Fort Worth Star-Telegram from Fort Worth, Texas on January 26, 2005 · 46
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Fort Worth Star-Telegram from Fort Worth, Texas · 46

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Fort Worth, Texas
Issue Date:
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
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46
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6D Wednesday January 26 2005 wwwstar-telegramcom NFL SUPER BOWL NOTES Doctor: TO is not OK to play i i JL u lift For many stars the Super Bowl remained just out of reaeh By ANDY FRIEDLANDER STAR-ThI HRAM STAH WR1 IK Tommy Nobis seemed to have everything He was an All-America linebacker and guard at Texas hailed as the best lineman in college football He was the first player taken in the 1966 NFL Draft and went to the Pro Bowl as a rookie the first of five trips He was a dominating defensive player and a star for his entire 11-year pro career But mention the Super Bowl and Nobis burns with jealousy “ D o n n y Anderson” he said “The running back You remember him? When he was at Texas Tech I used to kick him all over the field Then I get drafted by Atlanta a new expansion team and Donny goes to the Green Bay Packers They go to the first two Super Bowls and win the whole thing We never even made the playoffs “I’m not saying he didn’t play a role in it or didn’t deserve it but sometimes you just get lucky with the draw” Nobis is an executive with the Falcons and is still a revered figure in Atlanta but there is a gaping hole in his resume While Anderson has those rings Nobis is one of a group of the game’s greats who could only watch the Super Bowl each year hoping one day it would be their turn But it never was Earl Campbell’s turn to play in the Super Bowl Dan Fouts never got his shot Nor did stars like Warren Moon Steve Largent Eric Dicker-son OJ Simpson Charlie Joiner Kellen Winslow Dick Butkus or Barry Sanders “I think something is missing even moreso in the past five or six years” said Moon “I really feel like I missed something So much of what you’re defined by especially as a quarterback is playing in the Super Bowl and winning” Nobis and Archie Manning played for losing teams and never had a chance Some were agonizingly close Campbell’s Houston Oilers twice lost to the champion THEZ33 SUPER BOWL XXXIX Eagles vs Patriots 5:30 pm Feb 6 Jacksonville Fla TV: KDFWCh 4 Steelers in the AFC Championship Game Fouts as well as fellow Hall of Famers Joiner and Winslow followed an epic overtime victory against Miami in the playoffs with a heartbreaking loss in frigid Cincinnati in the 1981 AFC title game Twenty-four members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame who played the majority of their careers in the Super Bowl era (since 1 9 6 6 ) never played in the league’s biggest game “You earn things” Fouts said “You don’t say ‘We should have been there’ because the weather was bad That’s not real That’s not sports Yeah it was hard to watch that Super Bowl That’s only human nature But you give it your best shot and Cincinnati was a better team that day and they deserved to go You play the game to win and you do everything you can to win and some- i times things are out of your control If I had played better in we might have — won the game You think about things like that But certainly I don’t sit here and cry in my beer” Nor does Manning who spent the majority of his career with the woeful New Orleans Saints To him the Super Bowl wasn’t hard to watch That seemed like more of a dream than a goal The playoffs though made him miserable “Maybe I just didn’t even get close enough to the Super Bowl to have horrible feel- ings about it” he said “But it was really hard every year to watch the playoffs because frankly I’d see some quarterbacks out there that I knew I was as good as or better than But I’m not scarred by it It was great motivation to watch the playoffs It made me want to go back to work and try to pull the team together and get there We just never did We just weren’t good enough” y4 ' ' 'if THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Not quite Super Some of the greatest players in NFL history including 24 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame who were active the majority of their careers in the Super Bowl era (since 1966) never played in the league's biggest game Here are some of the best: Earl Campbell RB 1978-85 Knocked on the door twice with the Oilers couldn't break through the Steel Curtain Barry Sanders RB 1989-98 Spectacular Lions back tended to disappear in the playoffs Steve Largent WR 1976-89 Prolific wideout stuck on an expansion team in Seattle Warren Moon QB 1984-2000 Passed for almost 50000 yards for four teams but never got past divisional playoffs OJ Simpson RB 1969-79 The first man to rush for 2000 yards in a season couldn’t carry the Bills to the Super Bowl Eric Dickerson RB 1983-93 Ran for a record 2105 yards in 1984 but the Rams went out like lambs in the playoffs Dick Butkus LB 1965-73 Perhaps the best ever at his position was stuck between the Bears' dominant eras Deacon Jones DE 1961-74 The man who invented the sack couldn't get past the first round of the playoffs Dan Fouts QB 1973-87 Leader of the most entertaining team never to win a conference title Ozzle Newsome TE 1978-90 Lost three AFC Championship Games in four seasons with Cleveland including The Drive and The Fumble Charlie Joiner WR 1969-86 Came closest with Dan Fouts and the electrifying Chargers Kellen Winslow TE 1979-87 Gave his all in the heat of Miami in 1981 fell with the Chargers in freezing Cincinnati Merlin Olsen DT 1962-76 One of the Fearsome Foursome but never a champion Tommy Nobis LB 1966-76 Led team in tackles in nine of his 11 seasons but no playoffs Gale Sayers RB 1965-71 Bears never made the postseason in his brief career LeBreton: Belichick Patriots have erased all doubts our players and their ability to play well under pressure” CONTINUED FROM ID it again? I checked my notes Why it was the Patriots who had spent the previous Sunday blowing smoke up various posteriors “They’re the best team in the league” coach Bill Belichick had said of the Steelers “They have the best record They beat us back in October” “They’re a great team” McGinest chimed in “Nobody gives us much of a chance” That observation is silly naturally It seemed silly after Sunday’s AFC championship and it seemed just as silly two weeks ago after the Patriots had silenced the Indianapolis Colts The giveaway as it turned out was the way that the Patriots took great pains to lather up the Steelers and cite their won-loss record It wasn’t a coincidence The “nobody likes us” mantra was scripted And it was wrong As long as New England had Belichick and his gray sweatsuit on its sideline the Patriots’ vulnerability was going to be a myth How silly would it have been to doubt them? The Pats are one Super Bowl victory away from matching what the Cowboys did in 1993 1994 and 1996 They lack marquee depth at receiver but in this era of free agency what the Patriots have done is defy NFL gravity Doubt them? Millions of Americans are about to bet on them Tom Landry wore a hat Hank Stram dressed like the NBC peacock Belichick it seems runs out on the field dressed as if he intends to mow it With his gray sweatsuit last weekend and his hood parked around his head Belichick looks more Unabomber than Coach of the No I Team It was Belichick who recognized that a two-time Super Bowl champion needed its competitive embers stoked Before the AFC title game the Patriots reportedly were reminded by Belichick frequently that the Pittsburgh victory in October had given the Steelers the upper hand The ensuing froth last week was stunning New England was ahead 24-3 before the Steelers could escape to the warmth of the halftime locker room In a span of eight days the Patriots had dominated games against what was supposed to be the conference’s best offense and its best defense “As I said I think we have a lot of good players on this team” Belichick said “And they stepped up and played their best in the mosjt important game and in some of the toughest games I think it’s a real credit to 1 Next week we likely will hear all week about the Patriots’ grace under fire Dispatches from the Super Bowl are certain to talk about the Patriots’ offense behind Brady and their defense that stopped the Colts and Steelers But it was Belichick who got them to Jacksonville It was Belichick who found a way to recapture their attention Nobody believes in you the Man in the Hood told his Patriots “Nobody expects you to win” Well whatever works Don’t doubt the New England Patriots Bet on them Gil LeBreton (817) 390-7760 sports(a)star-telegramcom FROM WIRE REPORTS The orthopedic surgeon who examined All-Pro wide receiver Terrell Owens’ surgically repaired right ankle Tuesday told the Philadelphia Eagles’ star wide receiver that he should not play in Super Bowl XXXIX But according to the doctor Owens said he would play anyway “I’m not releasing him medically” Dr Mark Myer-son said “He’s not medically fit to play However he has done extremely well in his recovery and his rehab and he feels he’ll be able to play That is going to be a team decision” Owens did not return phone calls Tuesday night Team president Joe Banner said the Eagles had no comment about the doctor’s recommendation Briefly Chiefs: Eric Crouch who won the Heisman Trophy at Nebraska in 2001 as a quarterback signed with Kansas City in another attempt to make the NFL as a safety St Louis drafted Crouch as a receiver and he left the team during training camp when he was not given a chance to play quarterback He later had a couple of trials with Green Bay once as a quarterback and then as a safety Eagles: Philadelphia signed tight end Jeff Thomason a former Eagle who hasn’t played in the NFL since 2002 Three-time Pro Bowl tight end Chad Lewis is sidelined after hurting his foot in the AFC Championship Game Jaguars: Jacksonville hired Carl Smith the quarterback coach for Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart at Southern Cal this season as offensive coordinator Smith New Orleans’ offensive coordinator from 1986-96 inherits an offense that scored the fewest points in the AFC Jets: Quarterback Chad Pennington will have surgery to repair a tear in his right rotator cuff shortly after the Super Bowl and team doctors are optimistic he will be ready to throw by training camp Team medical director Elliot Pellman revealed at a news conference that the team which initially described the injury as a strain knew there was a tear in the muscle since the first MRI exam was conducted after the injury in November Pellman insisted the Jets didn’t risk further injury or damage to Pennington’s shoulder by clearing him to play the final five games of the regular season and two playoff games Patriots: Quarterback Tom Brady had a 103-degree fever and required intravenous fluids the night before New England beat Pittsburgh in the AFC Championship Game Sports Illustrated reported A team spokesman did not return a phone call seeking comment Ravens: John Fassel the son of Baltimore offensive coordinator Jim Fassel joined the team as an assistant coach The younger Fassel coached at New Mexico Highlands University the past two seasons Steelers: Rookie quarterback Ben Roethlisberger broke a couple of toes on his right foot late in the first half of Sunday’s AFC Championship Game loss to New England but he doesn’t blame the injury for his error-filled play He was 5-of-10 for 77 yards and two interceptions in the first half and 9-of-14 for 149 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in the second half I E3

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