THE UKIAH DAILY JOUf WEDNESDAY. JAN. 26. 2000 Rams, Titans well aware of the dangers Super hype continues with media day By PAUL NEWBERRY AP Sports Writer ATLANTA — Roland Williams had a tinge of disbelief in his voice. "Everything seems different," the St. Louis Rams tight end said Tuesday. "My hotel room seems different. The sheets on my bed seem different. Even the water tastes different." So, this is what it's like to play in your first Super Bowl. "I can't believe it," Titans receiver Chris Sanders said, video camera in hand as hundreds of reporters milled about at that annual phenomenon known as media day. "Look at me. I can't stop smiling." The Rams aren't really playing in their first Super Bowl, but they might as well be. Their only previous appearance came in 1980, when they were still in Los Angeles and St. Louis belonged to the football Cardinals. The Titans are neophytes, playing in their first Super Bowl as Tennessee's team or their previous incarnation as the Houston Oilers. "I've never seen this much media," Sanders said. "I'm taping everything." But, with memories of the Atlanta Falcons still fresh on their minds, both the Rams and Titans declared a moratorium on anything that might be construed as controversial. No dog collars. No insults. No guaranteed victories. "We want to be careful in what we say and what we do," Tennessee receiver Derrick Mason said. "We don't want to say anything about the Rams that might get them motivated." Not even an appearance by Mr. Dog Collar himself, Falcons cornerback Ray Buchanan, could produce the slightest of trash talk at the Georgia Dome. A year ago, Buchanan first guaranteed a victory over the Denver Broncos, then arrived for inter- views wearing silver-studded neckwear as a way of dramatizing his team's underdog role. Instead of being motivated, the Falcons suffered a major meltdown, losing 34-19. "We're not going to do stuff like that," Williams said. "We're going first class to get the job done. We respect our fine opponent, the Tennessee Titans." Not the kind of talk you'd get from Deion Sanders or Jim McMahon. Then again, this game just doesn't have the star power of past Super Bowls. Many reporters kept glancing at the one-page rosters that were handed out at the Georgia Dome, trying to figure out who they were talking to. No. 77. Who's that? Long before each team exhausted its one-hour session, the crowd in front of most podiums went from thick to thin. Soon, reporters were interviewing each other, pointing microphones toward players-turned-commentators like Joe Theismann, Jim Kelly and Ron Jaworski. "They don't know how to get wild down here," said Falcons offensive tackle Bob Whitfield, taking a break from his day job to play pseudo-journalist. "As soon as they remembered Ray in that dumb collar, they said, 'We're not going to sell out like that.'" Indeed, both teams seemed to learn from the Falcons' self-destruction. Atlanta's players were bickering when they got off the plane. Terance Mathis decided it was the proper time to discuss a heretofore unknown alcohol problem. Buchanan said Denver tight end Shannon Sharpe looked like a Kentucky Derby entry. Worst of all, Eugene Robinson was arrested the night before the game on a charge of soliciting sex from an undercover police officer. Titans coach Jeff Fisher asked his players to please refrain from those type of antics. "He told us to enjoy the moment," cornerback Samari Rolle said, "but don't get silly about it." Buchanan, who also wound up with a journalist's pass around his neck instead of something studded, did his best to dress down the formal atmosphere. An altogether alienating experience I got abducted by aliens the other day. I know you probably don't believe me, but it happened, honestly, gen-. uinely. I swear. They came from some planet or other about a million or so light years from the metropolis of Ukiah, and they seemed like pretty nice chaps. After we got all the polite introductions out of the way,' they took me up to their space ship, where we all sat down for some tea and biscuits. Apparently they had recently stopped off in England to ask some unsuspecting, journalist over there about English soccer, and they picked up some weird habits along the way. MM^^M^B^^H^MMMV "So who's the queen of America?" they asked me to get the conversation off on a casual note. . "Th'at'd be Cameron 'Diaz,"!l;told the'rh for ON THE SIDELINES BY RAY HAMILL Mendo's Kyle Heath tries to find an opening during Tuesday night's 79-75 loss to Alameda at Mendocino College."™ Eagles take a step back Mendo loses to talented Alameda side By RAY HAMILL The Daily Journal The Mendocino College Eagles didn't play badly Tuesday night, They just didn't play good enough to defeat Alameda. The visiting Cougars, third in Bay Valley Conference play behind Merritt and Santa Rosa, handed the Eagles a 79-75 loss at Mendocino College, leaving both teams headed in vastly dif- ferent directions halfway through league play. While a tough and talented Alameda side is riding high at 5-2, Mendo fell to 2-5 and is now facing an uphill battle down the stretch of the season. Encouragingly, the Eagles turned in one of their better performances in league play. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to win a tight game, and a game that saw Mendo give up an 11-point first-half lead. "That's a tough one," Eagles head coach Ed Boyle said. "I thought we played very darn well. (Alameda's) a good club." The difference in an exciting clash came early in the second half when the Cougars went on a 16-4 run to overturn a slender deficit and open up an 11-point lead. Mendo battled back and closed to within a point of tying the game on a couple of occasions, but every time they did so, it seemed like Alameda was able to go straight back up court and find the basket to maintain a slight edge. "I thought the beginning of the second half may have been the difference," Boyle said. "We played very poorly, we lost our enthusiasm, and against them it was a little too big a hurdle to overcome." Early on it seemed like the Eagles were carrying the momentum from Friday's thrilling win over Los Medanos. David Covel, Kyle Heath,. Josh Goepel and Brance Holmes all found the basket for the Eagles, who shot reasonably well and supported that with some solid defense. The Eagles held an 11-point advantage with See EAGLES, Page 10 lack of a better answer, and momentarily getting sidetracked with the thought of it. "Oh, and what about the American cricket championship, who won that this year?" they asked. "I'm not sure," I —^—-———— replied, "but I'm pretty sure it wasn't a Bay Area team, they haven't won anything in a long time." Apparently what they really wanted to know was the low down on the NFL so they could impress their friends' at a Super Bowl party they're going to throw Sunday. "Oh you guys get to see the Super Bowl?" I asked somewhat surprised. Then they gave me one of those Duh looks as if to say' "doesn't everybody?" "Well where do you want to start," I said. "I could tell you all about the Niners, that's a soap opera all in itself. • Well, a soap opera without the whole 'sex thing,' although that may change soon because they're going to need something to keep the viewing figures up over the next few years, or else they're going to find out what it's like ' for the Raiders." "The who?" my new friends asked. "The Oakland Raiders," I replied. "The team of the decades? (although we're not exactly sure which ". decades.) Al Davis and the trend-setting nomads of the NFL? The team formerly known as the L. A. Raiders, and formerly-still known as the Oakland Raiders, and still ; counting?" Then it suddenly dawned on me. "Wait a minute," I said. "You guys probably haven't '• ever heard of the Raiders. They haven't won a Super ' Bowl since before like cable television or something, and they're always blacked out." By now, my new friends had a very confused look on their collective faces. ' OK, I thought, maybe I should switch gears. "Let's talk about the Super Bowl," I said to them. "George is going to Georgia, and so too is Georgja- Although nobody thought Georgia would go early on, as the season wore on everybody thought she'd go. So I guegs Set SIDELINES, Page 9 > HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL Lady Wildcats roll over Rancho; Bearcats sweep SRC The Daily Journal The Lady Wildcats stormed to their 19th victory in 19 games this season Tuesday night, running out to an 82-38 win at Rancho Cotate. The win also improves the Ufciah' girte to 74Hn North Bay League play at the hattway mark of league play. "We played really well," head coach Bill Brunemeyer said. "We ran the fast break very well and we got a lot of easy baskets." Celeste Farmer, Maija Pantta- ja and Bonnie Ford were particularly effective for the Wildcats, netting 39 points between the three of them. Panttaja finished with a team- high 14 points in the win, while Ford added 13 and Farmer 12. Krystal McKay and Teresa Gordon-Dick each scored seven, while Amber Woods and Aubrey McCleary each added six. All 12 Ukiah girls got their names on the scoresheet, includ- ing senior Claire Allan, who finished with four. The Ukiah girls host Maria Carrillo to begin the second round of league play Thursday at Ukiah High School. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m., preceded by the freshmen and JVs at 4:30 and 6 p.m., respectively. Bearcats sweep SRC Potter Valley took three out of three at home to Santa Rosa Christian Tuesday night. The Potter Valley varsity boys won out, 73-27 with Danny Morford leading the way. Morford finished with 23 points and 23 rebounds in the win, as well as four steals and three assists. Jed Todd added 14 points and five rebounds, while Burke Brown finished with 11 points, 12 rebounds and four assists, and Daniel Cummings with 10 points, eight rebounds and five steals. Danny Dalton, meanwhile, had six points and seven rebounds, while Chad Meyers added six points and nine rebounds, and Jimmy Lawson eight rebounds and six assists. Jeremiah Preffer also had four rebounds in the win. The Bearcats travel to Laytonville Friday for an 8 p.m. tip off. Lady Bearcats 63, SRC 27 Courtney Freeman scored a team-high 16 points to lead the Potter girls Tuesday night, as well as adding nine rebounds aod three steals. ' Twin sister Melissa Freeman also had a standout game for Po> ter, finishing with 15 points, ll rebounds and seven steals, while Tori Schraeder added nine points and four rebounds. '• Yardley Olson, meanwhile, finished with six points and threp S«9 BASKETBALL, Page 9 ''
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