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SUPER BOWL XXXI: GREEN BAY PACKERS vs. NEW ENGLAND
PATRIOTS | PRO FOOTBALL / DAILY REPORT : SUPER BOWL

Holmgren Tries to Rein in Favre

January 21, 1997|T.J. SIMERS

Green Bay Coach Mike Holmgren, calling his quarterback Brett Favre a "gunslinger," has worked overtime trying to remind Favre that it's "best to live for another day."

Favre, who has been known to challenge the biggest defender and who has been penalized 15 yards for unnecessary roughness for banging into Dallas defender Charles Haley, received orders from Holmgren to stop tackling his own teammates after they scored a touchdown.

"We'd have guys looking up into the stands for their wives or girlfriends after they had scored and, wham, Favre would nail them," Holmgren said. "I got him to stop that, and he doesn't jump into the stands, but that may have something to do with his vertical jump.

"When he kicks it in, he's just going to play the game a certain way. He's going to play it with abandon at times, and that's another reason he's a great player."

As for his other players, who continue to jump into the stands after scoring, Holmgren said, "I love to see our fans embrace our players; all I ask is that they throw them back."

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The NFC has defeated the AFC 12 times in a row in the Super Bowl. Said New England Coach Bill Parcells: "I don't think history means anything in this game at all."

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Somewhere in America sits Matt LaBounty, a defensive end for the Seattle Seahawks, who was sent packing from Green Bay in the off-season for safety Eugene Robinson.

"A year ago at this time I was sitting at home," said Robinson, a 12-year veteran, who will likely end his career with a Super Bowl ring. "People thought at first I must have been bitter that I got traded. Bitter? I thought God had blessed me sending me to Green Bay."

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The Packers, who left Green Bay a day earlier with the windchill at minus-35, worked out in 60-degree temperatures at the New Orleans Saints facility.

"This is heaven," Favre said. "It was our first day to practice outside in 2 1/2 half months."

It was the first time the Packers have practiced in full pads since November.

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In looking for some hope for New England, a decisive underdog, it was pointed out to Holmgren that the Packers have not fared well on artificial turf.

Since 1993, the Packers are 37-9 on natural grass, 10-1 this season, and 6-15 on artificial turf. They are 5-3 at the Superdome.

"It's my fault we lose on turf because I don't know how to coach on turf," said Holmgren. "We've played well on turf, but we have not been able to beat Dallas and we've played them seven times. So that will goof up your record. Minnesota is also tough for us. I don't think we have a grass team."

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