The spotlight was wheeled toward Anthony Dorsett today for something other than being the son of a famous running back.
The Tennessee Titans defensive back and special teams star was swarmed at the Super Bowl media day, not just because he is the son of former Dallas Cowboy Tony Dorsett, but also because he is the new starting free safety for the AFC champions in Sunday's Super Bowl against the St. Louis Rams.
Dorsett, a reserve cornerback and free safety in the regular season, moved into the starting lineup after Marcus Robertson broke an ankle in Sunday's 33-14 victory over Jacksonville.
"I'm sure there are some people who are curious whether I can play or not," said Dorsett, whose father won the 1976 Heisman Trophy and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1994 after a stellar career with the Cowboys.
The 26-year-old Dorsett, who said he has been to five Super Bowls as a spectator, is also a key special teams player for the Titans.
He was named first alternate to the Pro Bowl on special teams, but he expects his special teams play against the Rams will be curtailed because he is starting on defense. That's not good news for the Titans because St. Louis has an explosive return game with Tony Horne.
Thigpen Still Hopeful
Tennessee Coach Jeff Fisher said it is unlikely that starting wide receiver Yancey Thigpen will play Sunday, but Thigpen showed up for media day with a soft cast on his broken right foot and said there's a chance he can play.
Thigpen, who played in Super Bowl XXX for the Steelers in a 27-17 loss to Dallas, said he played the first quarter against Jacksonville in the AFC championship game in considerable pain before being carted to the locker room. Thigpen said he might have broken the foot a week ago in practice. That's why he thinks he might be able to suit up against the Rams.
Told that Fisher has all but ruled him out, Thigpen said: "That's what Jeff said. I'm staying very positive."
Thigpen missed six games during the regular season because of an injured ankle and finished the regular season with 38 receptions (four for touchdowns), fourth-best on the team. He caught two passes for 49 yards in a 24-21 victory over the Rams on Oct. 31.
The Atlanta Falcons lost to St. Louis twice in the regular season and to Tennessee once. Atlanta tackle Bob Whitfield said he's not sure who will win Sunday, but he has an idea why they will win.
"I think both of these teams are fast and always have their motors running," he said. "I think the team that establishes itself on offense first and can wear down the other team early will win. These two teams go all out for so long and rely on speed so much that somebody is going to run out of gas in the fourth quarter. The team that runs out of gas first will lose."
The "dumbest" question ever asked at the Super Bowl was never really asked.
Butch John, who was covering Super Bowl XXII between the Broncos and Washington Redskins for the Jackson (Miss.) Clarion-Ledger, was alleged to have asked quarterback Doug Williams, "How long have you been a black quarterback?"
John finally spoke up after 12 years of hearing his question to Williams ridiculed and was quoted in today's Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
"Doug is getting all these questions about the significance" of being a black quarterback in the Super Bowl, John told the paper. "This is what I said, verbatim: 'Doug, it's obvious you've been a black quarterback all your life. When did it start to matter?' "