- The Washington Times - Friday, February 3, 2006

QUOTABLE

“I think we’ve been pretty focused. We haven’t been parading around town, doing all kinds of things. We’ve been sitting here in our hotel rooms. We go over to our practice facility. We practice. We’re here for one thing and that’s to play football. We’re not here to do all this other stuff.”

— Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck

“I don’t wear them. They’re too big and catch on things.”

— Steelers owner Dan Rooney on his four Super Bowl rings



BY THE NUMBERS

6 Players who have waited at least 10 seasons to suit up for their first Super Bowl: Pittsburgh’s Jerome Bettis, Chris Gardocki, Jeff Hartings and Kimo Von Oelhoffen and Seattle’s Bobby Engram and Mack Strong.

15 Rookies who are on the Super Bowl rosters of the Steelers and Seahawks.

SUPER FAMILY AFFAIR

Steelers offensive right tackle Max Starks has been practicing all week in the Pontiac Silverdome, the same stadium where his father played in the NFL’s title game 23 years earlier, just after Max’s first birthday.

Only these days, Starks’ father, former Cincinnati defensive end Ross Browner, acknowledges his son. Starks, who took his stepfather’s name, didn’t know that Browner was his father until he was in high school. Starks, officially Max Starks IV, said he considers Max Starks III “my dad.”

Of Browner, he said, “Ross is my father.” However, Starks said that after some early tension, he gets along well with Browner, to whom he bears a resemblance.

Meanwhile, Starks gave four of his Super Bowl tickets to family members of one of the miners killed in last month’s accident in Sago, W.Va. Starks decided to make the generous gesture after receiving a letter from the family requesting autographed gear. Super Bowl players can purchase as many as 15 tickets to the game.

NEW PERSPECTIVE

Keith Butler played 10 seasons at linebacker for Seattle and 18 years after his last game, he remains the Seahawks’ second-leading tackler. But of course, Butler never got to a Super Bowl with the Seahawks, who are playing for their first Lombardi Trophy on Sunday.

Now Butler, the Steelers’ linebackers coach, will be on the opposite side.

“It’s real weird,” Butler said. “It was tough to invest that much time with one team and not get to a Super Bowl [the Seahawks lost the 1983 AFC Championship to the Los Angeles Raiders] and then to work your butt after eight years as a coach in the league to get here and we’re playing the team I cared so much about.”

Butler said he has remained a Seahawks fan through the years and still roots for them. Except this Sunday.

David Elfin

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