Let the hype begin

TERRY JONES -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:43 AM ET

PHOENIX -- It's not the first time a cast of colourful characters showed up in the Arizona Territory to make a little history.

But did Cochise, Geronimo, Pancho Villa, Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday or any member of the Clanton Gang, ever turn an ankle, stub a toe or get the gout and attract so darn much attention?

The historic flight of the New England Patriots to the Arizona Super Bowl arrived at Sky Harbour Airport last night and the party of pigskinners continued by land to its hideout at the Westin Kierland Resort and Spa, with hundreds of mostly sane-minded media men there to inspect the right ankle of quarterback Tom Brady.

They pitched a tent outside the resort convention centre and set up a podium for Brady, who had missed three practices prior to heading here, to discuss the aforementioned appendage.

But there were so many cameras and so many media men that they had to move him to the big room reserved for coach Bill Belichick.

He walked into the room like anybody else and climbed the stairs to the podium with no problem.

"How is the ankle?" was the first question.

"What did coach say?" said Brady.

Belichik had said nothing: "We will update our injury report Wednesday when we are required to do it by the league. I'll be looking forward to it, too."

Last night, Brady offered more.

"It's feeling good," he said. "I'm ready to go. We need three great days of practice and I hope to be at practice."

On Wednesday?

"I don't know. It's a couple of days away but I'm feeling better," he said.

With all of the speculation Brady noted that "it's been an interesting week."

When Boston writers are still seeking details a week after the AFC Championship game, you get the idea.

"When did you injure it?" one asked.

"It was during the game," he said. "I think it was in the third quarter. It didn't affect an interception. I wish I could blame it on that. I'm not concerned. I'm really not."

Finally, the focus moved to what we are really dealing with here.

In all XLII years of Super Bowl history, no game has set up like this one.

Brady and the Patriots arrived here early in the evening to attempt to become only the second team in history to run the table in a season and the first to go 19-0.

They came here to becoming the dynasty of dynasties, to win a fourth Super Bowl in seven seasons.

Every decade has had a dynasty, the Green Bay Packers of the 1960s, Pittsburgh Steelers of the '70s, the San Francisco 49ers of the '80s and Dallas Cowboys of the '90s.

BUBBLES BURST

The Miami Dolphins finished 17-0 in the shorter schedule of 1972. But the Dolphins only got it done twice in five trips to the Super Bowl.

While his coach offered nothing more than to inform the world that the next game is always the most important, Brady admitted it is impossible to ignore that they are sitting on the brink of history.

"We have an incredible opportunity" he said. "For the rest of our lives, we'll remember this game, win or lose. We want to make it a week to remember for all the right reasons.

"This game will have an impact on the rest of your life. This really isn't the year to come down and experience the parties and everything this city has to offer this week. Not for us. We're a veteran team.

"The most important thing we've learned by being here before is that there is a game to play at the end of the week. The most prepared team is going to have the advantage and I hope we're the best prepared."

And, without being asked, he returned to the subject of his ankle. "This won't keep me out of this game," he said. "It would take a hell of a lot more than this."


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