FOXBORO Postgame leftovers and pregame tidbits to gnaw on as weget our bags packed for Super Bowl 46.
1. I was on the field for the final two minutes of the AFC Championship and under the goalpost when Billy Cundiff lined up his kick. My thought as he took the field was that I was now going to be stuck on the field away from my computer for who knew how long as overtime slogged forward.
2. The kick that will live in Baltimore infamy sailed directly over my head and totally missed the net. My reaction was, Holy fudge!
3. Then I was looking at exultant minutemen and stunned staties as the crowd exploded behind me. And I was glad I was on the field for that.
4. Cundiff was ghost white leaving the field and heading into the tunnel with a Baltimore assistant coach by his side. As he went up the tunnel, Patriots fans hung over the rail, screaming Thank you!
5. With the Patriots on the field for their extended postgame celebration, I went to the Ravens locker room to mine for nuggets. Terrell Suggs and Ray Lewis spent an extended period talking to each other and when they were done, Suggs was near tears.
6. Ravens corner Chris Carr sat at the end of the locker room with some other defensive backs and said to his teammates, Can you believe that arrogant bleep tried to throw a deep ball on us to No. 18? I was like, Who is No. 18? "
7. The play Carr referred to was the fourth-quarter pick Tom Brady intended for Matthew Slater. It was a deep ball that worked from the other side in the season opener against Miami.
8. I asked Brady why he threw it. I just made up my mind to do it, he said regretfully.
9. It was interesting to see that, when Brady got to the podium in his postgame press conference, he immediately took the two Gatorade bottles perched in front of him and tucked them behind the podium. No free endorsements for his press conferences.
10. Brandon Spikes played well against the Ravens. He also did stupid things like throwing a punch during one post-play scuffle and shoving Marshal Yanda from behind after another.
11. Either play could have cost the Patriots defense 15 yards especially the latter. I asked him about it and he said he was playing mind games with the Ravens.
12. And that encapsulates why even though hes an entertaining guy and pretty talented hes an enigma.
13. Sterling Moore is going to be a good player for this team. Hes got excellent ball skills and quickness and his two plays at the tail end of the AFC Championship game were both proof of that.
14. O.J. Brigance played one game for the Patriots in 2002. He was with the team from September 10 to the 17th, made two special teams tackles and was released, ending a 12-year professional career that he spent in Canada and in the NFL with the Dolphins, Ravens, Rams and briefly the Patriots.
15. Confined to a wheelchair because of his battle with Lou Gehrigs disease, Brigance is now the Ravens Director of Player Development and was at the AFC Championship on Sunday, in the press box during the game and in the locker room afterwards. The 42-year-old has been a source of inspiration for the Ravens for several seasons.
16. I couldnt help but observe the unbridled excitement and joy in the Patriots locker room Sunday night and not contrast it to one of the oddest locker room scenes I remember from a victorious team. That was in January 2008 when the Patriots finished off their 16-0 regular season in New York and after a season under siege and ruined by the videotaping controversy the vibe was of a team extending a middle finger to a media horde that had ripped it mercilessly and questioned its legitimacy all season.
17. The 2007 team was better. This team and this season have been far more enjoyable.
18. When Robert Kraft mentioned Monday the interception that slipped through the hands of Asante Samuel on the final Giants drive in Super Bowl 42, it was clear he remains unforgiven. On the Saturday before that game when all the position groups were having their pictures taken, Samuel hollered for the 2008 free agent class to gather round for a shot and that did not go unnoticed.
19. It surprised me that the Giants opened up as three-point underdogs to the Patriots in SB46. They beat the Patriots in October, beat the top two seeds in the NFC on the road and played in a better conference.
20. Not surprisingly, the early money has poured in on the Giants. I say, take the over.
21. Oh, and the Ravens mismanaged the final play of their most important game in 11 seasons. A professional kicker should be able to make a 32-yarder in a scuba suit so this whining about the sinister and diabolical Patriots maybe just maybe screwing with the downs on the scoreboard and confusing the Ravens is a juvenile and embarrassing way of dodging responsibility for being unable to execute a job.
22. Seemed like the Patriots' field-goal block team was ready to go on the field. They musta gone over the If the Ravens are lining up a game-winning 32-yarder with 15 seconds left at the end of a chaotic drive, well be a down behind on the scoreboard so make sure you dont go by that strategy.
23. So Tim Thomas didnt go to the White House. Nothing wrong with a little conscientious objection as long as the guy is objecting conscientiously.