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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bowled Over

This week’s NFL invasion makes Tony Dungy remember his own overwhelming Super Bowl experience…and other notes


Tony Dungy has no problem remembering his own Super Bowl experience

Gone the way of the 10-cent stamp, the 50-cent gallon of gas and the stegasauras: the $20 Super Bowl ticket.

But that's exactly what Tony Dungy paid for his Super Bowl XXIII togs, even though he was a participant with the Pittsburgh Steelers. And he was none too happy about it.

In fact, that's one of the most lasting memories of his one Super Bowl experience to date.

"I remember those tickets were $20 apiece," said Dungy with a laugh. "We got 20 of them and I said, 'How in the world am I going to pay $400 and what am I going to do to make up this $400 that I'm going to have to pay out in tickets?'"

The price of a Super Bowl ticket has increased by 1625% since then, and the hype, hoopla and general 'big-ness' of America's biggest game has jumped almost as exponentially. However, it was already a huge event when Dungy played in Pittsburgh's famous 35-31 Super Bowl XXIII victory over Dallas in January of 1979. The Bucs' head coach remembers it as quite a spectacle.

"I remember how many celebrities were there and how big a deal it was," he said. "And I can remember walking out on the field for warmups and saying to myself, 'I've watched every one of these 12 games before and all my buddies in Minnesota are watching this.' Just being out on the field in that type of atmosphere…it's a great moment. You're at the game of your career."


Community Quarterback

Though he was transformed into a defensive back with the Steelers, Dungy came out of college as a quarterback. Laura Lockwood, a 17-year old native of Bradenton, Florida, will head into her collegiate years as a quarterback.

A community quarterback, that is.

Thanks to a lengthy list of charitable involvements that would be impressive for anyone, let alone a 17-year-old, Lockwood has been named the first recipient of the NFL Community Quarterback Award. One of 31 finalists for this very prestigious honor, Lockwood was introduced as the overall winner at a Super Bowl press conference on Thursday.

This is the inaugural year for the NFL's new community program, which will donate nearly $1 million to community organizations served by outstanding volunteers such as Lockwood. The Bradenton hero was located through the work of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' community relations department, but it was her remarkable array of program development and volunteer service that made her the NFL's number-one choice.

NFL Charities will make a $25,000 donation to the Volunteer Services of Manatee County Inc., the primary organization through which Laura organizes her many community outreach programs.

In 1994, Laura established the "Mana-TEENs," currently the nation's largest teen volunteer program. The "ManaTEENs" complete more than 1,500,000 service hours each year to benefit 540 nonprofit organizations in the Tampa Bay Community. Laura is the CEO of the program and travels throughout the country assisting other communities in establishing teen volunteer initiatives.

In addition to her work with the "ManaTEENs," Laura has established a number of other volunteer programs in her community.

· Carousel Kids: developed in 1999, the Carousel Kids program has certified 840 teens to assist more than 2,300 families who are in need of qualified babysitters.

· Home Safety for Seniors: teen volunteers conduct needs assessments in the homes of elderly residents and help install such necessary items as smoke alarms, dead bolt locks, tub safety rails, and more.

· Weekend Dads: a program so popular that local family court judges recommend it to parents involved in custody battles, Weekend Dads encourages non-custodial parents and their children to volunteer together on the weekend.

Laura was selected by a blue-ribbon panel appointed by the NFL that included President and CEO, United Way of America, Betty Beene; Peter Gallagher, President and CEO, America's Promise; Robert K. Goodwin, President and CEO, Points of Light Foundation; Paul Tagliabue, Commissioner, National Football League; and the Honorable Harris Wofford, Former Chief Executive Officer, Corporation for National Service.


New York, New York

The head coach of the NFL's New York team was at One Buccaneer Place on Thursday.

What's that? You already knew the Giants, coached by Jim Fassel, were practicing at the Buccaneers' headquarters? Well, that's not the team we're talking about.

Newly-appointed New York Jets' top dog Herman Edwards was at One Buc at roughly the same time as Fassel on Thursday, but Fassel was coming and Edwards was going. The Bucs' former assistant head coach/defensive backs coach had stopped by to clear out his Tampa Bay office, a process that was fairly simple for the meticulously organized coach.

Edwards did one other thing with the Bucs on Thursday: he went to lunch with a group of his former chargers, including Pro Bowl safety John Lynch. The players wished to show Edwards their appreciation for his five years of stellar leadership and teaching. Several, including Lynch, have credited Edwards' coaching with their ability to develop into some of the league's elite defensive backs.


Lynch Mobs CBS

Speaking of Lynch, the hard-hitting safety and potentially aspiring broadcast journalist is going to make another network appearance on Super Bowl Sunday.

Lynch will be featured on the CBS Super Bowl Today Pregame Show on Sunday in a segment called "A Season of Survival." Lynch, along with Denver Broncos LB Bill Romanowski, Oakland Raiders DT Darrell Russell and Washington Redskins T Chris Samuels, were followed throughout the season to document the memorable and critical moments of the 2000 season.

The segment, hosted by Armen Keteyian, features a behind-the-scenes look with Lynch and his wife Linda. The eight-minute segment also includes footage of Lynch rehabilitating his dislocated shoulder and the emotional playoff-clinching Monday Night win over the St. Louis Rams. In addition, the segment will include exclusive home video footage produced by Lynch.

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