What they're saying elsewhere

January 24, 2001

A sampling of reports and columns about the Ravens and the Super Bowl from around the country:

Jack McCallum, CNNSI.com: There's one reason I'm emotionally invested in this Super Bowl: Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi. The best thing about sports - the best thing about most things, I guess - is not the games or the strategy or even the pre-game meal. It's the people.

There are good ones and bad ones, and, putting my normal cynicism aside, I believe the good ones outnumber the bad. Accorsi is one of the good ones. A couple decades ago I was a green reporter [at the News American, 1978-80] covering a difficult team, the Baltimore Colts. They didn't much like the media, and they were veteran enough to know how to make a rookie feel stupid.

On the field, the Colts were so-so, good enough to make the playoffs with a few breaks, bad enough to sink to mediocrity if a few things went wrong.

The latter is what happened. Accorsi was the team's assistant general manager. He helped me without actually handing me a story. He didn't shut me out. He never acted as if he knew more than I did, and he knew a hundred times more than I did. (He still does.)

He was much sharper than Baltimore's general manager at the time, but he never said anything derogatory about the man, not even once, not even off the record. Ernie told stories and confirmed good rumors and shot down bad ones and drank a few beers with you the night before the game and made you feel a part of something. He's a class act, and I wish everyone in the game was more like him.

This is Accorsi's first Super Bowl team. I don't think the Giants are a great team, but they are good enough to win. And I hope they do.

Gary Peterson, Contra Costa (Calif.) Times: Do you have time to wade through a week's worth of (euphemism alert) buildup before the Super Bowl? You do not. ...

You're in luck. Thirty-five years into the Super Bowl experience, we know the drill by rote. We can tell what will happen before it happens. And what will happen this week is this:

Some player you couldn't have picked out of a lineup on Labor Day will wind up being the consensus media darling of the week. (Best bet: Baltimore Ravens defensive lineman Tony Siragusa, a modern-day Art Donovan.) ...

At today's kickoff media session in Tampa, some attention-seeking representative from some attention-seeking media organization will ask players inane questions while wearing a) a spectacularly revealing dress, b) an Elvis get-up or c) Garo Yepremian's Super Bowl VII jersey. (Best bet: Danny Bonaduce, VH-1, feather boa.)

Tony Grossi, Cleveland Plain Dealer: The Baltimore Ravens coach tried to make a pre-emptive strike against further questions about Lewis' involvment in the stabbing deaths of two Akron men on the night of last year's Super Bowl in Atlanta.

But Billick effectively poured gasoline on the story and lit a match to it.

Wallace Matthews, New York Post: Only a Raven lunatic could possibly believe that if the team that now plays in Baltimore had remained the Cleveland Browns, it would have made it to Tampa this week to play the Giants in Super Bowl XXXV.

Ravens owner Art Modell could have been loyal to Cleveland, where he had owned the Browns for 35 years before moving the whole shebang to Crabcake City in 1996.

And he would have remained a loser, the NFL owner with the league's longest string of Super Bowl futility.

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