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Super Bowl Notebook

Old friends on different sides of the field

Click here for more on this story
Posted: Sunday January 28, 2001 6:20 PM

  Brian Billick and Jim Fassel Brian Billick (left) and Jim Fassel shake hands before the start of the Super Bowl. AP

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- There they were, Kerry Collins and Ray Lewis, walking shoulder to shoulder on the concourse of Raymond James Stadium.

It was a strange sight, since most fans of the New York Giants and Baltimore Ravens walked in bunches. But Charles McGuire and Andy Kalligonis are close friends who cheered for different teams at the Super Bowl on Sunday.

McGuire wore the purple jersey of Lewis, the Ravens' outstanding linebacker, and Kalligonis was draped in the blue jersey of the Giants' starting quarterback.

Students at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, they decided two weeks ago that they would go to the Super Bowl if their two favorite teams got in. McGuire lives in Baltimore and Kalligonis grew up in New York, rooting for the Giants.

The trip was a costly one -- the pair paid $2,862 for their two tickets, minutes after the Ravens beat Oakland two weeks ago to win the AFC championship.

"Here's the worst part: my father got two free tickets and gave them away," McGuire said.

They were going to drive from Baltimore but got a flight on Friday. They went to Ybor City on Friday night and Gasparilla on Saturday. Then they began tailgating at 9:30 a.m. Sunday.

"Yeah, we paid a lot, but it's worth it," Kalligonis said.

Shake hands and come out fighting

New York's Jim Fassel and Baltimore's Brian Billick, friends for about 20 years, met in the middle of the field and talked for about a minute before shaking hands an hour before the game.

No place like home?

The Giants were the home team and wore blue jerseys. The Ravens were the visiting team and wore white jerseys. Being designated the "home" team shouldn't have been mistaken as an advantage. The "visitors" had won 19 of 34 Super Bowls before Sunday.

No team has ever appeared in the Super Bowl in its home stadium, although the 1979 Los Angeles Rams and 1984 San Francisco 49ers did make it to the title game when it was played in stadiums in their home area. The Rams lost to Steelers at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, while the 49ers defeated the Miami Dolphins at Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto.

Does anybody have any aspirin?

The Super Bowl game program contained a feature on Dick Vermeil, who retired after his St. Louis Rams beat the Tennessee Titans in last year's Super Bowl. In a first-person account running under the headline: "I Don't Miss the Headaches," Vermeil wrote that while he missed coaching, he had no regrets about his decision to step down. The 64-year-old Vermeil was hired as head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs this month.

Have a seat, guys

The Ravens and Giants each deactivated four players 90 minutes before the game. Baltimore's inactives were safety Anthony Poindexter, guard Orlando Bobo, defensive end Adalius Thomas and third quarterback Chris Redman. New York de-activated kicker Jaret Holmes, fullback Craig Walendy, defensive tackle George Williams and No. 3 quarterback Mike Cherry.

For the winners ... and losers

The winning team earned $58,000 per player, while the losing team received $34,500 per man. In addition, the NFL pays for up to 125 championship rings at $5,000 per ring, plus adjustments for increases in gold and diamonds. The league also buys up to 125 pieces of jewelry for the losing team. However, the cost cannot exceed one-half the price for the Super Bowl rings.

Even Johnny U. wasn't a Super Bowl Pro Bowler

Neither Trent Dilfer nor Collins, the starting quarterbacks in Sunday's game, were selected to play in the Pro Bowl. The only other year neither of the Super Bowl quarterbacks were chosen was the 1971 game when Baltimore's Johnny Unitas faced Dallas' Craig Morton. The Colts won 16-13.

Dilfer still has a fan in Tampa

Walking among all those fans wearing Giants and Ravens jerseys, Emily Kundrat stood out like a sore Buccaneers fan in her red Tampa Bay jersey.

On the back, above the big No. 12, was the word "DILFER."

Dilfer quarterbacked the Bucs for six years through last season, when he was released after Shaun King was given the starting job late in the year.

Dilfer, who signed as a free agent with the Ravens, returned Sunday as the point man in the Baltimore offense.

"I called the Bucs to complain after he left," Kundrat, 47, said. "I thought he was a good quarterback given a bad rap in Tampa. It's hard for a quarterback to play behind a bad offensive line."

Dilfer joined Doug Williams, Steve Young and Chris Chandler as former Tampa Bay quarterbacks to reach the Super Bowl with another team.

"It's a coaching problem. They just blame someone else," Kundrat said.

Related information
Super Bowl Day at a Glance: Come on, already
SI's Peter King: Giants, Ravens media opposites's From the Newsstand: Jan. 28 edition
SI's Peter King: The Five Things I Think I Think
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