It may well be that no one in Baltimore is as happy to see the Giants going to the Super Bowl as Phil Albert, the football coach at Towson State. Two of his former players, Dave Meggett and Sean Landeta, will play against Buffalo Sunday in Tampa, Fla.
"You can't buy the publicity Towson State is going to get just by being mentioned on the Super Bowl broadcast," Albert said yesterday. "Just today I got a letter from a high school kid in Connecticut who told me he's a 5-10, 160-pound running back and does a 4.6 40. He says he plays like Meggett -- and who knows? Maybe he does.
"David played very well Sunday against the 49ers. He was more VTC involved in the offense. I think his presence in the lineup meant something. They had to cover and double-cover him.
"Sean punted well, but after his best punt he almost had to make the tackle. John Taylor should have just run him down. Sean doesn't know how to tackle. I don't think he's interested in learning at this point."
Albert points out that this will be the second Super Bowl for Landeta, who also has played in the USFL championship game, and that second-year pro Meggett already has been to the Pro Bowl.
"I think Buffalo -- with Jim Kelly in the lineup -- has been the best team in football for the past six or eight weeks," Albert said. "But defense has a lot to say about it and the Giants have a great defense."
* Blast owner Ed Hale agreed to give some of the proceeds from a home game Feb. 10 to Towson State to help the Tigers' financially troubled program, but his offer hit a snag. The NCAA wouldn't allow it.
"The NCAA prohibits pro teams from holding any kind of benefits for college teams," Albert said. "Maybe we'll work out something else where Ed can help us. What's important to me is that when our program was in trouble and we needed help, Ed Hale was there for us. I wish there were more Ed Hales in the corporate community."
* What's all this about an all-New York Super Bowl? Buffalo is in New York state, of course, but the Giants play their games in New Jersey, and their offices are at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
George Young, the ex-Baltimorean who is now the Giants general manager, does a slow burn when the subject of New Jersey comes up -- as it often does. His answer is typical George Young: "All I can tell you is we serve the New York metropolitan area. I can't help where God put the Hudson River."
* With all the Baltimore connections with the Giants, I'm rooting for them. But there's nothing wrong with the Buffalo Bills. Ted Marchibroda, their offensive coordinator, won some division championships here with the Baltimore Colts and is a good man. A lot of people knocked Ted's offense here ("Hey, diddle diddle, Mitchell up the middle"), but this year the Bills led the NFL in scoring with 428 points. In the playoffs, they scored 44 against Miami, 51 against the Raiders. Nobody is knocking Marchibroda these days.
* Buffalo coach Marv Levy is a classy gentleman. That can't be said for all NFL coaches. When Baltimore was in the league most coaches held their post-game news conferences in a hallway with reporters six deep, and only the first two rows could hear what they were mumbling.
At Kansas City, Levy sat us at desks in a classroom. We got more information in a civilized way. After I told Mike McCormack how much better Levy's system was, he adopted it here. Until Bob Irsay fired him, that is.
* Lacrosse shop owner Lance Holden says something about Super Bowl XXV that would be echoed by most football fans: "I'm glad the NFL finally got smart and decided to play the Super Bowl next Sunday instead of having a two-week layoff. The old way drove everybody crazy. There was too much hype. The game couldn't live up to two weeks of buildup. The players had an extra week to get Super Bowl nerves. I'll bet you we get a better game this way."