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Harrison fails impromptu history quiz

The Baltimore Sun

MIAMI -- The Indianapolis Colts' Marvin Harrison will go down as one of the game's best receivers.

But an NFL historian, he's not.

When asked if he was aware that he shared the No. 88 with Baltimore Colts Hall of Fame tight end John Mackey, Harrison first responded yesterday by saying, "No. Not at all."

Mackey is the only one of the Baltimore Colts' Hall of Fame players whose number hasn't been retired by the team. Harrison is the ninth Indianapolis Colt to wear No. 88.

Asked whether he knew Mackey attended the same college as he did, Harrison said, "Yeah, I knew he went to Syracuse and wore No. 88, but that's about the extent of it."

During what was a rare news conference with Harrison, he didn't just profess ignorance about Mackey; Harrison said his knowledge is limited to those players he has competed against.

Coach credits mother

The Bears' Lovie Smith said his journey from the East Texas town of Big Sandy to Super Bowl head coach is a credit to the inspiration given by his mother, who has lost her sight in her battle with diabetes.

"I get a lot of advice each week from quite a few people and she's definitely one of them," Smith said. "I'm trying to figure out how my mom, who can't see, can give me this kind of advice and try to tell me exactly who I should start."

Punter's bitter memory

The last time Bears punter Brad Maynard was in the Super Bowl, he set a record for the championship game with 11 punts.

He did so against the Ravens in the January 2001 Super Bowl, when he punted for the New York Giants.

"The biggest memory is congratulating Matt Stover and [then-Ravens punter] Kyle Richardson after the game as the confetti is falling," Maynard said. "That's a hard thing to do in that situation - to still be a good sport. You want to walk off with your head down and cry. I don't want to have that feeling again."

Manning rips spread

While the Bears have embraced the role of underdog, some of the Colts are puzzled by being favored by seven points.

"It's ridiculous to me," Colts quarterback Peyton Manning said. "The Bears won 15 games this year. You don't do that without being an incredibly gifted, talented, well-coached team. To me it's an even game. How that point spread comes about makes no sense."

'Booger': I was a bad kid

The most popular question being asked of Colts defensive tackle Anthony McFarland is how he got the nickname "Booger."

He said it got started when he was 2.

"My mom gave me the nickname because I was a very, very bad kid, to say the least," McFarland said. "Some of my friends who were older kind of heard it and started teasing me with it. I love it. I've been called that for 27 years. It's just part of me."

End zone

Both teams did not practice yesterday and will resume workouts today. ... Smith and Colts coach Tony Dungy had a conversation Monday night as part of a taping for a pre-game show. "To be able to share this with him is special," said Dungy, who had Smith on his staff as an assistant coach. "We talked about it three weeks ago that we might have the opportunity, and you just never think it will happen." ... Colts running back Joseph Addai said he is not taking the Super Bowl for granted after reaching the event as a rookie. "A lot of players don't get to this point," he said. "So I am enjoying every bit of it."

Sun columnist David Steele contributed to this article.

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