NOTEBOOK \ Super Bowl XXXIX
Big Ben's award: Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger added another award Thursday, winning NFL Rookie of the Year in a vote by fans on NFL.com. Roethlisberger was a unanimous choice for The Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year award last month. Other finalists were New York Jets linebacker Jonathan Vilma, the AP Defensive rookie of the Year; Seattle safety Michael Boulware; Tampa Bay receiver Michael Clayton; and Detroit running back Kevin Jones.
Bartrum's tricks: No one will notice Mike Bartrum unless he messes up. Such is life as the long snapper for the Eagles. But get him on a basketball court, or near a fast-foot restaurant, and he's a star attraction. "Up in Philadelphia, they had all of these tricks for me to do," Bartrum said. Among them was snapping a football into the hoop from halfcourt. "I was able to do that on the second one," Bartrum said. "It was kind of tough. I didn't think with the size of the football and trying to get it in the hoop, plus the angle going up, if I would be able to do it. But I got lucky." And then there was the trip to Burger King. "It was funny, because the lady who was in there was catching the ball as I was snapping it, so she was all jacked up about it," he said.
Not ready to give up: Ty Law is at the Super Bowl for the fourth time with the Patriots, although it never was like this. While his teammates practiced in a light rain, the Pro Bowl cornerback was driving around the media center in a motorized cart. Law broke his left foot when he slipped on Heinz Field during an Oct. 31 game at Pittsburgh. He missed the final nine games of the season, and was placed on injured reserve before the playoffs began. "I'm still part of the team," Law said. But maybe not for long. Law, a first-round pick out of Michigan in 1995, might have played his last game for New England because he will cost $12.5 million against the salary cap next year, a figure the cap-conscious team has never paid. "I'd love to finish my career here," Law said. "But this is a business -- I'm not ignorant to that. I'm trying to leave a legacy as a player, and to stay with one team throughout your career, that's pretty rare in this day and age."
In China: The Super Bowl will be broadcast in China for the first time. A five-member crew from Shanghai Media Group is coming to Jacksonville to broadcast the game to the world's most populous country, concluding the first season of a five-year deal that provides SMG with the rights to televise NFL programs on its family of channels. Dragon TV will carry Super Bowl XXXIX. Along with watching the game, Chinese viewers can vote for the Super Bowl MVP on www.NFLChina.com. Those votes will be counted in the overall tally.