The attorney for Baltimore Ravens defensive back Corey Fuller told a jury in Tallahassee yesterday that gambling and firearms charges against his client are bogus, saying that investigators were interested only in the former Florida State star because of his celebrity.
A 10-year NFL veteran, Fuller was arrested nine months ago after police entered his Tallahassee home and said they broke up a poker game with pots of thousands of dollars. State law allows card players to gamble only up to $10 a hand.
____ The Road to Jacksonville ____ • Bill Belichick learned football from his father, longtime Navy assistant.
• The Eagles still think Terrell Owens has a chance to play.
• A trip to the Super Bowl fits perfectly into Eagles Coach Andy Reid's master plan.
• Tony Kornheiser: The pagentry, the tradition, the smell? A Jacksonville Super Bowl.
• Flexibilty builds success for the Patriots and coach Bill Belichick.
_____ What's Next? _____ Super Bowl XXXIX
• When: 6:30 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 6
• Where: Alltell Stad., Jacksonville
• TV: Fox
• Latest Line: Patriots by 7
_____ Conference Results _____ NFC Championship
• Eagles 27, Falcons 10 | Box
• Patriots 41, Steelers 27 | Box
_____ Audio _____ • Jerome Bettis cites key turnovers that doomed the Steelers.
• Brady says the Patriots have taken nothing for granted.
• Brian Dawkins talks about the goals of the defensive unit.
• Vick credits the Eagles' defense.
_____ On Our Site _____ • Photos
• Talk about the playoffs.
• Graphic: The Patriots can beat teams on both sides of the ball.
_____ Divisional Results _____ Saturday
• Steelers 20, Jets 17 (OT) | Box
• Falcons 47, Rams 17 | Box
• Eagles 27, Vikings 14 | Box
• Patriots 20, Colts 3 | Box
_____ First-Round Results _____ NFC
• Vikings 31, Packers 17 | Box
• Rams 27, Seahawks 20 | Box
• Colts 49, Broncos 24 | Box
• Jets 20, Chargers 17 (OT) | Box
"The evidence is going to show the reason we're here is not what Mr. Fuller did, but who Mr. Fuller is," defense attorney Tim Jansen said in his opening statement. "Their investigation was detailed to target Mr. Fuller."
The trial, expected to last two days, began nearly two hours late after attorneys for both sides argued about witnesses, who were reluctant to follow through on deals with the state to testify.
The state attorney's office has failed to convict any Florida State player in years, sometimes having difficulty finding jurors to hear a case against Seminole athletes.
Prosecutor Matt Smith told Fuller's jury that witnesses would testify that Fuller kept a weapon on his person while a card game known as "Georgia 'skins" was being played and received part of the pot for hosting the game.
"He was standing around the table like a pit boss . . . he took his cut," Smith said in his opening statement.
Fuller was arrested in April after an investigation by the Tallahassee Police Department, Leon County Sheriff's Office and Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which provided the assistance of an undercover agent from Miami.
Pasqualoni Lands in Dallas
Former Syracuse head coach Paul Pasqualoni was hired as an assistant with the Dallas Cowboys.
Pasqualoni, 55, has not been assigned a specific role by Coach Bill Parcells.
Pasqualoni was fired after going 6-5 last season. He was 107-59-1 in 14 seasons at Syracuse, and led the Orange to nine bowl games.
The Arizona Cardinals have given their old bird a makeover.
The Cardinal head that has served as the team's logo since 1960 -- when the franchise moved from Chicago to St. Louis -- has been subtly transformed into a sleeker, meaner creature.
Yet to come is what Cardinals Vice President Michael Bidwill called "a revolutionary" change in the team's uniforms, to be shown this spring.
Janet Jackson Returns
A year after her Super Bowl wardrobe "malfunction" shocked the world, Janet Jackson is headed to another Super Bowl event.
Attorney Willie Gary announced that Jackson will attend his celebrity scholarship party in Jacksonville on Feb. 5, the eve of the Super Bowl.