HOUSTON -- Here's the scenario I envision for the Super Bowl: close game, a conservative game plan for both teams. The Patriots force Jake Delhomme to make a play late in the game and he throws an interception. Patriots win, 14-10.
I understand the blowout scenario some are tossing out there, but I don't buy it. The Panthers are a good team. John Fox is as close as you're going to get to a Bill Parcells or Bill Belichick. He motivates, prepares his team and he schemes very well on defense.
You've got to feel bad for Damien Woody, Mike Compton, David Patten, and Rosevelt Colvin not being able to participate because they're on injured reserve. Woody was such a top performer for the offensive line. As a free-agent, he might have played his final game in New England. Compton and Patten are two other veterans who may not be around next season.
Tom Brady has a Screen Actors Guild card following a brief speaking role in the recent movie "Stuck on You." If Brady wins Super Bowl XXXVIII he'll become the youngest to win two Super Bowls. Troy Aikman won two by age 27. Brady is 26.
Houston Chronicle writer Richard Justice, an old friend from baseball coverage, was a big fan of the Rib Tickler restaurant in Tomball, Texas, even before he knew it belonged to Ted Johnson's dad. Justice is a regular, and it wasn't until recently that he made the connection with Johnson.
There's a continued disappointment here that Andre Tippett is not among the 15 finalists for enshrinement in Canton, Ohio. Bob Brown, Harry Carson, Richard Dent, Carl Eller, John Elway, Cliff Harris, Bob Hayes, Lester Hayes, Bob Kuchenberg, Jim Marshall, Art Monk, Barry Sanders, Rayfield Wright, George Young and Gary Zimmerman are the finalists. My choices this time around: Elway, Sanders, Wright, Zimmerman, and Young. Elway will be the 19th quarterback enshrined in the modern era. Sanders will be the 24th running back. An amazing stat on Sanders: 10 years in the league, 10 Pro Bowls. Among QB's in the Hall, Joe Montana has the highest QB rating, 92.3. In comparison, Joe Namath's was 65.5.
Who would have the most Super Bowl rings if the Patriots won Super Bowl XXXVIII. Well, if the Patriots win on Sunday, strength coach Mike Woicik would have one ring for each finger. Five. He had three while the strength coach of the Dallas Cowboys and two with the Patriots if they win. Bill Belichick would have four, two as an assistant and two as a head coach. During Woicik's seven-year tenure in Dallas, the Cowboys had 12 playoff wins and three Super Bowl championships.
Brady on Patriots fans: "Two years ago when we won the Super Bowl, we flew home, and on Tuesday went to the parade where there was over a million and a quarter people standing out there, and its five degrees out, you know what kind of fans you have. There is such a strong fan base and to go out there over the course of the season and see the momentum build going into the playoffs and last week it was deafening out there and it was awesome. It makes it a lot of fun for us as players to go out and play for them. You know there is excitement and you know there is coverage and you know people care. You go to the store and people want to talk to you about the throw you made on third down. It is pretty intense. For us to be down here in the Super Bowl brings a lot of excitement to the (New England) area." Continued...