Skip to main content

Coughlin: If Giants win the toss, they'll take the ball

PHOENIX -- The question was ridiculous, but New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin answered it anyway.

Because teams that win the coin toss have a losing record in Super Bowls, would he consider kicking off if the Giants win the toss?

"So we're going to give the Patriots the ball one more time?" Coughlin said as a roomful of reporters broke into laughter. "That's what we're setting out to do? They don't do well enough with their drives, so they need another one."

New England scored an NFL-record 589 points this year and set a record with 75 touchdowns.

Coughlin also noted that by kicking off to start the game, the Giants wouldn't get the ball to start the second half.

"I don't mean to belittle the question, but you're not going to give someone else the ball, and that's why you see, even in a gale or a hurricane, people take the ball," Coughlin said. "It's because, quite frankly, you don't have enough opportunities. You're only going to get an average of 11 drives per game."

For the record, the Giants went 3-4 when they won the coin toss during the regular season, and 7-2 when they lost it.

BELICHICK'S FAVORITE QB: New England coach Bill Belichick was asked to name the best quarterback he ever saw.

His answer might come as a surprise, especially from a coach who has watched Tom Brady this season.

Hint: The quarterback played for the Colts, but it's not Peyton Manning.

"As a pure passer, I don't think I could put anybody ahead of Bert Jones," Belichick said. "I know he had a short career and the shoulder injury, but when I was there (in Baltimore) and he was just starting his career, the success that he had, and his ability to throw the ball as a pure passer and as an athlete, it would be hard to put anybody ahead of Bert Jones at that point in time."

Jones, a former Pro Bowler, threw 124 touchdown passes and 101 interceptions in a nine-year career that ended in 1982. He completed 56 percent of his passes for 18,190 yards. He was the No. 2 overall draft pick in 1973 out of LSU.

FIGHTING FRAUD: Federal and local authorities on Thursday warned fans to be careful when buying Super Bowl tickets and merchandise.

More than $140,000 worth of unlicensed Super Bowl merchandise has been seized, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and officials expect that figure to rise as vendors descend on the Phoenix area this weekend.

To try to deter counterfeiters, the NFL puts elaborate holograms and other marks on Super Bowl tickets. But fakes still find their way onto the market, and NFL counsel Anastasia Danias said as many as 100 fans are turned away at the stadium every year because they're holding phony tickets.

The NFL has hired PSA/DNA Authentication Services of Newport Beach, Calif., to authenticate footballs used in the game. The company will mark each game-used ball with a synthetic DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) strand that can be seen only when illuminated by a specific laser frequency.

"The DNA ink has an astronomical 1-in-33 trillion chance of being accurately reproduced by potential counterfeiters," company president Joe Orlando said.

CARD MARKET: Donruss has produced a trading card commemorating New England's 16-0 season. The card, which features NFL MVP Tom Brady, Randy Moss and Wes Welker, is only available at the NFL Experience this week. Donruss won't say whether it plans another card if the Patriots cap their perfect season with a Super Bowl victory.

"We'll remain quiet on that," Donruss spokesman Scott Prusha said. "We don't want to do anything to potentially jinx a team."

QUOTE, UNQUOTE: Former NFL stars were asked to introduce themselves at the Gridiron Greats news conference, which called attention to the plight of some NFL alumni.

Former New York Jet Don Maynard, a Hall of Fame receiver, called himself "the only plumber ever to catch a pass."

HONOR ROLL:Indianapolis Colts safety Bob Sanders won his second defensive player of the year award on Thursday, this one from GMC. Sanders, who had two interceptions, 3 1/2 sacks and 97 tackles, won the same honor from The Associated Press in a landslide.

Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson was voted Diet Pepsi's Rookie of the Year. Peterson, who rushed for 1,341 yards and set a single-game record with 296 yards, earlier in January was The Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year, also in a runaway.

SE HABLA FOOTBALL: The Super Bowl will be broadcast in 223 countries and territories and 30 languages. Sixty international broadcasters, including the the United Kingdom's BBC and Canada's CTV for the first time, will carry the game.

Dick Stockton and former Green Bay receiver Sterling Sharpe will provide commentary for English-language international broadcasts.

PEYTON WHO?:Giants quarterback Eli Manning has taken over the New York memorabilia market.

CEO Brandon Steiner of New Rochelle, N.Y.-based Steiner Sports said Manning-signed collectibles have outsold all other Giants-related items.

In the first three weeks of 2008, the company sold 1,031 Manning items, more than in the first seven months of 2007. Manning "is fast becoming an icon for New York sports fans," Steiner said.

NFL DONATES TO SCHOOL: The NFL will donate $1 million to the Arizona NFL Youth Education Town (YET) to fund expansion of a center that opened in 1996, when Arizona first hosted the Super Bowl. Some of the funds will also support community outreach efforts.

The facility is the only YET Center that operates as a charter school, called NFL YET Academy. The school serves 1,000 students from kindergarten through 12th grade.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.