I’ve got to admit the Spring 2001 semester has been fairly uneventful around Main Campus (at least compared to last semester). Top news stories ranged from the uplifting (David Adamany takes over as President, Pepe Sanchez making the Sixers’ roster) to the tragic (the bomb scare hoax, the wounding of a student outside a residence hall). So I was almost at a loss for an idea for my column when suddenly it hit me — I could write an article on Super Bowl XXXV featuring the New York Giants and the Baltimore Ravens.
Last year’s game between the St. Louis Rams and the Tennessee Titans was, by far, the most interesting Super Bowl I had seen in my entire life. In fact, the game’s outcome came down to the final seconds, and the Rams prevailed. Rams quarterback Kurt Warner, who just several years prior to that was bagging groceries in an Iowa supermarket, became Super Bowl MVP. Also, former Eagles head coach Dick Vermeil finally won his Super Bowl ring. It was a great storybook ending to the football season.
This year, it was rooting for the lesser of two evils (unless you’re from Baltimore or New York). The “East Rutherford” Giants featured Kerry Collins at quarterback — a recovering alcoholic who basically quit his former team, the Carolina Panthers, and was so awful the New Orleans Saints didn’t want to keep him.
Also, the Giants coaching staff was accused of stealing signals from the Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings’ coaches during the playoffs. In addition, no Philadelphia sports fan would EVER root for a New York team under any circumstances, let alone a team in their own division that defeated them three times during the year.
On the Baltimore side, you’ve got owner Art Modell, who stole the team away from Cleveland because they refused to give him a new stadium. And then there’s Ray Lewis, the star linebacker who witnessed a double murder last year in Atlanta, site of Super Bowl XXXIV.
Not to mention Kerry Collins vs. Baltimore’s Trent Dilfer was probably one of the worst quarterback matchups in Super Bowl history. In fact, Super Bowl XXXV was the third lowest rated Super Bowl in the last 30 years. To make matters worse, the Super Bowl was followed up by one of the worst shows ever, “Survivor II”. But that’s another story.
The first half of the game was fairly uneventful. By halftime, the score was 10-0 in favor of Baltimore, a safe lead considering that the Ravens allowed fewer points than any other defense in history over a 16-game season. The third quarter was by far the most interesting, with the teams combining to score 21 points, including two kickoff returns for touchdowns in a span of 36 seconds. Baltimore tacked on ten points in the fourth quarter, making the final score 34-7 in favor of the Ravens.
How boring was this game? The teams combined for 21 punts obliterating the previous record of 15. Dilfer was 12 for 25 with 153 passing yards and a touchdown, while Collins was 15 for 39 with 114 passing yards and 4 interceptions, also a Super Bowl record.
Ray Lewis, who had seven tackles for the Ravens, was named Super Bowl MVP. Usually, the player awarded this honor goes to Disney World. However, Dilfer won the trip to Disney World because of concern about Lewis’ criminal past. Dilfer might not even return to the Ravens next year. He’s a free agent, and he wasn’t very effective. This team basically won in spite of his mediocre performance.
This wasn’t exactly a storybook ending to the football season. But at least commercials were good.
Jared Byrd can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.