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Posted: Tuesday January 23, 2001 8:45 AM
||What it means|
||Jamison Hensley of The Baltimore Sun says that as an assistant PR director from 1979-80, Brian Billick detailed how 49ers head coach Bill Walsh laid the groundwork to turn around a perennial losing franchise into a title contender. He sat in on meetings, scribbling notes on Walsh's system and absorbing his winning psyche.
|| Inheriting a team that hadn't had a winning season in its three years, Billick has taken a faster track than Walsh, guiding the Ravens to the ultimate game in two years -- the hard way. If it wasn't Ray Lewis' murder trial or an extended touchdown drought, Billick always kept his players together and kept them winning. |
||Bob Herzog of Newsday writes that his right ankle remains sore, but Amani Toomer knows the proper treatment isn't always ice, heat or whirlpool therapy. "Super Bowl Sunday heals everything," the Giants wide receiver said.
||Toomer, who injured his ankle in the fourth quarter of the Giants' 20-10 Divisional playoff victory against the Eagles on Jan. 7, practiced tentatively during the team's light workout Monday but is certain he'll be starting against Baltimore on Sunday. |
||Leonard Shapiro of The Washington Post quotes Ravens owner Art Modell: "To say I'm happy to be in the big game would be an understatement." Modell, wearing a Ravens-purple ribbed sweater and regaling reporters with stories about his life in pro football over the last 40 years, added, "I'm doubly honored to be playing against Wellington Mara, who happens to be not only my closest friend in football, but in life. I view Wellington Mara as The NFL, bar none."
||Unlike Mara, Modell seems to revel in the spotlight after several years of semi-hibernation following his move of the franchise from Cleveland to Baltimore in 1996. He has been entertaining fellow owners and the media for years with his wit and often self-deprecating jokes. In one recent conversation, he playfully suggested to Mara that the Ravens would forfeit the game to the Giants, so that a 1-0 score would be put in the record book. "I told him I was tempted to forfeit if it would help my defensive statistics," Modell said. |
||George Willis of theNew York Post reports Jessie Armstead stepped to the podium and introduced himself to the national spotlight of Super Bowl week, and though this may be his first time in the league's championship game, he all but vowed it would not be the last. Armstead's focus is to make the most of this present opportunity and beat the Ravens in Super Bowl XXXV Sunday.
||"We're just now coming into our prime," Armstead said of the Giants, who shocked much of the football world by winning the NFC Championship Game and advancing to Tampa. "Your prime doesn't last more than three to four years. So we've got to make the most within the next three to four years of this opportunity." |