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Thursday - 1/17/2001

Everybody wants tickets

By Chris McAlister
For NFL Insider

(EDITOR�S NOTE: On the strength of arguably the best defense in NFL history,the Baltimore Ravens qualified for the franchise�s first Super Bowl. Ravenscornerback Chris McAlister will share his experiences in the days leading up to Super Bowl XXXV in an exclusive diary for

I can�t even begin to explain how it feels to be going to the Super Bowl.

When Shannon Sharpe caught that 96-yard touchdown pass against Oakland, I sensed that we were going. I didn�t start celebrating, but I had confidence in our defense. Inside, I knew we were going to win.

After the game, I couldn�t stay on the field to celebrate with the rest of the team. I ran straight
into the locker room and put my head in my hands. I was so emotional, I almost broke down and cried.

When everybody was in the locker room and the enthusiasm in the air. I looked around and
saw all the front-office personnel and the grounds crew. They were all so happy and proud. The entire Ravens organization flew out to Oakland, courtesy of Mr. Modell. They deserved it. He�s always provided the organization and the team with everything we�ve needed.

I couldn�t sleep on the plane back from Oakland. Hardly anyone slept. I couldn�t think about the Giants or even getting to Tampa. It had not really sunk in that we were going to the Super Bowl. I couldn�t keep still. I walked around the plane talking to my teammates. I talked to the players who have not been to the Super Bowl and I talked to Shannon, who has been twice (with the Denver Broncos). He told me to enjoy myself and to make the best of the opportunity.

My mobile phone started ringing in the locker room in Oakland and has rung nonstop since. The fact that we�re going to the Super Bowl finally sunk in because all my family and friends are calling to congratulate me�and to ask for tickets.

Everybody wants tickets.

My mom is making all the travel plans for my family and friends. I think we�ll have a minimum of twenty people going to Tampa.

These last few days off were important for me to unwind and to get this kind of stuff out of the way. I know we�re going to the Super Bowl, and it�s time to begin focusing on the Giants.

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