After a day of collecting stale quotes in San Diego, Tony Kornheiser of the Washington Post said he suddenly found himself wishing that Joe Theismann still was the quarterback of the Redskins.
"Don't you remember his virtuoso performances in L.A. and Tampa?" Kornheiser wrote. "Others may have thought those were Super Bowls, but Joe turned them into mini-series. To Joe, Super Bowl week was just one extended audition tape.
"He was the NFL's first triple-threat media man--radio, TV, print. He had his own newspaper, Joe Theismann's Redskin Report, making him the only athlete who could give himself an exclusive story. He did it all. You leave a light on in the bathroom, and he'd do 20 minutes to an empty shower. Never met a microphone he didn't like. Every night at 5, 6, 10 and 11, Joe did TV back to Washington. Every station. He was on TV all the time. John Madden should live so long."
Add Theismann: Recalling the 1984 Super Bowl, Kornheiser wrote: "Joe was doing turnaway in Tampa. They could have held him over for a month--'Phantom of The Opera' in a helmet.
"He could take either side of any issue. If you weren't on a pressing deadline and you had a lot of space to fill, he could take both sides. Need more? He'd call you in your room. You want to reach out and touch Joe, bring your lunch."
The experts who are picking Washington figure the Hogs will overpower 245-pound nose tackle Greg Kragen of Denver, but that's not the way it went in 1984, when the Redskins were routed by the Raiders, 38-9.
John Riggins, who had set a Super Bowl record of 166 yards in 38 carries the year before when Washington beat the Miami Dolphins, 27-17, was held to 64 yards in 26 carries by a Raider defense led by nose tackle Reggie Kinlaw.
Kinlaw weighed 245.
Add 1984: Washington's Mark May told Tom Weir of USA Today that the Redskins suspected they were being spied upon before the game.
"There was always a feeling in the air that Al Davis was around somewhere," he said. "He was a guy you couldn't trust.
"There always were planes hovering over our practice area. For some reason, just before you got on the field, there were never any planes in the air. Then all of a sudden they would be circling around."
"John was from a tough part of Detroit, and he told me I could never go and play basketball on the west side," Ainge said. "But when I got to spring training after he saw me play in the NCAAs my senior year, he came up to me and said I could play on the west side, east side, every side!"
Louisiana State basketball Coach Dale Brown, on the drug testing at the National Collegiate Athletic Assn. tournament: "I'm not sure we'll have time to play the games. We'll be too busy urinating in bottles and signing affidavits."
Trivia Answer: Both are natives of Canada.
Dave Butz of the Washington Redskins, revealing he's 6 feet 6 1/2 inches, not 6-7 as listed in the program: "I used to be 6-7. I lost half an inch. Too many goal-line stands."