||HEADLINE NEWS - Features
Tuesday - 1/22/2001
I want to record every moment
(EDITORíS NOTE: On the strength of arguably the best defense in NFL history, the Baltimore Ravens qualified for the franchiseís first Super Bowl. Ravens cornerback Chris McAlister will share his experiences in the days leading up to Super Bowl XXXV in an exclusive diary for SuperBowl.com )
By Chris McAlister
For NFL Insider
I guess itís finally set in: Iím going to the Super Bowl. Iím ready to get to Tampa today, but before we get on the plane, weíre going to be in a mini-parade in Baltimore. Iím glad that weíre going to do something for the people of Baltimore because they really deserve it.
Iíve never seen fans like the people of Baltimore. They have so much enthusiasm for the team and for football. They give you everything theyíve got.
And itís not just because weíre going to the Super Bowl. I remember last season when we werenít playing as well, the fans still came to the gamesósixty-nine thousand, seventy thousand. They came out and supported the team. And they came out in big numbers before I joined the team, too. Thereís a special bond between the fans of Baltimore and the team and Iím glad theyíre enjoying our run.
Before I go to the parade and get on the plane, Iím driving around trying to buy a camcorder. I want to be able to record every moment of this Super Bowl experience. But itís the last thing I need to do before we get to Tampa.
All the familyís travel plans and needs have been taken care of. Iíll have a lot of family in Tampa, but Iím going to be focused on getting ready for the game. Theyíre not even going to let any family on to our hotel floor in Tampa.
Coach Billick gave us Sunday off. I loved it. It was very relaxing. I did some simple shopping for some last-minute items. And it gave me some time to let it sink in that weíre going to the Super Bowl. I knew we were going, but I guess Iíve been holding back, getting my work done and letting it set in. Now, weíre flying to Tampa and weíll be right in the middle of it.
Like I said before, our defense needed the days off to rest. The way we play defense, we donít need a lot of time on the field. We got our legs back and we went over the Giantsí offense in our meetings, so weíll be prepared when we get to Tampa. We havenít seen anything new in the preparation. I think the Giantsí offense will be true to character.
There was more media than usual in Baltimore last week, but theyíve been fine. I know there will be a lot more media in Tampa. All the national media will be there, but every local newspaper and TV station will be there, too. And that doesnít bother me because itís the most watched television event in the world. Youíve got to expect it and weíll deal with it.
I was on the Ravensí television show last week. They miked me during the Tennessee playoff game and replayed it. I like doing TV, but I was shocked that they played some of (the audio). But thatís me. Thatís what Iím like during a game. I talk a lot. I was being myself and I donít mind everyone hearing it.
It will be good to get to Tampa and get on with the game. I hear that itís cold down there and thatís fine with me because I packed for it. And weíre used to the cold in Baltimore.