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Super Bowl and Angie Harmon
Giants cornerback takes life by the horns
Posted: Friday January 26, 2001 2:34 AM
Jason Sehorn has returned to form after a two-year battle with injuries. AP
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- As soon as Angie Harmon's name was mentioned, a smile spread across Jason Sehorn's face.
"I'm just an arm piece," the New York Giants' cornerback quipped Thursday, answering a question about his TV actress fiancee. "You think you'll marry an arm piece and I thought I would have one day, and I turned into being that arm piece."
Sehorn laughed after finishing his answer. The next question brought him back to the Super Bowl and Sunday's title game with the Baltimore Ravens.
As comfortable as the 29-year-old is appearing in public with the Law and Order co-star or doing commercials with Ravens tight end Shannon Sharpe, Sehorn is even more comfortable on the field.
|Ad stars Sehorn, Sharpe team up again|
|Label it prescient publicity, a crystal ball commercial, or filming with foresight.
When Shannon Sharpe and Jason Sehorn met at Yale Bowl in the summer of 1999 to tape an ad for investment firm Charles Schwab & Co., who could have known the players would face off in the 2001 Super Bowl -- or that the spot would still be on the air?
And there's a new version cooked up just for the occasion.
Updated with fresh voice-overs and footage left over from the original shoot, the new ad will air during CBS Sports' Kickoff Show shortly before Sharpe's Baltimore Ravens play Sehorn's New York Giants on Sunday.
"We might say that the stars aligned and we happened to be in the right place at the right time," Jack Calhoun, Schwab's Senior VP of advertising and brand management, said Thursday. "We would love to be able to say that we knew they would be playing in the Super Bowl, but that would be lying."
It certainly would be -- especially given that Sharpe was with the Denver Broncos when the commercial was first made (he later moved to the Ravens as a free agent). Also, both players missed large chunks of the 1999-00 season with injuries -- Sharpe only played in five games, Sehorn in 10.
But it all worked out for Schwab and advertising agency BBDO, of course, and the commercial has had plenty of airtime.
"I don't know how many people have seen it. They've worn it out," Sehorn said. "Last year they played it, and the same guy is looking like a genius now, but last year Shannon and I both missed 10 games apiece, so for us to be playing this year gave credence for them to play it again. Now that we're in the Super Bowl, they are going to wear that thing out."
The ad shows an off-the-field Sehorn looking somewhat bewildered as he reflects on taunting dished out by the loquacious Sharpe. Then there are clips of Sharpe jawing at Sehorn during a game, with both in replica uniforms.
It's not the sort of trash-talking that's commonly heard on an NFL field.
"I bet you pay transaction fees on your mutual funds," Sharpe ribs his counterpart.
"Your mama pays full commission. ... You know how to calculate a P/E ratio? ... How diversified is your portfolio? ... You can't even spell 'Dow Jones.'"
The tag line asks, "Want to learn about smarter investing?"
Sehorn doesn't sound as if he really got the hang of an actor's life.
"It was two days for 30 seconds! Two days! It was just too many scenes, setups, putting people around. Thousands," he said.
Sharpe, who probably has a long future as an NFL TV commentator if he chooses to pursue that when his playing days end, joked this week about upstaging Sehorn during filming.
"I think I'm better looking. He just had a better makeup artist than I did," Sharpe said. "I think I kind of made the spot. ... I think it was my charm that made the commercial."
Sehorn, for his part, enjoyed getting to know Sharpe.
"That was fun -- just to see his personality off the football field, to see the things he says and does. He is a completely different person," Sehorn said. "He likes to say -- I heard this -- he carried me [in the commercial]. I appreciate that. That was kind of him to school me like that in the ways of television and acting. He is a really good guy. He is completely opposite off the football field -- quiet, but he jokes all the time. He doesn't talk quite as much as on the field."
| || |
The injuries that put his career in jeopardy during the last two seasons have healed. He has stayed healthy and once again he is emerging as one of the NFL's top cover cornerbacks.
"I'm not an actor," Sehorn said. "I'm an athlete. I have a lot of free time. My place is not in television. My place is not in movies. My place is on a 100-yard football field in front of 78,000 people. That's what I do for a living."
Sehorn is doing that as well as anyone now.
Not only is he breaking up passes, he's also making big play after big play.
In the Giants' season-ending victory against Jacksonville, he sealed the win with a spectacular return of an onside kick for a touchdown. Two weeks later came "The Interception" return for a touchdown against Philadelphia in the opening round of the playoffs.
That led to an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman.
Against Minnesota, all Sehorn did was limit Randy Moss to two catches for 18 yards while making an interception.
"He is just getting better every game," Giants defensive coordinator John Fox said. "He is playing as good as anybody in the league at his position."
Sehorn's assignment Sunday will be nothing like the NFC title game; the Ravens aren't loaded at wideout and they like to run the ball.
Sehorn's buddy, Sharpe, has been the Ravens' big threat, averaging 45 yards and scoring two touchdowns on five catches. The assignment of guarding him will probably fall to safeties Shaun Williams and Sam Garnes.
More than likely, Sehorn will draw the fleet Qadry Ismail, who has had eight catches for 106 yards in three playoff games.
"Just because their numbers aren't as big as other players, people tend not to give them as much respect," Sehorn said. "You watch the film when they've thrown the ball, they get it. It's not like they put some slugs out there who can't catch."
With the Super Bowl less than three days away, Sehorn was pleased the interviews were ending.
He's got a streak of Felix Unger in him and now he wants to start putting everything in its place.
He was annoyed that the Giants' interviews were scheduled in the morning, forcing the team to practice in the afternoon for the first time this season.
"After lunch I like to take my nap," Sehorn complained jokingly.
He says the whole idea of playing "doesn't kick in until Saturday."
"Right now you are practicing. I can't be worrying about playing games today, I'm worrying about what I have to do to prepare."
He's thinking about chances to make big plays -- intercepting a Trent Dilfer pass or stripping the ball from halfback Jamal Lewis.
"It's a chance to do some of those special things and see those replays over and over again in football lore," Sehorn said.
Sehorn likes the Giants' chances, even though the Ravens haven't been shy about promoting their defense.
"They're a confident bunch of guys," Sehorn said. "They've played well the last couple of weeks, but I wonder who they think they are playing on the other side."
On the other hand, he said: "It definitely takes the pressure off of us because they are supposed to pitch a shutout.
"All we have to do is win."
Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.