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Notes From the Super Bowl

January 25, 2000

ATLANTA (AP) _ ABC’s four-hour pregame telecast on Super Bowl Sunday will focus on three E’s _ emotion, edge and entertainment _ that executive producer John Filipelli said were lacking in previous years.

``Other networks did a fine job, but they seemed to lack an emotional dimension ... they didn’t resonate,″ Filipelli said Tuesday. ``We are looking for water cooler stuff for the next day.″

Leading the ``emotion″ end of the 2-6 p.m. EST pregame show, with

Chris Berman as host, is a feature on the late Walter Payton, who died of liver disease during this season.

``It’s appropriate that No. 34 will be a centerpiece of the 34th Super Bowl,″ Filipelli said.

One of the ``entertainment″ spokes of the show will be magician David Blaine performing tricks with Super Bowl players.

Blaine gave a preview at media day on Tuesday when he had St. Louis running back Marshall Faulk shuffle a card deck and pick a card without revealing it to Blaine.

The trickster then tossed the entire deck toward the back of the booth where Faulk was sitting and asked him to retrieve a card stuck behind a logo. Faulk then pulled out the card he originally picked from the deck.


DAD’S DAY: Tennessee safety Anthony Dorsett will become the first son of a previous Super Bowl starter to also start in the NFL championship.

Dorsett’s father, Hall of Fame running back Tony Dorsett, started in the 1978 and 1979 Super Bowls for the Dallas Cowboys.

The Dorsetts are the third father-son combination to reach the Super Bowl.

The others are quarterbacks Bob and Brian Griese, and defensive tackle Frank Cornish and center Frank Cornish Jr.

Bob Griese was in three Super Bowls for Miami, and Brian was a backup for Denver last year. Cornish was a defensive tackle for the Dolphins in 1972 and his son played for Dallas in 1993-94.


BROTHER VS. BROTHER: Bruce Matthews, who will play in his first Super Bowl on Sunday after 17 years with the Oilers-Titans franchise, had a crazy childhood with his brother, Clay, who played 18 years with Cleveland and Atlanta.

``Clay and I would make up games to compete with each other,″ Bruce said Tuesday. ``The most obscure was a baseball game that we played with a 2-by-4. We’d throw darts at each other. The object was to catch the dart in the 2-by-4. When we had our first beanball, our parents retired the game.″


DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL: Titans quarterback Steve McNair has gotten lots of attention for his case of turf toe the past two months. Titans left tackle Brad Hopkins has dealt with his sore foot by keeping his problem to himself.

``The reason why I didn’t attract attention to the fact I had turf toe is that means I’ve got to come in and get treatment. I’ve got eight million things to do. I don’t want to be sitting in the training room with my toe in a bucket,″ he said.

``I just pretend that doesn’t hurt. If I can deal with it, I deal with it.″


INFLUENTIAL ROOKIE: The Rams’ touchdown dance, the ``Bob and Weave,″ is the brainchild of rookie wide receiver Torry Holt.

Holt toyed with dances in practice early in the season, and first tried the ``Bob and Weave″ against the Atlanta Falcons, who had the ``Dirty Bird″ last year. He said the finished product, in which players bend over and shadow box, borrows from Muhammad Ali and from rap artists’ gestures.

``All the guys bought into it, the older guys put a stamp on it, and it went from there,″ Holt said.


SUPER CARTOONS: In perhaps the ultimate example of how traditionally non-sports media wiggle their way into the Super Bowl hype, Cartoon Network representatives asked players Tuesday for their cartoon favorites and finagled promo spots from them.

``I have to go with Bugs Bunny,″ Rams QB Kurt Warner said. ``He’s always been a favorite of mine, and he’s a Warner brother.″


FRAGILE FURNITURE: Rams end Kevin Carter gently eased himself into the director’s chair at his podium on media day, worried the chair would collapse.

″`I hope this chair is sturdy enough. I’m 300 pounds,″ said Carter, who actually weighs 280.


SUPER FEVER: There are no sad country songs this week in Nashville: The Tennessee Titans are in the Super Bowl.

Tennessee Titans jerseys are selling faster than Garth Brooks CDs. A local strip club is offering free admission to anyone wearing Titans gear. And Vice President Al Gore, a former Nashvillian, is handing out Titans T-shirts to reporters traveling with him on Air Force II.

U.S. Rep. Bob Clement was almost philosophical in analyzing the Titans’ hold on Nashville.

``This is the Volunteer State and it just comes natural for Tennesseans to fall in line and be supportive. Our call this time was the Tennessee Titans,″ he said.

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