Originally created 01/25/00

Rams capture their own Super Bowl entrance on videotape



ATLANTA -- When the St. Louis Rams walked into the team hotel Monday, many players captured the moment, training their camcorders on the horde of media watching them.

There's a definite sight-seeing element to the NFC champions' first trip to the Super Bowl in 20 years -- even for the few players who have taken in the spectacle before.

"The last Super Bowl I was in, I didn't do anything," said linebacker Todd Collins, who played in Super Bowl 31 with the New England Patriots. "I told myself if I ever got the chance to go to another Super Bowl, I'd have one (camcorder)."

Collins gave teammates the idea when he stood on the top of his locker stall and shot the post-game celebration scene after Sunday's 11-6 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It set up a rematch with the AFC champion Tennessee Titans, who handed the Rams their first loss of the season Oct. 31.

"I think about 20 players have them here," Collins said. "A bunch of players went out and bought them last night."

Of course, the Rams also have captured the nation's attention with their rapid rise to prominence. Defensive end Kevin Carter said the team is filled with feel-good stories.

"There's all the makings of a TV movie," Carter said. "We don't have a bunch of guys who were maybe beating their wives or selling drugs, we've got a lot of good guys on this team."

The Rams arrived at their team hotel late Monday afternoon after lifting weights and running at Rams Park earlier in the day. They were still having a bit of trouble adjusting to their rise to prominence, considering that last year they were 4-12. And they entered the season with the NFL's worst record of the 1990s at 45-99.

"If a psychic would have told me we were going to the Super Bowl, I would have asked for my money back," safety Keith Lyle said.

Defensive tackle D'Marco Farr was the last player still in uniform after the game because he wanted to make the moment last.

"When that last pass went out the back of the end zone, I couldn't breathe," Farr said. "Is this real? Am I in my hotel right now, dreaming this?"

In keeping with the mood, nobody was about to criticize the team's conservative play-calling in the championship game. Kurt Warner never got to air out the ball, was intercepted three times, and Faulk was held to 49 total yards.

Warner said it was a simple matter of not executing.

"I felt if we'd have made some plays that were there to be made, the game would have been completely different and we probably wouldn't be talking about this," Warner said. "We could have scored a couple more touchdowns and maybe put the thing out of reach, but I've got to give Tampa Bay credit for the scheme."

Faulk added: "It's not my call. I go out there and I play. Plays are called, and we go out and run them, that's it."