If there's much ado about nothing, then it must be Super Bowl time.
It didn't take long for the first flip remark to make headlines, even though Super Bowl XXVI between the Buffalo Bills and the Washington Redskins won't be played for nearly two weeks.
Bills linebacker and Baltimore native Carlton Bailey said in Buffalo on Monday that Charles Mann of the Redskins insulted the Bills defense during a joint appearance on the "Today" show Monday morning.
According to Bailey, Mann said the Buffalo defense wasn't very good and added, "It showed me they didn't have much respect for our defense."
Redskins coach Joe Gibbs drills his players about never taking shots at the opposition, so it would be unusual for Mann to put down an opponent.
It turned out, though, that Mann simply made a joking remark at the end of the interview.
A check of the tape provided by an NBC-TV spokesman yesterday shows that the exchange started when host Bryant Gumbel asked each player how many points it would take to win.
Mann said, "Oh, man, it's going to take at least 30."
Gumble replied, "That many?"
Mann answered, "Yes, I think it's going to be a high-scoring game."
Bailey then said: "Charles, I'll tell you what. I really don't agree with you. I think it'll probably take 14 points."
Mann laughed and said, "Fourteen points. Your defense ain't that good, now." He then laughed again.
Bailey replied, "Aw, here we go." There was more laughing and Gumbel ended it by saying, "You'll have to continue that discussion for the next two weeks."
The Redskins could argue that Bailey insulted their offense. They haven't been held to 14 points all season and only twice have been held under 20. They beat the Giants, 17-13, and the Oilers, 16-13, in back-to-back weeks in their two lowest scoring games of the season.
But Bailey seems to have figured out the Super Bowl.
A year ago, nobody outside of Buffalo and Baltimore was writing about him in the Super Bowl.
Now he's in the spotlight after intercepting a pass for a touchdown in the AFC title game against Denver, and now he's gotten himself more headlines.