Originally created 01/25/03

Troy Vincent wins NFL Man of the Year



SAN DIEGO -- Cornerback Troy Vincent of the Philadelphia Eagles is the 2002 winner of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award.

Vincent is the first active player to serve on the Pop Warner board of directors. He established a foundation to provide education and services to troubled youths and to help young adults learn the skills they need to care for themselves and their families.

Vincent is active in several charitable organizations in the Philadelphia area and is a member of the executive committee of the NFL Players Association.

Last year's winner was running back Jerome Bettis of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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TOGETHER AGAIN: Thirty years after they completed the only undefeated season in NFL history, members of the 1972 Miami Dolphins will be honored during the coin toss ceremony at Sunday's Super Bowl.

Miami went 17-0, capping the season with a 14-7 victory over Washington in the Super Bowl. As far as the Dolphins are concerned, their record stamps them as the best team in history.

"Nobody did it before and nobody's done it since," coach Don Shula said. "They keep score to see who wins. They keep records to see who's best. This team won two straight Super Bowls and lost six games in three years. Who wins the games is how you determine the best team. We'll stand by our record."

Besides Shula, Hall of Fame Dolphins Larry Little, Bob Griese, Paul Warfield, Jim Langer, Nick Buoniconti and Larry Csonka will participate in the coin flip. They hope to add another Hall of Famer when guard Bob Kuechenberg is considered for election on Saturday.

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CARPE DIEM: Oakland running back Charlie Garner knows there are no guarantees in football, and that includes trips to the Super Bowl.

He thinks about teammate Tim Brown, who didn't make it until his 15th NFL season.

"We do look at this as a small window of opportunity," Garner said. "We have guys who have 15 and 16 years of experience and we know how precious it is to get to this point.

"It doesn't happen that often and we have to seize the opportunity."

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PRICE IS RIGHT: When Tampa Bay shipped four high draft choices and $8 million to Oakland for the rights to coach Jon Gruden, the price seemed high. Now that Gruden has the Bucs in the Super Bowl, it seems like a bargain.

Gruden said the cost in dollars and draft choices didn't increase the pressure on him when it came to coaching.

"I felt the same urgency when I was at Southeast Missouri State," he said. "You're going to be judged whether you're brought in for a pair of turf shoes or for a draft pick."

The Bucs never offered Oakland turf shoes for Gruden.