For Rams' Herring, another year means another Super Bowl


Ex-Raven says portrayal of this team is different

Super Bowl Patriots Vs. Rams

February 01, 2002|By Ken Murray and Jamison Hensley | Ken Murray and Jamison Hensley,SUN STAFF

NEW ORLEANS - Kim Herring was part of the Ravens' dominating Super Bowl defense a year ago. He's part of the St. Louis Rams' resuscitated Super Bowl defense this year.

That's where any similarities - style, substance or volume - end.

A year ago, the national media portrayed the brash-talking Ravens as bad guys. This year, the same folks are portraying the Rams as good guys. The irony is not lost on Herring, a starting safety for both teams.

"That is a little different," Herring said yesterday as player interviews for Super Bowl XXXVI wound down. "Last year we were considered everybody's worst enemy, for whatever reason. But this year, we're considered goody-two-shoes, so to speak.

"If we were the bad guys, I don't consider myself a bad guy. My mom still loves me."

Herring, who moved to the Rams in the off-season as an unrestricted free agent, said those characterizations about the Ravens really didn't bother him.

"It didn't because we were in the Super Bowl," he said. "It just happened that we had a lot of personalities on our team. I took it for what it was worth. I understood the situation I was in. Hey, apparently it helped us and it got us here. There wasn't anything bad you could say about it."

As a result, Herring said this year's week of Super Bowl hype is tame compared to the media attention heaped on the Ravens. "It was a circus last year," he said.

He kept an eye on his old team through the postseason, too, contemplating a possible St. Louis-Baltimore finale. That never materialized because the Ravens were crushed by the Pittsburgh Steelers, 27-10, in the divisional round.

"I was surprised how they went out," Herring said. "I really thought they would've played a better game against [Pittsburgh]. But I don't know what happened between those two teams. The war of words was ridiculous. All that trash-talking the two teams were doing from the first game. I don't know what escalated that."

"Herring says he still thinks about the team he left.

"I miss a lot of those guys," he said. "I miss the locker room. It was so loose."

Super Bowl crew

Bernie Kukar will referee his second Super Bowl on Sunday, heading an officiating crew with 70 years of NFL experience. Kukar also worked the 1999 Super Bowl and three conference championships.

Joining Kukar on the Super Bowl crew will be umpire Jeff Rice, head linesman Mark Hittner, line judge Ron Phares, field judge Pete Morelli, side judge Laird Hayes and back judge Scott Green.

Ravens in TV spot

Three Ravens - linebacker Jamie Sharper, cornerback Duane Starks and recently retired defensive tackle Tony Siragusa - will be among the 19 NFL players who will appear in a Super Bowl television spot featuring a message explaining their commitment to performing community service.

America's team?

Many of the New England players call it destiny that a team called the Patriots are playing in the first Super Bowl since the tragic events occurred on Sept. 11.

"There is so much irony in our season," safety Lawyer Milloy said. "One of them right now is we are wearing red, white and blue on Sunday."

End zone

Access Hollywood has tapped Siragusa to be a special correspondent for the Super Bowl. He will join Access Hollywood host Nancy O'Dell in covering the Super Bowl parties. ... New England is 8-1 since 1998, when the opposing quarterback throws for 300 yards.

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