Hold brings no squawk from puzzled Hamilton

Fox tackles same rumors with the same answer

Giants notebook

Ravens 34, Giants 7

January 29, 2001|By Brent Jones, Don Markus and Glenn P. Graham | Brent Jones, Don Markus and Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

TAMPA, Fla. - New York Giants defensive tackle Keith Hamilton has been in the NFL too long to yell at the official after what he feels is a bad call.

"What good does that do?" Hamilton said after the Giants lost to the Ravens, 34-7, in Super Bowl XXXV last night.

So, instead, when Hamilton was called for holding on what would have been a Jessie Armstead return for a touchdown, he just went back to the huddle.

"Two years ago, I would have argued," Hamilton said.

One would have understood if he had let loose about a play that might have changed the momentum in the game. It happened early in the second quarter with the Ravens up 7-0. Ravens quarterback Trent Dilfer was hit on his release, causing the pass to go right to Armstead.

Armstead returned the ball 43 yards to the end zone.

"That was a big play," Armstead said. "It was a play that probably would have changed the game. It got called back, and you have to live with it."

After the game, Hamilton was at a loss to explain what he did wrong.

"I just bumped the running back coming out of the backfield," Hamilton said.

Just rumors

Less than an hour after his team lost the Super Bowl, Giants defensive coordinator John Fox was fielding questions about becoming a head coach.

It is rumored that Fox is a candidate for both open coaching positions in Buffalo and Cleveland.

"Nothing has changed since before the kickoff," Fox said. "I'm just disappointed at the outcome of this game."

Speech, speech

In the locker room after the game, Giants coach Jim Fassel had to give the speech he did not want to give.

He had to tell his team how proud he was of them, rather than celebrate. And he had to try to find something to console his team about after losing by 27 points.

"Nobody thought we'd be playing here," Fassel said. "I'm very proud of their character, the way they've handled the good and the bad, the way they've worked, the way they've pulled together. I'm proud of them. That won't go away. The loss will take awhile to go away. But my feeling of pride for this team and the way they've worked this year will not go away. We're going to be back in this game."

Accorsi's reaction

There was nothing bittersweet about last night's defeat for Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi.

Accorsi, a former sportswriter for The Evening Sun who later became the public relations director and general manager for the Baltimore Colts, still has a lot of friends in the city that is celebrating the latest Super Bowl champion.

"Losing a Super Bowl is very tough," said Accorsi. "I've got to congratulate the Baltimore Ravens. But I'm too much a competitor. I'm happy for Baltimore. But it's a bitter pill to swallow."

Dubious record

Giants offensive guard Glenn Parker had an interesting take on Ravens tackles Tony Siragusa and Sam Adams.

"They're good players, but they're not Merlin Olsen and Deacon Jones," Parker said. "They did enough for their team to win, and they have a Super Bowl ring to prove it."

Parker joined former Buffalo Bills teammate Cornelius Bennett as the only players in NFL history to have lost five Super Bowls. Each lost four with the Bills. Bennett's other defeat came as a member of the Atlanta Falcons.

"I'm proud of the five losses," Parker said.

"You have to do something right to get here five times," Parker said. "I'm proud of being here. I'm not going to let the loss diminish my happiness of being here. I'll be proud when we win one, and we will."

Boy genius unmasked

Giants offensive coordinator Sean Payton had something of a boy genius reputation going into last night's game. Neither appear to be true, considering that Payton is older (37) than he looks and the Giants' offense wasn't nearly as good as many believed.

"It's disappointing. It's no different from being a player," Payton said after the Giants could muster 152 yards of offense, including 66 yards on 16 carries. "It's hard to fall short of the prize."

Rough night

Wide receiver Ike Hilliard, whose career was threatened by a serious neck injury as a rookie in 1997, took a couple of brutal shots over the middle last night.

The first came early in the second quarter, when quarterback Kerry Collins threw behind Hilliard, who was pancaked by linebacker Jamie Sharper. The second came after Hilliard caught a pass and had the ball knocked loose. Hilliard was fortunate to have the play ruled an incomplete pass, because replays showed he had possession and fumbled.

"They have a physical defense, but that's the defensive mentality," he said. "I've taken some big shots before. I'm still upset about the one I dropped up the seam [that could have gone for a touchdown]. I think that was one of the turning points of the game."

Boom-boom plays

The one bright spot for the Giants came from the special teams when returner Ron Dixon ran a kickoff back 97 yards for a score - one yard short of a Super Bowl record - to cut the Ravens lead to 17-7.

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