Ex-Bills Lodish, Bennett are back

Defensive tackle making record 6th appearance

linebacker seeks 1st title

January 30, 1999|By Ken Murray and Vito Stellino | Ken Murray and Vito Stellino,SUN STAFF

MIAMI -- The Buffalo Bills are ancient history when it comes to the Super Bowl, but they have had an undeniable presence here this week.

Both linebacker Cornelius Bennett of the Atlanta Falcons and defensive tackle Mike Lodish of the Denver Broncos played in all four of Buffalo's Super Bowl losses.

Now, in Super Bowl XXXIII, Lodish is looking at Super Bowl history and Bennett is still trying to get his first win.

This will be Lodish's sixth Super Bowl appearance, the most of any player. He signed with the Broncos in 1995 as a free agent, and played in their Super Bowl victory a year ago.

"It really was tremendous," said Lodish, a backup lineman. "I have a lot of friends who play with the Detroit Red Wings, and it's very similar. To have a chance to hold up a trophy that signifies you're the best in the world is special."

Bennett hopes to avoid losing his fifth Super Bowl.

"I think if I lose this one, I will be more empty than anything because I know it probably will be my last time," he said.

Colts-Giants memories

It was nostalgia time at the Super Bowl yesterday.

Eight Hall of Famers who played in the memorable 1958 Colts-Giants NFL title game -- "The Greatest Game Ever Played" -- were at a news conference and will participate in the coin toss tomorrow.

Representing the Colts were Raymond Berry, Art Donovan and Lenny Moore. John Unitas was missing because he had a previous commitment.

Representing the Giants were Tom Landry, Sam Huff, Frank Gifford, Roosevelt Brown and Don Maynard, who is remembered more for playing with the New York Jets, but was a kick returner in the 1958 game.

Although the game is now credited with starting the pro football boom, Gifford said, "None of us ever thought we'd be here talking about it 40 years later."

They also got into the usual debate about whether Gifford made a first down on the play in which Gino Marchetti broke his leg before the Giants punted to set the stage for the game-tying drive.

Gifford insisted he made it. The Colts, of course, said he didn't.

Gifford noted that if he hadn't fumbled twice, the Giants would have won in regulation, so "you can all thank me for a free trip to Miami."

A total of 15 future Hall of Famers -- including three coaches (Landry, Vince Lombardi and Weeb Ewbank) -- participated in that game.

Injury report

A glance at the injury report would seem to indicate the Falcons have an edge. There are only four players on the Atlanta list compared to 17 on the Denver list.

But the Broncos are probably healthier than the Falcons. Two of the four Falcons players -- defensive end Lester Archambeau and running back/tight end Brian Kozlowski -- are questionable with ankle injuries, although both are expected to play.

By contrast, all 17 Broncos on the list, including John Elway (ribs) and Terrell Davis (groin), are probable.

Denver coach Mike Shanahan simply inflates his list with every player who puts a foot into the training room because he's annoyed that the team was fined $15,000 for not having Elway on the list before the Broncos' Nov. 8 game with San Diego.

Elway aggravated a rib injury during pre-game warm-ups and didn't play.

Shanahan said he expected Elway to play and didn't want to tip off the Chargers that his ribs were sore. So he puts one-third of the team on the list to keep things confusing.

Deactivation

Dreading the task, Falcons coach Dan Reeves told four players they wouldn't be dressing for the Super Bowl. Offensive lineman Dave Widell, tight end Rod Monroe, safety Omar Brown and cornerback Darren Anderson were placed on the inactive list.

Three more players will be added tomorrow, an hour before the game, along with the designation of a third-string quarterback who can be in uniform.

Reeves found it especially tough to inform Widell, even though the decision was expected. The 11-year veteran hasn't been on the active roster since Week 2.

"I can't understand why you can't at least have them dress," Reeves said. "They can't play, but why in the world, in the biggest game they ever play in, a guy can't dress makes no sense."

Widell, who came into the league in 1988 with Dallas, also played with Denver and Jacksonville before signing with the Falcons this season. He has never played in the Super Bowl.

Shanahan announced his four inactives: receiver Justin Armour, guard Chris Banks, defensive end Cyron Brown and offensive tackle Trey Teague.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

Pub Date: 1/30/99

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