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Bishop strains neck in collision

Tennessee safety Blaine Bishop strained his neck in a scary collision during the third quarter and lay motionless on the field for several minutes.

Bishop, who jammed his helmet into the back of St. Louis tight end Ernie Conwell on a tackle, was able to move his arms and legs before he was taken off the field on a stretcher.

Bishop was taken to Piedmont Hospital for precautionary X-rays.

The injury left the Titans without both their starting safeties.

Perry Phenix replaced Bishop. Free safety Marcus Robertson broke his left leg in the AFC Championship Game.

YOU'RE IN: Two lineup changes occurred before kickoff.

For the Rams, Keith Lyle replaced former FSU safety Devin Bush. Lyle started most of the season before an injury midway through the season.

For the Titans, Isaac Byrd replaced Yancey Thigpen. Thigpen suffered a hairline fracture in his foot in last weekend's AFC Championship Game, but had hopes of playing.

I'LL DO ANYTHING: Despite the fact they had no tickets or hotel reservations, Pete Cocco and J. Snyder drove from Normal, Ill., to be part of the Super Bowl atmosphere. But because of their daring, they ended up getting tickets.

According to the Tennessean, Snyder was told by two men they would give him a ticket if he ate a $100 bill. Snyder, born and raised an Oilers fans, went to a bar and exchanged five $20 bills for a hundred, crumpled it up and swallowed it.

Cocco got a ticket by shaving his legs and putting on fish-net stockings in front of a crowd at the CNN Center.

BROTHERLY LOVE: Retired linebacker Clay Matthews, who holds the NFL record for games played without appearing in a Super Bowl, got a vicarious thrill when brother Bruce reach the game.

"It's almost like I'm going, and I don't have to worry about playing," said Clay, who played in 278 games for the Cleveland Browns and Atlanta Falcons. "Maybe I'm living through Bruce."

Bruce, an offensive lineman for Tennessee, made his first Super Bowl appearance after 17 years in the NFL.

CAMPAIGN TRAIL: Vice president Al Gore and Sen. Bill Bradley were in New Hampshire campaigning for the Democratic nomination for president just two days before the primary. But their hearts, and perhaps their minds, were at the Super Bowl, which paired teams hailing from the candidates' home states.

Gore is from Carthage, Tenn., and Bradley from Crystal City, Mo. Each attended Super Bowl parties to root their teams on.

Gov. George W. Bush, who also is campaigning in New Hampshire, attended a Super Bowl party in Portsmouth. Asked who he thought would win, Bush said, "The Houston Oilers." The Oilers moved to Tennessee and became the Titans.

GONE WITH THE WIND?: The Titans' Al Del Greco had made seven of his last eight field-goal attempts in the post-season before hooking a 47-yard field-goal attempt in the first quarter.

ET CETERA: Two-time Super Bowl MVP Terry Bradshaw broke a toe Friday night when former teammate Mel Blount dropped a crystal trophy on his foot.

_ ERNEST HOOPER, TIMES WIRES

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