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XXXV takes on XXXV

Special to Page 2

There it was, flapping in the breeze of an air-conditioning duct above The Water Cooler: Johnny's List.

Jermaine Lewis
Thanks to Jermaine Lewis' kick return, folks who bet the "over" were very happy.
Monday morning, post-Super Bowl -- a day some of us like to call T-minus-364 -- and I reported for work under the fluorescents. I knew my boy Johnny -- you remember him, the shoeshine guy from the old "Police Squad!" episodes -- wouldn't be there.

See, Johnny bet the over.

I laughed at him at the time. He was now in the Caymans, luxuriating in the sun. Probably playing nude backgammon with Elle Macpherson. He had sent me an email from a cybercafe in the Caribbean reading only, "Special teams, bro. Special teams. Never doubt Johnny."

And I knew he would somehow, some way, get me his takes on Super Bowl XXXV. So there it was -- Johnny's List -- written on the back of a TGIFriday's napkin. Tacked above The Water Cooler, like Martin Luther's Reformation treatise nailed to that church door in Germany way back in the 16th century -- only more important.

I immediately took it down and carted it to the john for some serious sit-down reading. To wit:

"Your Boy Johnny's XXXV Takes on Super Bowl XXXV."

(Johnny was kind enough to provide them in chronological order.)

I. Was that Sting on the pregame show? Damn. Guess that means his career is officially over. I'm still keeping "Outlandos D'Amor" on vinyl, though. For memories of better days.

Brandon Stokley
After Brandon Stokley's first-quarter TD catch, Super Bowl XXXV was over.
II. Kickoff. This game already sucks.

III. Giants ball on own 1-yard line. I'm thinking a 2-0 final.

IV. Mind you, I've got nothing against pitchers' duels. Except when they come in the wrong damn sport.

V. Trent Dilfer to Brandon Stokely. Is this the Super Bowl, or XFL training camp?

VI. See where Jason Sehorn took the choke, getting beat by Stokely? Typical Trojan.

VII. 6:50 to go in the first, Ravens up 7-0. It's over, baby. Over. O-v-e-r.

VIII. Yo! They just showed that kick-ass Matrix Replay Machine! Was Dilfer throwing to Stokely, or to Keanu Reeves?

IX. Then again, Sehorn goes home to Angie Harmon, win or lose. Re-evaluate choker label.

X. I'm starting to think. Ravens beat the Titans and Raiders on the road, and the Giants have no prayer already. Dude, should I muster some respect for the Baltimoreans?

XI. Every time Kerry Collins drops back to pass, looks like there are 22 Ravens on defense.

XII. Damn, watching Collins soil the bed, make that 33 Ravens.

Steven Tyler
Steven Tyler was part of the halftime show, which was themed "America: The Most Embarrassing Country In The World."
XIII. Halftime. This year's theme is the same as the past XXXIV: "America: The Most Embarrassing Country In The World."

XIV. 'N Sync? Man, does nobody read these columns? I thought Tags got the message on halftime entertainment: Prisoners bare-knuckling it for early parole. Shirtless, but in jail pants.

XV. I am sorry to learn of Steven Tyler's loss of vision. Oh, wait! Oh, bro. Sorry. Those are just stylin' shades, Ray Charles model. Perhaps to hide the shame?

XVI. My MVP vote is in. One word: Britney.

XVII.The game is on again. I don't think the Giants offense could score if they played till the Houston Texans kick off.

XVIII. Seriously.

XIX. Tony Banks is in a Super Bowl. I have real, live, weighty issues with that development, bro.

XX. This might be the best defense of all time. But damn! Who knows? I mean, you know ... it's Kerry Freaking Collins.

XXI. And it's too bad the real Kerry Collins showed up today. I was hoping that imposter from the NFC title game would commandeer the jersey again.

XXII. Hey, where did Britney Spears go? I could use another gander at those pants.

XXIII. The over's about to fall. 24-7. So sweet.

Britney Spears
"Can we get a recount in that MVP vote?"
XXIV. Can it be a classic Super Bowl with back-to-back kickoff returns for TDs? What, are you nuts?

XXV. Ohhhhh, yeaahhhh. Another one of those kick-butt Matrix Replay Machine moments. I want one.

XXVI. Guy next to me at the tavern said that when they use the kick-butt Matrix Replay Machine, "Dude, it looks like Kerry Collins is, like, the sun, and all the rest of the players are, like, the planets surrounding him." He was wearing a Humboldt State sweatshirt.

XXVII. Idle thought: Another terrible Super Bowl. Just another reason why NFC/AFC Championship Sunday is the best day of the NFL year.

XXVIII. Did Jamal Lewis fumble? Or score? Is it 24-7? Or 31-7?

XXIX. I don't care, so long as I get another view from the kick-butt Matrix Replay Machine.

XXX. I got it. Righteous.

XXXI. Art Modell is on the sidelines, waiting for his trophy. This, for the love of Cleveland, is a bad thing.

XXXII. Ray Lewis is being named Super Bowl MVP. This, I think, is both a weird and bad thing. Especially when nobody counted my Britney vote.

XXXIII. Kerry Collins' game stats just flashed. This, I know, is a historically bad thing.

XXXIV. Brian Billick is a Super Bowl champion coach. This, I think, is a weird thing, since he got hired as an offensive guru, and his offense is one of the worst in Super Bowl history.

XXXV. The city of Baltimore is reveling in a championship. This, I think, is a good thing for the hard-drinking denizens of the Inner Harbor. And a good thing for my red-eye to the Caymans.

Brian Murphy of the San Francisco Chronicle is a regular contributor to Page 2.

hit the cooler 

ALSO SEE:'s Super Bowl XXXV coverage

Murphy: Bye week blues

Murphy: Super nightmare

Murphy: A little higher learning

Murphy: Party time

Murphy: Toast of the Rockies

Murphy: Kuerten rising

Murphy: Phat weekend

Murphy: A rose is a rose ...

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