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Super Bowl XXXII: The Aftermath | NFL REWIND / T.J.

Broncos, Davis Can Talk All They Want Now

January 27, 1998|T.J. SIMERS

SAN DIEGO — A review of Super Bowl XXXII, and hey, what's the big deal if Denver quarterback John Elway retires? It's not like Bubby Brister can't hand the ball off to Terrell Davis just as well as Elway.

Davis, overlooked after graduating from high school and then falling to the sixth round in the NFL draft, became the seventh running back to be named the most valuable player in the Super Bowl after stomping the Packers, and will ride in style as he begins an extended victory lap.

Lacking a car while at Lincoln High School here, Davis, who later got a hand-me-down 1974 Chevy Impala from his brother for his first vehicle, had his choice of a new Mustang convertible or a truck Monday at the Super Bowl's annual press conference to honor the game's MVP. And after asking his brother's advice, he picked the Bronco-blue truck.

"After I leave here, I'm going to Disneyland," Davis said. "Then I'm off immediately to the Jay Leno show, back to Denver Tuesday to help the team celebrate the victory and then off to Hawaii Wednesday [for the Pro Bowl]."

While Denver burned and his teammates partied to the sounds of two dance bands at the Hyatt Hotel in La Jolla Sunday night, Davis returned to his hotel room, invited his family to join him, and then a few hours later asked to be alone.

"I just kinda sat back, watched TV, ordered some room service and that was it for me," said Davis, the first player in Super Bowl history to run for three touchdowns. "Just a boring night and I went to bed.

"It's just a game, and I can understand how some fans might get excited and get out of control, but the riot-type situation that went on in Denver [Sunday night] is ridiculous."

The Coach Says

Elway will not retire.

"I would really be surprised if he retired," said Denver Coach Mike Shanahan, who became an Elway confidant while an assistant coach with the Broncos under then-coach Dan Reeves.

"Whenever John decides to go out, he's going to go out as a champion. I think it would be nice for him if it's one or two or three more years--or just one. I think there will be less pressure on John next year--less than he's ever had in his career. What else does he have to prove or accomplish?"

Where's the Ring?

Shanahan stopped Monday's press conference and said he had something he wanted to pass on. He said Elway's son came into the locker room after Super Bowl XXXII, demanding to see his father's Super Bowl ring, unaware that the team takes months to select the number of diamonds and setting to be used.

"He thought right after the game that the ring was going to be right there," said Shanahan, in his only known attempt at revealing a lighter side to his personality in the past week.

Get a Clue

Green Bay defensive coordinator Fritz Shurmur said, "We didn't start in control, but we got control in the second quarter, then lost it again."

Hello! Davis ran as he pleased in the first quarter for the Broncos, sat out with a headache in the second quarter and then came on to run over the Packers in the second half.

"I never expected the game to go that way," Shurmur said.

Surprise Move

NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue did not ask to renegotiate the $17.6-billion TV contract with the networks, and ask for more money, after the success of Super Bowl XXXII.

In what some are calling the best Super Bowl, NBC scored big in overnight ratings, getting a 67 share of the audience with a 44.5 rating.

NBC will have to find ratings elsewhere for at least the next five years, since it will no longer be televising NFL games.

Concern for Reggie

A missing person report has been filed in the hopes that Green Bay pass rusher Reggie White will be seen.

No sight of him in Super Bowl XXXII.

"I was out on the field most of the time," White said. "I probably missed about six plays."

And three times as many tackles.

"I didn't get many plays to my side," said White, who was credited with one tackle.

Super Bowl Statistics

The crowd of 68,912 was the smallest for a Super Bowl since Super Bowl XXVI in the Metrodome in Minneapolis drew 63,130 in 1992. . . . In the closing stages of the second quarter and the start of the third, Green Bay controlled the ball for 24 of 25 plays. . . . Green Bay wide receiver Antonio Freeman might have been a Super Bowl MVP had it not been for Davis and the scoreboard tilting Denver's way. Freeman caught nine passes for 126 yards and two touchdowns, although he also dropped a potential first-down pass in the team's final drive.

Too Busy

President Bill Clinton did not make the traditional telephone call to the winning Super Bowl team, which he had done a year earlier after the Packers' win over the New England Patriots.

"No intern to take the call," suggested an NFL writer while league officials sought an explanation for Clinton's change in strategy. Officials explained later that he would be calling sometime Monday.

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