|Rams? Patriots? Everybody's got an opinion
By David Nielsen
Scripps Howard News Service
It's time again for that annual gridiron spectacle -- no, not the
Super Bowl -- the Scripps Howard Celebrity Super Bowl Poll.
Personalities from the worlds of entertainment, politics and sports
make their picks for Sunday's Super Bowl XXXVI between the St. Louis
Rams and New England Patriots in New Orleans.
PAUL NEWMAN, legendary actor: The Patriots will win 87 to 3. I'm
betting my house!
SECRETARY OF DEFENSE DONALD RUMSFELD'S SECRETARY: He said he hasn't
been following football lately. He's been a little busy.
AHMAD RASHAD, TV personality and former NFL star: St. Louis. There
is no question they are the best in the game and one of the best of
all time, 35-10.
BARRY WILLIAMS, actor, Greg Brady on "The Brady Bunch": This
one's easy. The Patriots because any team with a Brady has got to go
the distance. We call (Tom) the fourth Brady. Not many people knew
about him growing up because we kept him off camera. 34-28.
JOHN WOODEN, legendary UCLA coach: The Rams. I think they're better
all-around in all areas. They're well-balanced. I believe balance is
one of the most important things we can have: physical, emotional,
offense, defense, special teams.
RED AUERBACH, legendary Boston Celtics coach: I'm rooting for the
Patriots, but it's hard to pick them because they're such a big
underdog. But, hey, everybody always thought (Rocky) Marciano was
going to get the crap knocked out of him and he kept winning and
winning. Patriots, 14-7.
BILL O'REILLY, author, talk show host, and former Marist College QB
and kicker: The Rams are just too fast and too quick for the Patriots
to keep up with them. 30-10.
CURT SCHILLING, World Series hero, Arizona Diamondbacks: The Rams
are better. 35-14.
SCOTT ADAMS, cartoonist, "Dilbert": My issue with the Patriots is
that New England isn't a city. They're so indecisive that they named
the team after an entire region. That shows a lack of confidence that
will result in punts on fourth and inches. St. Louis, on the other
hand, decisively named their team after a type of computer memory.
Those guys are smart. I predict that St. Louis will win by 40 points.
Jordan vs. Cuban
MICHAEL JORDAN, NBA star, Washington Wizards: Obviously the
favorite is the Rams. But for whatever reason, New England looks like
it has things working in its favor. It should be a good one. I've got
friends on both sides, so I'm up in the air right now.
MARK CUBAN, owner, Dallas Mavericks: The Rams look unstoppable,
which is why I pick the Patriots, 29-28.
JORDAN, reacting to Cuban's pick: He should be fined $500,000.
JOHN O'HURLEY, J. Peterman on "Seinfeld": New England, 24-17, and
after they win, I want them to put on Red Sox uniforms and take a shot
at the baseball season.
CARL YASTRZEMSKI, Hall of Famer, Boston Red Sox: The Patriots. It
kind of reminds me of the Impossible Dream team in 1967 that I was on.
Nobody gave us a shot. I'm also pulling for Bob Kraft and Bill
Belichick who are both friends of mine.
OZZIE SMITH, Hall of Famer, St. Louis Cardinals: The Rams by two
touchdowns. They're the total package.
YOGI BERRA, legendary New York Yankee: That's easy. St. Louis. It's
where I grew up. By a touchdown.
LUIS GONZALEZ, World Series hero, Arizona Diamondbacks: The Rams
because of their Astroturf offense and their stellar defense. 38-13.
JAMIE LYNN-SIGLER, actress, Meadow on "The Sopranos": I think New
England will win because ever since I sang the national anthem for
them, they haven't lost!
ELISABETH SHUE, actress: The Rams. They're a better team. (Kurt
Warner), I love his story. 28-13.
BOBBY THOMSON, former N.Y. Giants baseball player who in 1951 hit
"Shot Heard 'Round the World": The Patriots. I'm rooting for Bill
Belichick. I've always liked Belichick. Obviously the Rams are the
favorite. But I'm going with my heart.
RALPH BRANCA, former Dodger who threw the famous pitch to Thomson:
Rams 31, Patriots 24. Experience, they've been there before.
OTTO GRAHAM, Hall-of-Fame quarterback: I've been around long enough
to know it's impossible to predict. All I know is what I read in the
paper, and a lot of time that's a lot of bull anyway. But my wife
picks the Rams. That's a sure thing.
EDDIE MURRAY, future baseball Hall-of-Famer: Rams, because they
have an awful lot of speed on both sides of the ball and because
they're playing on artificial turf. The Super Dome is almost like a
home game for them.
MARTIN MILNER, actor, Pete Malloy on "Adam-12": I think the Rams
are going to win big. Everybody feels that way. 28-7.
BRUCE MCGILL, actor, D-Day in "Animal House": Rams, because they
have more weapons in their arsenal and a varied offense. And because
they've been there. 28-14.
PHYLLIS DILLER, comedienne: Football scores don't get very high, do
they? The Patriots, 27-14.
CARROT TOP, comedian: Patriots. The world has never been more
"patriotic." The year of the upsets! Brady/Bledsoe & Co. in the snow
under the dome will Ram it home for the "American" Football
USHER, hip-hop star: New England. They have a much better defense.
The Castaways (and friend)
BOB DENVER, actor, Gilligan on "Gilligan's Island": The Rams by
10. They're just a little more powerful than New England.
RUSSELL JOHNSON, actor, The Professor on "Gilligan's Island":
Well, both of my teams lost. I'm from Pennsylvania so I was looking
for the Steelers and the Eagles. So I really don't give a damn. But
the obvious favorite is St. Louis.
DAWN WELLS, actress, Mary Ann on "Gilligan's Island": St. Louis
by 17. Their offense is better. Marshall Faulk is outstanding. Their
defense is improved. And they're an L.A. team. I was against them the
first three years because they left us. But now, of course, since we
have no team, I've come back.
AL LEWIS, Grandpa on "The Munsters": St. Louis. Maybe by two
touchdowns. They're used to winning. New England is not, although
Belichick has done a great job. But he's hated in Cleveland.
HALEY JOEL OSMENT, actor: Patriots. They're far from favored, but
sometimes if you are an extreme underdog that will make you play hard
enough to win. 27-24.
BERNARD GOLDBERG, author of "Bias," No. 1 book on N.Y. Times
best-seller list: Good luck and all my best to Pat Summerall. St.
Louis 34, New England 17.
SCOTT TUROW, best-selling author: The Rams. Too many weapons. It
doesn't look anybody can keep them from scoring. 38-30.
ROD STEIGER, actor: The Rams are going to win because of their
quarterback who has reacted wonderfully under pressure. 21-15.
DENNIS FARINA, actor: The Patriots. They want it more, they're the
underdog and they're going to fight a little more to win. They've got
a lot of juice going for them. 28-14.
ROBERT STACK, actor: My wife and I are friends and neighbors of
(Rams owner) Georgia Frontiere. Whenever the Rams are playing, we're
MERV GRIFFIN, entertainer/entrepreneur: The St. Louis Rams will win
34-17. Then, after they win, Georgia (Frontiere) will be able to
resume her singing lessons!
JACK VALENTI, President, Motion Picture Association of America: The
Rams because Warner and Faulk are the NFL's top superstars. 29-17.
AARON SPELLING, television producer: Rams, 20-10. I guarantee that
one of the teams will win!
CONNIE STEVENS, singer/director: Patriots, 31-20. Why? Because it's
KATIE HARMAN, Miss America: The Patriots. Because I'm Miss America
and I'm feeling very patriotic. 30-20.
KANDACE KRUEGER, Miss USA: St. Louis. The Patriots obviously have a
quarterback issue and the Rams offense is pretty much unstoppable.
SUSAN ANTON, singer/actress: Patriots. I love an underdog. I think
the "X-factor" here is the quarterback position. There is the rookie
and the veteran. This could prove to be a powerful one-two punch for
New England. If the Rams' Kurt Warner gets injured, then St. Louis
will be in a difficult position. New England, 21-20.
DR. JOYCE BROTHERS: For psychological, not sports reasons, I think
the New England Patriots because they're not the favorites. I don't
know the point spread because I don't gamble. But in every study of
performance -- whether it's performance in life or performance on stage
or on the football field or any sport -- a person who is very sure of
himself or herself is much more likely not to do as well as a person
who is fully prepared but a little scared.
JEANETTE LEE AKA "THE BLACK WIDOW", pool player: I guess the odds
favor the Rams because they've had the best defense and the best
quarterback, but it sure is nice to see the underdog make it to the
Super Bowl. With my experience in pool, I never count anyone out.
CAMMI GRANATO, U.S. Olympic hockey captain: My (hockey) team is a
New England team and they've been rubbing it in my face since the
teams I like, Chicago and Oakland, lost. So I'm definitely going for
STACY DRAGILA, woman's pole vault world-record holder, gold
medalist: I really was rooting for those 49ers, but they didn't quite
get there. Next year watch out! New England, 33-28.
LENNY KRAYZELBURG, triple swimming gold medalist in 2000 Sydney
Olympics: I still can't believe the Raiders are not in the Super Bowl.
The Pats have had a nice run this year, but they won't be able to stop
the power of the Rams offense.
MICHAEL PHELPS, youngest male swimming world-record holder: Rams,
without a doubt. Their offense is just too strong. I don't think the
Patriots have a chance. 24-14.
AL OERTER, four-time Olympic gold medalist in discus: I picked New
England against Pittsburgh, and I don't think they have a chance this
weekend, but I'm still picking them anyway, 21-20.
MIKE POWELL, long jump world-record holder: Rams big! Because they
have one of the most explosive offenses, and they're playing on an
artificial surface, and New England's luck has run out. 34-10.
SHERYL SWOOPES, WNBA star: New England. I always like the underdog.
SEN. EDWARD M. "TED" KENNEDY, D-Mass.: The Patriots have defied
long odds all season, and they'll do so again this Sunday. The Rams
have an excellent team, and their quarterback was the league's MVP,
but we all know that having two great quarterbacks is better than one.
More importantly, this year of all years, a team with the name
"Patriots" has an extra advantage that can make all the difference.
REP. DICK GEPHARDT, D-Mo.: Rams by 1. We have great respect for the
New England Patriots and their coach.
REP. DICK ARMEY, R-Texas, brother of Rams' general manager Charley
Armey: Rams, early and often.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, R-Ariz.: Rams, 28-10.
REP. TOM DELAY, R-Texas: I like the Cowboys.
TRENT KLASNA, professional bicycle racer: New England because Drew
Bledsoe is totally awesome. 28-17.
LEEZA GIBBONS, TV host, "Extra": Being a sports neophyte, I
usually root for the colors of the teams. You know, fashion/football --
it's pretty much all the same to me. So this year I'm going with the
Patriots since it's so 'trend of the moment' to be in red, white and
blue. Patriots: 36-24-36.
JON KELLEY, TV reporter, "Extra": Kurt Warner and the Rams
because how can you cheer against a guy who gives his mom equal air
time on a national soup commercial?
JUDGE GREG MATHIS, TV host of "Judge Mathis": St. Louis. The Rams
have the best offensive combination in the league with Kurt Warner and
LYNNE KOPLITZ, TV host of "Change of Heart": I'm going with the
Patriots because I think Coach Belichick is going to have a 'change of
heart' and start that sensitive quarterback, cute Drew, who got so
emotional after the last game. But I think it will be a close one. My
prediction -- 2 to 1!
JENNY JONES, talk show host: I'm betting on the Rams to win
because, frankly, I thought they were still in L.A. Oh well, at least
we still have the Raiders!
FRANK NICOTERO, TV host of "Street Smarts": Bill Belichick proved
he is a defensive genius against my beloved hometown Steelers. He'll
come up with something to bring down the Chunky Soup boy and the
Patriots will win 34-28 with special teams.
BRAD STAGGS, TV host, DIY Network: Even though St. Louis is favored
by 14, I'm taking the Pats by a final score of either 31-28 or 28-24.
SHARI HILLER, TV co-host of "Room by Room," HGTV: Definitely the
Rams. Kurt Warner is very hot (in more ways than one, if you know what
I mean). St. Louis itself is a very important city to me, and it
brings back fond memories. I purchased my favorite living room sofa on
a trip through St. Louis. So, there's another reason ... the city has
great taste in furniture! 34-14.
MATT FOX, TV co-host of "Room by Room", HGTV: New England. The
primary reason that I'm selecting New England is because Shari has
picked the Rams. 38-34.
BONNIE-JILL LAFLIN, actress: Rams. No one can beat them! They have
an explosive offense with a great running and passing game. Their
defense is strong and that will keep the Patriots scoring to a
JAKE THOMAS, actor, "Lizzie McGuire": Rams by two touchdowns. My
favorite quarterback is Peyton Manning, but since he isn't in the
Super Bowl my second favorite quarterback is Kurt Warner! Rams rock!
STEVE VALENTINE, British actor, "Crossing Jordan": New England.
Whilst I like anything with the word 'Ram' in it (it goes back to my
childhood, don't ask!) I am an 'OLDE ENGLAND PATRIOT' so I feel a
kinship. Of course it doesn't hurt that they kick bum. A tight game
but the underdog gets the bone. 12-10.
BARRY VAN DYKE, actor: Rams by 14.
JANE WOOSTER SCOTT, painter: St. Louis, 28-17, because Marshall
Faulk is going to be unstoppable.
PENN JILLETTE, magician: Rams.
ACE ROSS, teen clothing designer and manufacturer: The Patriots
will surprise everyone -- including themselves -- with a 24 to 21 win
over the overconfident Rams.
SIMON REX, actor: St. Louis. Because I don't know any of the
players from the other team. And the St. Louis helmets are better --
that usually makes a team better. 37-14.
PETE SAMPRAS, tennis star: The Rams have too much offense. St.
ANDY RODDICK, tennis star: The Rams are the best team of all time.
St. Louis, 35-20.
PATRICK MCENROE, U.S. Davis Cup captain: New England is going to
pull the big upset. Pats, 31-28.
TODD MARTIN, tennis star: I'm going with the upset. Patriots,