Scoreboard

'Obviously, it's very disappointing. To be honest with you, it's ... what I expected.'- Drew Bledsoe, quarterback of the New England Patriots, reacting to the decision to start Tom Brady.

It's Brady's bunch now

New England Patriots' coach, Bill Belichick, chose Tom Brady to start at quarterback in the Super Bowl against the St. Louis Rams Sunday, passing on Drew Bledsoe.

"Tom Brady demonstrated in practice that he is fit to play," Belichick said Wednesday after Brady showed no lingering problems from an ankle injury that knocked him out of the AFC title game. "He will be our starting quarterback on Sunday."

The decision means Bledsoe may have played his last game for the team that made him the first overall pick in 1993 and gave him a 10-year, $103 million contract last summer that remains the richest in NFL history. Chicago, Seattle, and Washington - good teams that could use a better quarterback - have all expressed interest.

Players and prayer

Kurt Warner often totes a Bible instead of a playbook when he takes the podium after games. The St. Louis quarterback isn't alone in his religious fervor. Wide receiver Isaac Bruce is nicknamed "Reverend Ike" because he wants to be a minister in the Church of God and Christ when his playing days are over.

Prayer circles are nothing new in athletic circles. The New England Patriots have them, too, though they're not as vocal about their religious beliefs as their Super Bowl opponents. The one exception might be wide receiver David Patten.

"If you put God first, nothing is too hard," Patten said earlier this week. "This whole trip, I'm going to praise God, because I know that it's by Him that I'm here."

Super Security

The Super Bowl will be the country's most secure sporting event ever - at least until the Olympics start next week. Sunday's game is a National Security Special Event, a designation created for those with the highest profiles and risks. The game at the Superdome is being treated like a presidential inauguration. "We want to send a very strong message to all visitors that New Orleans is going to be the safest place in America this weekend," said New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial.

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