Backing their bravado
Ravens talked it, but they sure walked it too
Updated: Monday January 29, 2001 2:26 AM
By Don Banks, Sports Illustrated
TAMPA, Fla. -- Winning the Super Bowl means you never have to say you're sorry. And the last thing Tony Siragusa and the rest of his Baltimore Raven teammates were in the mood to do late Sunday night was to take back any of the bravado they had exhibited all week.
They basked in their Super Bowl drubbing of the New York Giants, and jacked up the volume even louder.
"Trent Dilfer, coming back to this town, proving wrong everybody who ever told him that he ain't no good," began Siragusa. "I'm going to speak for Trent."
At this point, the Ravens' 343-pound defensive tackle shouted over to his quarterback, who was sitting in the booth next to him, addressing the media.
"Trent, is it all right if I speak for you?" Siragusa said. "To all the people who didn't think Trent Dilfer could lead us to a world championship, kiss my ass! There you go, Trent. I know you can't say that. And God bless you."
"Hey, Shannon," he yelled across the room, to Baltimore's loquacious tight end, Shannon Sharpe. "How are you doing, buddy?"
"We're world champions," came Sharpe's shouted reply.
"We're world champions, and they still don't want to believe it, do they?" Siragusa shot back.
Siragusa was then served another fastball up around his eyes by the putty-like reporters eating out of his hand.
Does the Ravens' defense deserve the top billing in NFL history?
"Yes," Siragusa said. "You've got to say it louder. This is the best defense ever to play in the game!
"We had something to prove to ourselves, and we did it. Did you expect something else?"
So as not to disappoint the media at all, Siragusa finished his routine by returning to his favorite topic. Himself.
"How does the 'Goose' celebrate tonight?" he said. "I was thinking about how I could unzip my stomach and just take my liver out and have someone fill it up. Because I didn't really want to lift anything any more. But I guess I'll have a couple pops, yeah."
As he has all week, Dilfer went against the tide in the Ravens' locker room, turning the spotlight anywhere but on his homecoming to Tampa. Vindication was one word that never passed his lips.
"I've never felt anything this good," Dilfer said. "We expected to do this, but I think the most gratifying thing is looking before the game into the eyes of my teammates in the locker room. They looked back and we just knew -- we just knew that we were the best team in pro football."
Sharpe is one of the few Ravens who has been here before. A two-time Super Bowl champion with Denver, he has now won three rings in four seasons. But in this case, there's no John Elway around to point to.
"This one is incredible because nobody thought that we could do it," Sharpe said. "Nobody picked us to get this far. We came out of nowhere. The guys in the locker room believed we could do it. But I don't think many other people thought we could even get it done today."