From dynasty to defection

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:43 AM ET

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Tom Brady had what for him is a quiet night.

No MVP award this time.

Just another win, this time in Super Bowl XXXIX and now the New England Patriots quarterback is ascending into the Joe Montana stratosphere of quarterback greatness.

He was a ruthlessly efficient 23-for-33 last night for 236 yards, tossed a couple of touchdowns and didn't make a mistake with the ball. We see the finished product.

What we don't see is the process and, listening to Patriots offensive co-ordinator Charlie Weis after the game, that is where Brady builds the foundation for the gleaming product we saw last night.

"All the guy wants to do is meet," said Weis, who is leaving the Patriots to become the head coach at Notre Dame. "His grandmother passed away and all his family is in California, and all he wanted to do is meet. He's calling me up at the hotel. 'Can we meet? Can we tweak the game plan?' I said, 'Tom, it's 10 o'clock. Shut up and let me sleep.' "

The Patriots are a dynasty -- although they were loath to admit it last night -- and they will now face the difficulty that faces all dynasties. When a team has success, other teams want a piece of it.

Weis is gone and so is defensive co-ordinator Romeo Crennel, who will take over the head coaching job with the Cleveland Browns

"It's going to be tough," said Brady of Weis' departure.

"Hopefully we can of regroup from the big loss and we'll see how it all turns out."

HEAR AND THERE: I'm sitting about three rows from the top of Alltel Stadium in Row FF. Said one guy, grunting his way up the stairs with an attache case and a large suitcase, 'I'm in Row HH which right now I think means 'Higher than Hell" ... To amend an old line from colleague Steve Rosenbloom: Hey, Donovan McNabb. Jay Fiedler called and he wants his quarterback rating back ... There are 14,500 tons of chips and 4,000 tons of popcorn eaten on Super Bowl Sunday, according to numbers released by the NFL -- and that's just at William "The Refrigerator" Perry's house ... According to 7-Eleven stores, antacid sales jump 20% today -- especially in Andy Reid's neighbourhood.

REVELATIONS: A nice quiet moment about four hours before the game yesterday (if there is such a thing at the Super Bowl) was Pats linebacker Tedy Bruschi roughhousing with his two kids on the field. He ran and fell down and they jumped on top of him. Something they'll all probably remember for the rest of their lives ... A place you don't want to be: About four feet away when the drummers in Florida A&M marching band start warming up ... They have a lot of stats here. Last night's was the first Super Bowl to go into the fourth quarter with the score tied. None of them ended that way ... Terrell Owens pulled off a minor miracle yesterday. Five weeks after major surgery on his ankle he caught nine balls for 122 yards. Incredible. Next up: He fixes the NHL lockout.

SPECULATIONS: It's been tough getting around Jacksonville this week. It seems like half the streets are closed and the other half are one-ways. I got really concerned when our bus driver got lost -- in the hotel parking lot ... The only time you'll hear Eagles fans cheer a sack of McNabb came in the first quarter yesterday. He fumbled on third down, giving the Pats great field position, but a coach's challenge revealed his knee had touched before losing the ball. The Eagles got to punt instead.

SOCIAL NOTES: Big week for Sportsnet's Jamie Campbell, who spent some time with CJOH before moving on to become a big star. He covered the Super Bowl and next weekend, he's getting married. Lucky girl is Alison Redmond of Vancouver, a producer for CTV News ... One guy who will remain a bachelor for awhile is Jesse Palmer, who was Campbell's co-hort here for their Sportsnet reports. His days with the New York Giants appear to be over and he's going to be a free agent in early March ... Campbell, by the way, is rumoured to be the front runner to get the Blue Jays play-by-play job this summer.

JUST WONDERING: How could you tell we were getting closer on our way to the stadium yesterday? Parking in somebody's flower bed went from $20-$25-$30-$35 US and finally, $50 ... Getting a cab here made the battle along the line yesterday look like play time at day care. There are only 300 cabs in this city or about one for every 1,233.5 visitors. You ever see 1,233.5 people all rush for the same taxi? ... Saw former presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush watching the game together. Clinton looked bored. He'd probably like curling better where he could at least watch some in-turns.

PARTING SHOT: Is it just me, or is having Terry Bradshaw questioning someone's intelligence too funny? He took at shot at Eagles WR Freddie Mitchell, dismissing his comments critical of the Pats by saying, "This is a guy who said the first president was Benjamin Franklin." I was half expecting Terry to add, "Everybody knows it was Abe Lincoln."


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