Daily Globe (Newspaper) - February 7, 2005, Ironwood, Michigan
Do you have sports news? Call Larry Holcombe at or email to THE DAILY GLOBE MONDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2005 9 Patriot Act III: Dynasty By PAUL NEWBERRY AP Sporls Writer JACKSONVILLE, Fla. The whole tiling must have seemed routine to the New England Patriots: confetti fluttering across the field, fireworks brightening the night sky, a carefully choreographed championship trophy presentation. Downright ordinary, right? Hardly. The. Patriots became a full-fledged dynasty with their third Super Bowl vic- tory in four years, beating the Philadel- phia Eagles 24-21 Sunday night. New England claimed a spot alongside the Green Bay Packers of the 1980s, the Pittsburgh Steelers of the '70s, the San Francisco 49ers of the '80s, the Dallas Cowboys of the '90s. A team for the decade. A team for the ages. "We're champions now. That's safe- ty Rodney Harrison said. "1 don't know about dynasty." Trust us, Rodney, this group fits the definition- in every respect. New Eng- land becomes just the seventh franchise to claim back-to-back titles. The Cow- boys are the only other team to win the championship three times over a four- year period. Typically, the Patriots didn't leave themselves much room. All three of their Super Bowls have been decided by three points the previous two on last-second field goals by Adam Vinatieri. By com- parison, only two of the first 35 Super Bowls were within field goal range at the end. But what they lack in style, the Patri- ots more than make up with their steely determination to do whatever it fakes to win. When the Eagles jumped to a 7-0 lead, New England responded with a touchdown of its own late in the first half. When Philadelphia tied the game at 14 late in the third quarter, the Patriots marched right down the field for Corey Dillon's 2-yard touchdown. And, in a fit- ting bit of synergy, Vinatieri booted a 22- yard field goal with remaining that provided the margin of vic- Donovan McNabb threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Greg Lewis with remaining, but the Patriots recovered the onside kick and ran off all but the final 46 seconds. When Harrison picked off McNabb's last pass at the Philly 28, it was time' to party. Sure, the NFL-planned celebration is virtually impossible to distinguish from one year to the next, but that didn't lessen the Patriots' remarkable accom- plishment (specially in the era of salary caps and free agency. "This is the best offensive tack- le Matt Light said. "We have more heart than anyone in the world. This is unbe- lievable. I love this confetti." The Eagles got a huge lift from Terrell Owens, who defied his doctor to play in his first Super Bowl. Just 6'k weeks after surgery, T.O. had nine catches for 122 yards. Not bad for a guy who was play- ing with two screws and a metal plate in his right ankle. "He's amazing, to he able to come out there and do what he Harrison said. "You could tell he was still hurting a little bit, but he played tremendous." But Owens was outshined by New England's Deion Branch, who claimed the MVP award with 11 catches tying a Super Bowl record for 133 yards. It wasn't a flawless game by any means. McNabb (30-of-51 for 397 yards) threw three inter- ceptions, was sacked four times and had a fumble overturned by replay. Tom Brady botched a handoff with Kevin Faulk, leading to a fumble deep in Philly territory. For the most part, though, the Patri- ots followed a familiar routine run the ball (28 carries, 112 limit mis- takes in the passing game (Brady was 23-of-33 for 236 yards, with no intercep- tions) and rely heavily on their defense (the Eagles managed just 45 yards on the The loss extended Philly's excruciat- ing championship drought! The city's last football title came in 1960. The last title of any kind came 22 years ago, when the VGers won the NBA champi- onship. "I was proud of the coach Andy Reid said. "But we came up just short too many turnovers and against such a tough football team you can't do that." Associated Press New England Patriots' Tedy Bruschi celebrates after intercepting a fourth-quarter pass intended for Philadelphia Eagles' L.J. Smith during Super Bowl XXXIX in Jack- sonville, Fla., Sunday. Now, it's time to start sorting out the historical significance of niiolher Patri- ots' Super Bowl title. They have won nine straight postseason games, equal- ing Vince Lombardi's Green Bay teams. And coach Bill Beliehick improved bis playoff record to 10-1, one-upping the great Lombnrdi. McNabb caught a break when a first- quarter interception in the end zone was nullified by a defensive penalty. But he wasted the second chance, throwing another errant pass that Harrison picked off near the goal line. After Harrison's second interception suspect that coach Lqmfiardi would have a deep admiration for how your team played NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue told Beliehick after the game. The Patriots had a bumpy road to their latest championship, and in many ways the Super Bowl mirrored those struggles. But, ns always, New England found a way to persevere. Maybe it's their versatility: For the second year in a row, linebacker Mike Vrabel caught a touchdown pass. He's got five receptions in his career nil TDs. Even though the Eagles made it to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1981 after three straight conference championship flops their sparkling season ended in disappointment before a sea of mostly green jerseys in the crowd of "We were too sloppy 'to Owens said. "It was great to get back, but we made too many mistakes. We could have won and.that hurts." Brady didn't stand out like he did while winning the MVP award at his first two Super Bowls, but he threw two TD passes. Branch stepped in to fill the void, making off with a new car and an additional piece of hardware. "It doesn't matter who gets Branch said. McNabb looked ordinary, even skit- tish at times. Maybe it was the four sacks, the persistent pressure and the lack of help from the running game. He threw three touchdown passes, but also made some crucial blunders. In a precursor of what was to come, and defensive coordinator Romeo Cren- nel. Bofh are leaving for head coaching jobs: Weis at Notre Dame, Crennel with the Cleveland Browns. "He grabbed me and Romeo at the end of the game and said, 'Hey, it's Weis said. What a ride it's been. One for the ages. Super Bowl Stats 0 7 T 10 PN'aJeiplia 0 7 7.7- Second Quarter 6 pass l-m [AXsrs 9 55. ME-G'rers 4 pass iron B-aty Third Quarter I pass (ran (Vila1 eri 1 1 :W. Pr-J-Westtrock 1 0 pass Im (Akers Fourth Ojarler (VnaierT ktiij. PM- First dOATls Rjshes-ya-ds PunlRsbrra ReMrrs Cwo-ArMr.l SatiM Ka'ds Lost Pv.lt! Furb'es-Loi' Trr a of Pcssesscn HE 21 331 23-112 219 4-26 4-63 35 23-334 217 7-45.1 l-i M7 Phi 24 369 17-45 524 3-19 5-114 n.n 30-51-3 4.53 5-42.B 2-1 3.35 2623 INKVIDUAL STATISTICS RUSHING-K'w Dfloo 18-75, Fau'k a-38. Pass 1-0. Brady i-lir.'nu Weslbrock 15-44 LP.WS M. Errand, 23-33-0-236. 30-51-3-357. RECEIV.NG-Uw EngiAid, Branch 1-133. Uroi 3-31, 3-13, Fasls 2-27. T.Bwi 2-17. Graham 1-7. V'ase! 1-2. Pl-fadd- plaa, Owns 9-1 22, 7-60, Prfelon 4-82. 6 Lews 4-53, SraSi 4-27. k'.tticl Parry 1-2. Associated Press New England Patriots' wide receiver Deion Branch, selected most valuable player of Super Bowl XXXIX, is seen in action during the first half of the Patriots' 24-21 win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday at Alltell Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla. Marino, Young will shine together in Canton By DARRY WILNER AP Football Writer JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) Dan Marino and Steve Young made it a great day for quarter- backs when both were elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Marino, the most prolific pass- er in NFL history, and Young, whose accuracy and speed made him one of football's most versa- tile QBs, were joined Saturday by Benny Friedman, an early-era quarterback, and Fritz Pollard. received at least 80 per- cent of the votes from the panel of sports writers and broadcast- ers. Friedman and' Pollard were nominated by the senior commit- tee and chosen by the full panel. Induction ceremonies will be Aug. 7 in Canton, Ohio. "It's an incredible Marino said. "It's humbling to think of growing up wanting to be a professional football player. "Let's overrun Canton with Dolphins fans. I invite you all to Canton and to have some fun." When Marino left the Miami Dolphins after the 1999 season, ho had NFL bests of com- pletions, passes, yards and 420 touchdowns. His record of 48 TD passes in a sea- son was recently broken by Pey- ton Manning. Although he never won a Super Bowl, Marino was the 1984 league MVP, made three All-Pro teams and nine Pro Bowls. When Marino retired, he owned 21 NFL marks, including most seasons with yards or more passing moat yards passing in one season in '84, the only year ho won a con- ference and most games with 300 yards or more passing Young, the first modern-era left-handed quarterback elected, won the 1995 Super Bowl with San Francisco and was the league's most valuable player in 1992 and '94. A clever runner Associated Press Former Miami Dolphins' quarterback Dan Marino, right, congratulates former San Francisco 49ers' quarterback Steve Young after the two were elected into the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame in Jacksonville, Fla., Saturday. with a strong arm and great field- vision, Young made seven Pro Bowls and was a three-time All- Pro. He held the highest passer rating in league history (96.8) when he retired in '99. He also set the highest single-season rat- ing of 112.8, which Manning also broke this season. "Not many Hall of Famers come out of Greenwich, Young said with a took a unique rond, starting with being left-handed. 1 had a college coach, LaVell Edwards, who took a chance on a wild, crazy left- handed running quarterback from Connecticut." Pollard not only was the first black head coach in the NFL, in 1921, but a superb player, too. A running back, he led the Akron Pros to the fledgling league's 1920 championship with an undefeated record. He later organized the Chica- go Brown Bombers, an indepen- dent team of black players that barnstormed the country from 1927-33. Friedman played for four teams from 1927-34 and was one of the early NFL's great quarter- backs. A contemporary of Red Grange, he also was a strong' draw at the box office. Giants owner Tim Alnra pur- chased the Detroit Wolverines, for whom Friedman played in 1928, not only to get him in New York's lineup but to fill the stands. "We both appreciate and honor the people who played in another Young said, speaking for Marino, as well. "You're talking about having a passion for the game. We're here on the backs of so many other players. T'his is important Fritz Pol- lard and what lie meant for the game. There's a foundation there we arc to join nrms with." Michaol Irvin and Harry Car- son, the other two finnlists, did not get the required votes for induction.