Dungy picks good friend Billick to previal in close game
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- When it comes to predicting a Super Bowl winner, friendship counts more than conference ties for Tony Dungy.
The NFC champion New York Giants practiced this week at One Buc Place, the training facility Dungy's Tampa Bay Buccaneers use during the regular season. But he and Baltimore coach Brian Billick were assistants together with the Minnesota Vikings, and the Ravens' Trent Dilfer was the Bucs' starter for nearly four seasons under Dungy.
"I'm usually an NFC guy, but I have so many ex-players and ex-coaches [with Baltimore] that I'm going to stay with my heart a little bit," Dungy said forecasting a defensive struggle that the Ravens will win 16-13.
Dungy said he hasn't watched a Super Bowl in person since the year after he won as a player with Pittsburgh in 1979. He was traded the following season, but returned as a spectator for the 1980 game because some friends were playing.
"I thought I could get into it and be happy for them," he said. "But it was difficult being there."
Dungy will be at Sunday's game.
"I don't normally go to the Super Bowl if we're not in it, but being here in Tampa, my wife wants to go," the coach said. "I think that's the major reason we're going."
Florida law prohibits the resale of tickets for more than $1 above face value, which this year is $325 for most seats and $400 for club seats at Raymond James Stadium. Some scalpers are circumventing the statute by charging exorbitant prices for so-called entertainment packages that include game tickets.
"People are very innovative," police Capt. Jane Castor, who heads Tampa's criminal intelligence bureau, said. "Sometimes it's comical, and sometimes it's effective."
Dungy, noting how much tickets sell for these days, recalled that players were allowed to buy 20 tickets at $20 apiece when he played in the Super Bowl.
"We wondered where we were going to come up with $400 to buy the tickets," he said.
Dolphins to meet Rams in Hall of Fame Game
The Miami Dolphins and St. Louis Rams will meet Aug. 6 in the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio, kicking off next season's exhibition schedule. Former Dolphins linebacker Nick Buoniconti, who was elected to the Hall of Fame on Saturday, will be enshrined on Aug. 4. Two ex-Rams, Jack Youngblood and Jackie Slater, also are part of the 2001 class.
Maybe next time
The Ravens and Giants each de-activated four players for the game on Friday. Receivers Marcus Nash and Germany Thompson, cornerback Clarence Love and offensive lineman Sammy Williams won't play for Baltimore. New York de-activated cornerback Reggie Stephens, linebacker Kevin Lewis, offensive tackle Chris Bober and defensive end Jeremiah Parker. The teams will declare four additional players inactive 90 minutes before kickoff.
Quite a piece of hardware
The Vince Lombardi trophy, which will be presented to the winning team, stands 22 inches high, weighs nearly seven pounds, and takes about 72 man-hours to build at Tiffany & Co.'s sliversmithing workshop in Parsippany, N.J. The company also makes the Pete Rozelle trophy, named for the late NFL commissioner and awarded to the most valuable player in the Super Bowl.
The Rozelle trophy -- 18 inches tall and made from 86 ounces of sterling silver accented with vermeil -- was first awarded in 1991, the last time the game was played in Tampa.