA -- Two of the area's top high school quarterbacks -- Clearwater Central Catholic's Jay Davis and Armwood's Ron Buskey -- made their names known at this weekend's NFL Experience.
    • Penn St. reunion looming
      OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Kim Herring and Joe Jurevicius are getting together a little ahead of schedule this year.
    • Fassel: Stay out of trouble
      TAMPA -- If they were so inclined, Giants players who arrived Sunday for the Super Bowl were allowed to visit night spots until 1:30 this morning.
    • Bowl billboards in your face at every turn
      Super Bowl billboards are everywhere.
    • Boon from the Bowl
      Several Tampa Bay businesses are cashing in on the game thanks to efforts by the Super Bowl Task Force to steer game promoters and partyers to local companies.
    • Super Bowl quality of life index
      Super Bowl XXXV players from Florida Universities: 11 (Miami 6, Florida 4, FSU 1)
    • Tampa in spotlight on national television
      You'll be seeing a lot of Tampa this week on TV, with extra attention from CBS's The Early Show and two shows on the TV Food Network that focus on Tampa restaurants.
    • Highlights of the week
    • Bowl sand sculpture starts to take shape
      The world-renowned sand artists creating the Super Bowl vision are using sand from Haines City to build the castle.
    • The small town's big day
      Editors note: Football is more than a game; it's a way of life. In this series, we focus on one player at each stage of the game, from pee wee football through retirement. Through their eyes you, too, may experience the life of football.

    Jan. 21, 2001

    • If you ain't misbehavin', then you're likely to miss out on Tampa
      That bonk I suffered a few weeks back -- the one that taught me it is unwise to put your head in the trunk of the car just as your husband closes it -- has apparently had some lasting effects.
    • Let the invasion begin
      The pirates launch Gasparilla after pelting the Navy with bread.
    • Redemption
      Tagged "a racist, a drunk and a quitter," Giants QB Kerry Collins has come back.
    • Redemption
      Once Trent Dilfer found out failure could not crush him, he succeeded on and off the field.
    • Computer age crashes the party
      It would seem nearly impossible to add more to the media frenzy that accompanies the week leading up to the Super Bowl -- more than 3,000 journalists descending on one stadium, armed with cameras and notepads and microphones.
    • Tiki Barber: Life is great
      He has a twin brother named Ronde, a broken hand he's trying to deal with, a history of stealing another man's girlfriend and a desire to play with his brother. He is Giants running back Tiki Barber, and he spoke recently with Times reporter Roger Mills.
    • AFC guest analys
      A field reporter for ESPN, Solomon Wilcots was a defensive back for the Bengals, Vikings and Steelers from 1987-93. He spoke about the Super Bowl matchup with Times staff writer Joanne Korth.
    • NFC guest analyst
      Andre Waters, a Philadelphia Eagles safety (1984-93) and former University of South Florida assistant coach, recently talked to Times staff writer Brian Landman and explained why he, an old NFC player, picks the AFC champion Ravens in Super Bowl XXXV.
    • Who will be Super Bowl MVP?
      "Ray Lewis. He's the best defensive player out there today."
    • Celebrity predictions
      JEFF BURTON, NASCAR Winston Cup driver and serious sports fan: "I think Baltimore will win. Defense. Defense. Defense. Baltimore is the better team."
    • Super Bowl Q & A
      Q: What time is the kickoff?
    • From A to Z
      A is for American Football League: It was the fourth AFL, and the first in 20 years, to challenge the NFL and survive more than two seasons. It was born in 1960, a child of network TV, nurtured by ABC and given muscle by NBC.
    • Super side line
      Web site of the day
    • After three decades of big games, these memories are most Super
      TAMPA -- For neck-tingling dramatics, in football and beyond, from all the Roman-numeraled Super Bowls, the highest impact came from XXV.
    • There are many pro sports, but NFL is most professional
      There are times all you see are the warts. There are times you see the stodginess that comes with age, and the flaws that come from arrogance, and the tarnish that comes from the police blotter.
    • Inclement weather doesn't deter youths
      Overcast skies and blustery winds Saturday morning didn't prevent nearly 500 youths from attending the Super Bowl Youth Clinic at Florida Power Park in St. Petersburg.
    • Taylor edges past Sapp
      Dolphins end stops Bucs tackle's two-year reign in NFL's Ultimate Defender Champion.
    • The ex-factor
      Through the history of the NFL, certain labels have forecast greatness: Penn State linebacker, USC running back, BYU quarterback, Michigan offensive lineman. But perhaps no label has been a better harbinger of rejuvenated success than former Bucs quarterback. Consider these examples:
    • Rooting for Dilfer: He is a winner
      Unlike many Bucs fans, I hope Dilfer leads the Ravens to a resounding win in Super Bowl XXXV because he seems like a genuinely good guy. It's so easy to hate a team from New York and, most of all, a Ravens win would focus more heat on Tony Dungy and some of his choices.
    • If you can't make it there . . .
      Other Giants players who have been given second chances:
    • Ex-Colt's son gets final thrill
      OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Lenny Moore has been a familiar sight around the Ravens training complex since the team moved to Baltimore.
    • No one expected them here
      There are precious few who would have predicted the Giants would be arriving in Tampa today to prepare for Super Bowl XXXV. In fact, some oddsmakers had the Giants at 40-1 to win the championship.

    Jan. 20, 2001

    Jan. 19, 2001

    Jan. 18, 2001

      Jan. 17, 2001

      Jan. 16, 2001

    • All Super Bowl, all the time
      Jim Steeg offers a glimpse behind the scenes and talks about the bay area's chances for another Super Bowl.
    • Deal with it, Bucs fans
      That's the message Ravens coach Brian Billick has for all those Dilfer-Dungy second-guessers.
    • Bucs glad for Dilfer’s success
      TAMPA -- The Ravens were on the team bus after beating Oakland when Trent Dilfer's mobile phone rang. It was a call from a long-time friend in Tampa.
    • NFL sues to stop trademark use on Web site
      The league calls the site's use of "Super Bowl" an infringement. The site's owner says it is being attacked because it is a minority firm.
    • Little room at the inns for fans
      Hotels, charging top rates, report fewer than 1,000 vacancies for Super Bowl week.
    • MacDill’s game plans to shine with stars
      TAMPA -- The last time the Super Bowl was in Tampa, MacDill Air Force Base was preparing for war. U.S. Central Command at MacDill was directing Desert Storm efforts. Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf was at its helm.
    • Fassel is a party pooper
      Giants coach has a workmanlike approach to the Super Bowl and wants his team to complete "unfinished business."
    • Billick-Fassel bond to be put to the test
      OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- He is a second-year head coach heading to the Super Bowl. This is just the type of situation Ravens coach Brian Billick would like to discuss with his confidante. Except Giants coach Jim Fassel will be on the other sideline when Super Bowl XXXV is played next week.
    • Winning exhausts Fassel
      EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Barely had the Giants earned a trip the Super Bowl with their 41-0 NFC Championship Game victory Sunday than coach Jim Fassel's friends and relatives began coming out of the woodwork.
    • What they’re saying
      Sure, Baltimore will be favored. The Ravens' defense has been unapproachable in recent games. The Giants, I suspect, would be secretly disappointed if they weren't. They feed on disrespect like an opiate.

    Jan. 15, 2001

    • Giants win 41-0, and even they can hardly believe it
      Kerry Collins leads the destruction of the Vikings as New York heads to Tampa, where it won Super Bowl XXV.
    • He’s back!
      Trent Dilfer is in the big game after he and the Ravens throttle the Raiders 16-3.
    • Festival lets football fans get in groove
      CLEARWATER -- Football fans around the bay area may chant Who let the dogs out ... Woof! Woof! Woof woof! -- the catchy lyrics that became an anthem of sorts at sporting events across the country -- at any one of a number of events scheduled for Super Bowl weekend.
    • MacDill will show the flag when stars come out for the big game
      TAMPA -- The last time the Super Bowl was in Tampa, MacDill Air Force Base was preparing for war. U.S. Central Command at MacDill was directing Desert Storm efforts. Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf was at its helm.
    • It’s Giants vs. Ravens
      TAMPA -- Ready or not, here they come.
    • He could gloat. But he won’t
      OAKLAND, Calif. -- An emotion so heavenly, a quarterback taking a knee. Dropping to the Oakland grass, but feeling so high. Time running out on the Raiders, but Trent Dilfer's clock was ticking louder than ever.
    • Expect hard hits, sure tackling, few points
      E. RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- And now, a word about the Super Bowl.
    • Vikes compete with Giants only in stopping themselves
      Meltdowns in nearly every phase of the game make Minnesota its own worst enemy.
    • NFC notebook
      QB Collins obliterates Giants playoff marks
    • Kerry Collins’ makeover is a winner
      Giants quarterback overcomes his past to enjoy the present.
    • Stunned with shutout? One coach expected it
      Giants defensive coordinator John Fox told his troops that 0 points allowed was obtainable.
    • Death of a friend moves Sharpe
      Ravens tight end loses best friend to heart attack Tuesday.
    • What they’re saying
      The lowest scoring Super Bowl in history was Super Bowl VII (Miami 14, Washington 7). Keep that in mind when watching Super Bowl XXXV in two weeks.
    • New ammo fires up Dilfer debate
      TAMPA -- The crowd at Champions thirsted for Raven blood.
    • AFC notebook
      Gannon hobbled and humbled by Raven defense
    • Meet the Giants
      WHAT THEY DO WELL: The Giants play exceptional defense, as evidenced by their dismantling of Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb in the divisional playoff and their resolve to come up with key stops against Minnesota in the NFC Championship Game. Defensive coordinator John Fox is a master of blitz packages. Offensively, New York is more efficient than explosive. The unit features one of the most balanced attacks in the league but proved against the Vikings on Sunday it can win through the air.
    • Meet the Ravens
      WHAT THEY DO WELL: Search and destroy. Not since the famous Bears defense of 1985 has a team been so disruptive to offenses. The Ravens are technically sound, which means they avoid big mistakes, and they are stocked with impact players, which means they make big plays. Baltimore gave up an average of 10.3 points a game, a record for a 16-week schedule and the best since the '76 Steelers. The key is a strong front four that ties up offensive lines and allows the linebackers to roam free. The Ravens have not allowed a 100-yard rusher in more than two years.
    • Analysis: Chris Berman
      ESPN analyst/Swami Chris Berman calls himself a "good Gulf Coast guy" and says he has a piece of concrete and part of an aluminum bench from the old Tampa Stadium (nicknamed the Big Sombrero by Berman) in his office. He shared his thoughts on Sunday's championship games and the Super Bowl with Times staffer Sharon Ginn:
    • You-know-who chat
      Heeeeeeee's back! Can you say pie in our face? Congratulations, Trent Dilfer. You showed the ultimate class and perseverance since you left the Bucs. You made this Trent doubter a Dilfer fan.

     Jan. 14, 2001

    • Volunteers gear up before big game
      About 4,000 will staff a mini-theme park. Others will greet and direct Super Bowl visitors.
    • Attack mentality
      New York and Jason Sehorn have their work cut out trying to stop Randy Moss and Minnesota's offense.
    • Attack mentality
      Someone has to blink when Oakland's powerful running game meets Baltimore's rock-solid defense.
    • NFC championship: Vikings at Giants
      OF NOTE: Everything is in place for a Giants upset, but it'll come about only if New York can take advantage of the weak Minnesota defense and pressure quarterback Daunte Culpepper.
    • Today: Ravens at Raiders
      OF NOTE: Rich Gannon's scrambling never will be more important than today. Gannon's ability to make plays on the run could be pivotal.
    • Barber twins form mutual fan club
      EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Minnesota is home to the Twins. But the Giants have a twin -- running back Tiki Barber, the twin brother of Bucs defensive back Ronde Barber.
    • Guest analysis: Vikings at Giants
      I think this whole game is a surprise. I don't know anyone before the season started who thought the New York Giants would have the best record in football. At Minnesota, everyone thought Dennis Green was crazy: He loses his quarterback and he's going to start this guy named Daunte Culpepper? But you know when you really think about it, this is the way the system -- with the weighted schedule and the draft order -- is supposed to work.
    • Key fight takes place in trenches
      Forget Moss-Sehorn, Strahan-Stringer could dictate the NFC title.
    • Teams remember deceased player
      OAKLAND, Calif. -- There will be a special presence at today's AFC Championship Game.
    • Guest analysis: Raiders vs. Ravens
      I remember at the beginning of the year I said this is going to be the year of the offense. Then about seven or eight weeks into the season, all these defenses rounded into shape and started playing extremely well. The Ravens are better than I ever thought they would be.
    • Raiders defense upholds tradition
      While Oakland's offense gains attention, the defense quietly gets the job done.

    Jan. 13, 2001

    Jan. 12, 2001

    Jan. 11, 2001

    • Mirror images
      The vaunted defense is led by Pro Bowl players at tackle, linebacker and safety, and is combined with an anemic offense. Sound familiar? Nope, it's not the Bucs. It's the Baltimore Ravens.
    • To serve all mankind, and win a Super Bowl
      If Jessie Armstead and Micheal Barrow can lead the Giants to a world title, they just might be superheroes.
    • Big shots are offered seats for big game
      The NFL has offered Hillsborough and Pinellas officials a chance to buy Super Bowl tickets.
    • FB Ritchie returns for the Raiders
      ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The good news for the Raiders in Wednesday's rain-soaked workout was that fullback Jon Ritchie returned to action and should be able to play against the Ravens on Sunday after missing three games.
    • N.Y. looks to LT for motivation
      EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- With a trip to the Super Bowl on the line, Giants coach Jim Fassel is trying to line up Lawrence Taylor for a motivational speech.

    Jan. 10, 2001

    Jan. 9, 2001

    Jan. 8, 2001

    Jan. 7, 2001

    Jan. 5, 2001

    Jan. 4, 2001
    • Stadium preens for big day
      New turf, more seats, goings-on in the bowels of the stadium: These are but a few of the preparations for Jan. 28.

    Jan. 3, 2001

    Jan. 1, 2001

    Dec. 31, 2000
    • Inner strength
      PHILADELPHIA -- The Bucs were bickering. They had just blown a game to the Chicago Bears, a team they had pummelled 41-0 two months earlier. Their three-game winning streak was over. Their playoff hopes were on a slippery slope. The locker room hadn't splintered, but everyone seemed to be wielding an ax.
    • What a rush! Miami rallies for win
      RB Lamar Smith's record-setting day lifts the Dolphins to an overtime victory.
    • Saints survive rally for first playoff win
      New Orleans nearly blows its 31-7 lead over the Rams.
    • Kicker's rare miss costs Indianapolis
      MIAMI -- A year ago, Indianapolis kicker Mike Vanderjagt beat the Dolphins with a 53-yard field goal on the last play of the game at Pro Player Stadium.
    • Record runner
      Miami running back Lamar Smith set an NFL record for rushing attempts in a post-season game Saturday against Indianapolis. The top playoff performances:
    • Fiedler starts badly, ends well
      Booed in the first half, the Dolphins quarterback rebounds to lead the second-half comeback.
    • Jackson catches accolades
      Ex-Gator: 6 catches, 142 yards; 3 TD grabs match NFL playoff mark.
    • Arguable call not enough to keep Rams alive again
      NEW ORLEANS -- It looked as if the Rams were going to be helped by a controversial call on a pass reception for the second straight post-season.
    • Spotlight shines bright on Dilfer
      After a prolific stretch, the Ravens offense again has struggled with the former Bucs QB at the helm.

    Dec. 30, 2000
    • Bracing for a blizzard
      With a mess of snow due in Philadelphia today, Bucs leave Tampa a day early.
    • Jones declared inactive
      TAMPA -- Bucs defensive end Marcus Jones and linebacker Jeff Gooch will not play in Sunday's wild-card game at Philadelphia.
    • Bucs seek to make gains in short yardage
      Offense finds that not moving the chains can cause production problems.
    • Bucs embracing a 'wild' challenge
      As offensive coordinator for the Titans, Les Steckel was part of two road wins in the playoffs last season. The Titans knocked off Indianapolis (19-16) and Jacksonville (33-14) to earn a spot in the Super Bowl.
    • Home is where the hurt is for Dolphins, Colts
      Miami seeks to reverse a trend of victories by the visiting team when the two meet today.
    • If 'Super' is our goal, some areas fall short
      Like about a billion other people who wouldn't be caught dead traveling during the holidays, I had to do it anyway, but at least I got the experience of arriving in Tampa like a visitor and getting a strong first impression. Like, say, a visitor on the soon-to-come weekend when Tampa welcomes the Super Bowl.

    Dec. 29, 2000
    • City gussies up for Super Bowl
      Workers plant grass, trees and shrubs to beautify sites around town at an estimated cost of $350,000.
    • Young and Restless
      Four young, black quarterbacks aren't waiting for success. after just two years in the NFL, they are aiming for the Super Bowl title.
    • Value of playoff experience debated
      Young Eagles think Bucs may have an advantage. Bucs say playing well is the only thing that matters.
    • Prognosis better for King, Duncan, White
      TAMPA -- As the weather got cooler and wetter as if in anticipation of Sunday's wild-card playoff game at Philadelphia, the Bucs' injury concerns lessened Thursday with the return of several key players to practice for non-contact drills.

    Dec. 28, 2000
    • Bucs' Moore a very confident man
      TAMPA -- Dave Moore has been a quiet, competitive constant in Bucs huddles since Tony Dungy became coach in 1996. A solid but uncelebrated tight end who, like the eye of a hurricane, is a tough calm around which Tampa Bay football storms complex and controversial have churned.
    • They say the Vet Stadium turf is hard as concrete
      Maybe that's why last week it was treated like piece of Philly highway.
    • Bucs want last laugh vs. McNabb
      Goal of the defense: to make sure no other team this season gets to watch film of it futilely chasing the Eagles QB.
    • Brooks works out in pads and shorts
      TAMPA -- The Bucs defense, suffering a rash of injuries four days before its wild-card playoff game at Philadelphia, got a cautious but encouraging boost at Wednesday's practice with the return of linebacker Derrick Brooks.
    • Wannstedt pushes right buttons
      The Dolphins' first-year coach is having success in large part because he has his players' respect.

    Dec. 27, 2000
    • The kick, then the kicking
      TAMPA -- He closes his eyes, and the image is there, uninvited and cruel.
    • Building a better Saint
      Second-year coach Jim Haslett has his surprising playoff team believing it can win.
    • Defense limps into playoffs
      Derrick Brooks, who has a right shoulder sprain, leads a long line into the Bucs trainer's room.
    • Davis prepared for a bigger role
      TAMPA -- With Pro Bowl linebacker Derrick Brooks' status in question for Sunday, backup Don Davis could see extended playing time again against the Eagles in the wild-card game.
    • Keyshawn to Jets: 'Nyah'
      The Bucs receiver's ex-team missed the playoffs. Think you'll catch Johnson gloating? You bet.

    Drivers get a break on parking in Ybor City
    The city hopes to give businesses a holiday boost and smooth parking problems when the Super Bowl comes to town. [12/22]

    Song of silence to grace Super Bowl
    A deaf man's persistence pays off. He will perform the national anthem in sign language at Raymond James Stadium. [12/16]

    O say can you scream?
    Huddle up, girls: Local heartthrob Nick Carter and the Backstreet Boys will sing the national anthem before Super Bowl XXXV in Tampa. [12/15]

    Council approves Super Bowl 'Clean Zone'
    A few protesters said the ordinance violates property rights and limits entrepreneurship.

    Event questions arise as clock ticks
    Promoters hoping to stage a concert event to coincide with Super Bowl XXXV face concerns about qualifications. [12/6]

    Giving the world a slice of Tampa Bay
    [NFL Publishing Group]
    Official poster for Super Bowl XXXV -- the third in Tampa -- combines notable landmarks from the area. [12/2]
    CBS already warming up its Super Bowl hype
    A network normally might not be so giddy about broadcasting a Super Bowl, but it has been so long for CBS -- nearly nine years, almost as long as it has been since the game was last in Tampa -- that a little hyperbole is expected. [12/1]

    NFL puts all-star lineup in RJS
    Director Spike Lee, players film playoff commercials. [11/29]

    'Clean Zone' to limit vendors
    Selling gimmicks lending to a "circus atmosphere" would be barred in a mapped area around the Super Bowl. [11/28]

    White driven by his love for mom
    TAMPA -- They hang near his desk, on the wall of his study in his Tampa home, the two most important honors Steve White has earned in his 27 years. [11/26]

    Brooks grew into greatness
    TAMPA -- Midway through Derrick Brooks' freshman season at Florida State in 1991, the most innocuous of acts changed the direction of his career forever:

    Largo couple hits big in the Super Bowl lottery
    The payoff: tickets to the big game at RJS ... with or without an appearance by the Bucs.

    Ravens' Siragusa confident he'll play in the Super Bowl
    YBOR CITY -- Ravens defensive tackle Tony Siragusa stood at a podium on the fourth floor of the historic Cuban Club on Tuesday, gestured at Derrick Brooks and Warrick Dunn, and said the Bucs stars would have to escort fans to the NFL Players Party the night of the Super Bowl because he would be too busy celebrating Baltimore's win over Tampa Bay.
    [Times file photo]
    Raymond James Stadium

    List drums up Super Bowl business
    A disc jockey is one of many on a resource list of minority- and women-owned businesses provided to the NFL.

    Band will add music to fare of 'Supper Bowl'
    NEW TAMPA -- When the Super Bowl XXXV festivities get under way in Tampa, Mark Engstrom and his Christian rock band Clean Slate will be there, trying to help the poor and spread the gospel.

    Instructor to show her kicks at Super Bowl
    Miss Suda is Super Bowl-bound.

    Glazers enjoying life in the NFL family
    Bucs executive vice presidents Joel and Bryan Glazer learn from mistakes and build for the future.

    Game gives CBS a Super practice
    The network will broadcast the big game in January, and it has gotten a dress rehearsal at RJS this week.

    Super Schmooze XXXV
    Don't think for a second that all the action will be on the field when the Super Bowl comes to Tampa on Jan. 28. Corporations spare no expense rewarding big customers and wooing potential ones with game tickets, golf outings and parties.

    Keeping the locals happy
    The big corporate presence at Super Bowl XXXV will be by national companies, but local companies will have plenty of activities to choose from during Super Bowl week.

    Super Bowl cab plan steams Tampa drivers
    A plan to bring in 200 cabs from Pinellas and Pasco has Hillsborough drivers worried that they'll lose business.

    Bucs could cost our area bucks
    A Super Bowl berth for the Bucs could diminish the economic benefits for the Tampa Bay area.

    What a week it would be
    Here's a preview of what could happen if the Bucs win their way to the big game.

    Clearwater plans to draw Super Bowl crowd
    The city hopes to have two NFL-sanctioned concerts at Coachman Park, and Jazz Holiday is lining up a major act.

    Additional seats may benefit Bucs fans
    TAMPA -- Several thousand temporary seats that will be used to expand Raymond James Stadium's capacity for Super Bowl XXXV could be installed for the regular season.

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