Thursday, January 23, 2003

Keyshawn compares self to Pete Rose

The Associated Press

SAN DIEGO - Which Super Bowl player could mention Pete Rose, Kryptonite and himself in just a few minutes? Keyshawn Johnson, of course.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver was on a roll during a morning interview at the team hotel. The question was whether the Super Bowl was a chance for him to show the media there's another side to his flash and sass.

"No," Johnson said. "Why? They don't write my checks, I don't have to play for them, they don't make my career decisions. I don't care what they say."

And then he was off.

"It's almost like, at the end of the day, no matter what you say about Pete Rose, he was one of the top all-time baseball players. That's the way I look at certain things. No matter what you say about Keyshawn Johnson, at the end of the day, you're going to have to give him his just due. He's going to make plays."

Johnson said criticisms don't bother him.

"There's all sorts of things. There's selfishness, there's Me-shawn - I actually like Me-shawn. That's pretty good. Because you're paying attention. There's something there that hurts you, because you can't seem to find that one constant thing that's going to put me down. It's almost like Kryptonite, your Kryptonite's not working."

QUICK CHANGE ARTIST: Brad Johnson's equipment bag might be the heaviest in pro football. That's because the Tampa Bay quarterback packs extra everything - shoes, socks, jersey, pads - and changes into them so he can feel fresh all game long.

"I change after warmups and I change again at halftime," Johnson said. "It's something I've always done. You see tennis players do the same thing.

"At halftime, you're beaten up when you get in the dressing room. I change and then I feel fresh instead of worn out."

The longer halftime at Sunday's Super Bowl means Johnson won't have to rush.

THIS ONE IS FOR DAD:Oakland quarterback Rich Gannon is married to the daughter of ex-Minnesota running back Bill Brown, who played in three of the Vikings' four Super Bowl losses.

"He just had hip surgery so he won't be at the game," Gannon said. "He would have loved to have won a Super Bowl. Maybe I can win one for him."

Sources: Rose admits he bet on baseball
Rose, baseball official met last month

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