2012-01-31 / Sports

This Super Bowl rematch is anything but trashy

Teams don’t have anything bad to say
BY JOE KAY The Associated Press


Hear what Patriots quarterback Tom Brady told the pep rally before leaving New England for the Super Bowl? He got ’em riled up by saying he hoped to come back as a winner, greeted by an even larger crowd.

Wait, don’t yawn! Sure, it’s not the most controversial comment, not even close to a foot-in-mouth moment. But it can’t be overlooked.

For this Super Bowl rematch, Brady’s tame words are about as trashy as it gets.

The Patriots (15-3) and the New York Giants (12-7) don’t have any bad things to say about each other. Even if they did, their coaches wouldn’t allow it. Bill Belichick and Tom Coughlin are long-time friends who share the same old-school philosophy when it comes to saying anything about the opposition.

Zip it. Tight.

Or else.

“Players have personalities, and they are who they are,” Coughlin said Monday, shortly after the Giants arrived from New York. “You want a certain amount of that on your football team, but you don’t want someone who puts themselves in a position to hurt your team. So there’s a standard there with how flexible you are.”

By Super Bowl standards, it’s extremely tame.

The most memorable moments leading up to the title game have been delivered by players willing to say exactly what’s on their mind. Joe Namath started it with his guarantee of a Super Bowl win, back in the days when etiquette called for players to say nothing even remotely inflammatory.

As the culture of the game changed — more trash talk, touchdown celebrations and look- at- me moments — the Super Bowl became the big stage for the biggest mouths. During the title game of the 2005 season, for instance, Seattle tight end Jerramy Stevens ignited a back-andforth with Pittsburgh’s Joey Porter by suggesting Seattle was going to win. Porter shot back that Stevens was a “firstround bust” who was “soft” and would end up “ on his back” a lot during the game.

The trash talk made for a lively week capped off by the Steelers getting the final word with a win.

The Giants did a little trash dressing when they played the then-undefeated Patriots in the Super Bowl four years ago, arriving in Arizona in black suits to show they were serious about ending New England’s bid for a perfect season. Eli Manning led a late touchdown drive for a 17-14 win.

When they arrived for the rematch on Monday, the Giants’ clothes were as subdued as their words — no statements anywhere.

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