Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

ESPN Asks: When Will Anyone Pay Attention To A Famous Football Player In This Super Bowl?

Illustration for article titled ESPN Asks: When Will Anyone Pay Attention To A Famous Football Player In This Super Bowl?

OK, now that two different reporters have battled for the chance to drag the mother of a victim in the Ray Lewis murder case to the graveyard, what else can the members of the press corps do to demonstrate that their Super Bowl coverage is about the unexpected and unappreciated angles? Looks like it's time to just go ahead and start pretending the famous and obvious subjects are undiscovered gems. A quick peek at Google News brings up these urgent revelations:


• "'Little' Ray Rice is out of the shadows"

• "Attention Deficit: Ray Rice ready to emerge from shadows in Super Bowl"

• "Ray Rice: Hidden in the Wings of a Legend"

Ray Rice has been to the Pro Bowl three times in his five-year career. Last season, he led the NFL in yards from scrimmage. How did these reporters ever tumble to the fact that this guy was around to be written about?


But today's winner is ESPN's Kevin Van Valkenburg, who found another great secret "hiding in plain sight": Ravens safety Ed Reed. Reed was drafted by the Ravens in the first round of the 2002 draft, after two straight All-America seasons at the University of Miami. From those obscure origins...well, let Van Valkenburg tell it:

[I]t's hard to put a finger on what makes it so special. Reed is fast, but he's never been the fastest player on the field. He hits hard, but he's never been the hardest hitter. Yet he's been voted to the Pro Bowl nine times, he's intercepted 61 career passes and scored 13 touchdowns and he is the NFL's all-time leader in interception return yards. His talents are instinctual, intellectual, almost magical in a way because they're so difficult to quantify, impossible to explain.

Yes, how could you possibly begin to quantify the NFL's all-time interception return yardage leader? (A: Ed Reed has 1,541 career interception return yards, including the two longest interception-return touchdowns in history. Also he's a nine-time Pro Bowler.)

Share This Story

Get our newsletter