Adam Gold

An early Super Bowl scoreboard

Posted February 1, 2013

Super Bowl XLVII isn't until Sunday, yet we have a score.

Chris Culliver 1, Ray Lewis 0.

In spite of Culliver's vulgar remarks about homosexuals not being welcome in the 49ers' locker room, he handled the aftermath with far more class than Lewis did when asked about deer antler spray or what happened in Atlanta 13 years ago.

Everyone says – or does – something they regret, even something that creates an entire days worth of work for the assembled media. (Yes, I'm talking about you, Mr. Culliver.) However, it's how you handle the fallout that tells the complete story.

During the three ring media day circus Tuesday, Ray Lewis was asked about the recent Sports Illustrated article that accused him of using something called Deer Antler Spray, which contains a substance on the NFL's list of banned performance enhancing agents.

He was also questioned about his role in the murder of two young men in Atlanta the week of Super Bowl 34. Not surprisingly, Lewis didn't want to address those topics, and I can't say that I blame him. But, "nobody in this room is qualified to ask those questions" is a ridiculous and demeaning way of avoiding the topic.

By that token, Ray, since very few in the football media have ever played the game, are they not qualified to ask you about your Hall of Fame career? Are we also unqualified to talk with you about your very impressive foundation that does so much for underprivileged inner-city Baltimore families?

Then Ray hit us with the final blow, the undefeated reasoning for avoiding uncomfortable conversations: "This is God's time."

Yep, no one wants to infringe on that, for sure. But, what if God is wondering about the deer antler extract that has allegedly helped you return from a torn triceps to chase down your second world championship? What if He wants to know if you broke the league's rules by taking a performance-enhancing substance? What if the Heaven Daily Planet is doing a story on your impressive career, since this is your walk-off season, and they want to talk about the impressive, personal turnaround from that tragic night in Atlanta to the man you've become?

It was God's time 13 years ago, as well, I'm guessing.

The bottom line is that Tuesday was precisely the time to address what happened at that Super Bowl, if only to say how much you've grown from the experience or how it taught you to make better choices or how sorry you are that you were connected to an event that cost two young people their lives. Hiding behind the facade of faith to avoid answering those questions and then accusing them of being the "Devil's trick" doesn't fly.

Meanwhile, in contrast, San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver, a Garner, NC native, really stuck his foot in it during an ill-advised interview with former Howard Stern joke man Artie Lange. Culliver, talking about the possibility of playing alongside a homosexual teammate said, "I don't do the gay guys, man. No, we don't got no gay people on the team…can't be with that sweet stuff. Can't be in the locker room, man."

Boom!

In a week where anything other than football is going to suck up all the attention, Culliver provided the ultimate sponge. Those comments were all anyone talked about Wednesday and Thursday, and because every player has media responsibilities every day during Super Bowl week, Culliver was going to face that music once the entire story hit the fan. Well, the band started to play during yesterday's session, and considering that Culliver plays his home games in San Francisco, he had a lot of explaining to do.

"I'm sorry that I offended anyone. They were very ugly comments, and that's not what I feel in my heart," he said. "Hopefully, I can learn and grow from this experience. I love San Francisco."

Culliver then proceeded to answer 100 questions in 45 minutes, all about his incendiary remarks. Culliver didn't try to tell the press that this wasn't the time for those questions. He didn't tell them that they weren't qualified to ask those questions and I'm fairly certain that Out Magazine isn't among the nearly 5,000 members of the credentialed media. Culliver took his medicine like a grown man, dealt with the fallout and put the subject to bed.

While I hate that Culliver even uttered those remarks, mainly because I believe that there is more than just a trace of truth in what he said, I will give him a ton of credit for dealing with the crush and emerging on the other side – hopefully a better person. In sharp contrast to the man of the hour here at Super Bowl 47, the retiring future Hall of Famer Ray Lewis, that gives the second year reserve defensive back the early lead.

I tell my son all the time, it's not always what you do wrong that gets you in trouble, but how you respond to the situation. In that game, Culliver clearly defeated his far more experienced opponent.

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  • BlueDevilVentures 3.BROKE Feb 2, 2013

    Shocking developments . . . One helped his "boys" cover up a double-homicide. The other is too immature/dumb to say "live and let live" because he might get cooties.

    Professional athletes: Who knew?

  • ktstcanes Feb 1, 2013

    Two people are dead. No one has ever been charged. Read the article a few weeks ago in the USA Today. Up to that point, I really did not know the story. But now I do. He paid millions to one of the families. The other not interested in his money. Just want justice. Sad, sad, sad.

  • ktstcanes Feb 1, 2013

    Lewis is a " Bully ". Great career. But a Bully... The power of money. All I know is that RL was at the scene of the crime in Atlanta. He knows what happened either by involvement or as a witness. It is just unfortunate that people are glorifying him as some sort of superstar when in reality, he is just an overpaid
    Bully!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ktstcanes Feb 1, 2013

    Lewis is a " ". Great career. But a ... The power of money. All I know is that RL was at the scene of the crime in Atlanta. He knows what happened either by involvement or as a witness. It is just unfortunate that people are glorifying him as some sort of superstar when in reality, he is just an overpaid
    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • VT1994Hokie Feb 1, 2013

    Culliver is a 24 year old football player, and he got baited to even say something like this. He made a mistake. As far as Lewis, the media is having a field day to sell this information.

  • kornfan2448 Feb 1, 2013

    I don't see how the two can even be compared. One is apologizing for voicing his opinion. The other is facing some pretty harsh accusations from using performance enhancing substances to being tied to a murder that happened 13 years ago. If I was Lewis, I'd probably be a little less than receptive to those questions as well. What's sad about the Lewis situation is that these are not things that just popped up this week, yet there are some "reporters" (term used very loosely) that utilize the attention of the Super Bowl to push whatever agenda it is they have. And I agree with jgunn that it just adds to the circus.

  • StunGunn Feb 1, 2013

    I think the scoreboard is still at 0-0. Lewis is a 17-year veteran, a future HOF'er who might think he doesn't owe anyone an explanation, while Culliver is young and knows (or was told) he hasn't "earned" the right to tell the press to shut their collective pie holes. I would guess after his blunder, Culliver was advised to do the Mia Culpa, which I doubt was sincere. At any rate, all this does is add to the circus atmosphere that the week leading up to the Super Bowl has become.

  • ACC: Syracuse at NC State

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Florida at Kentucky

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Pac 12: Stanford at Arizona

    Saturday at 4:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Big Ten: Wisconsin at Minnesota

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NBA: Dallas at Portland

    Tomorrow at 9:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NHL: Hurricanes vs. Minnesota

    Friday at 8:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
4th
BRK 68
CHA 95
 
2nd
DUKE 66
WAKE 29
 
Final
LOS 4
CWS 6
 
Final
CLE 4
CIN 2
 
Final
TEX 2
KAN 13
 
Final
SFG 2
OAK 9
 
Final
SEA 4
SDP 3
 
Final
MIL 8
WMIL 0
 
Final
COL 3
ARI 6
 
9th
MIN 3
UMIN 1
 
Final
IND 105
NYK 82
 
Final
ORL 100
PHO 105
 
4th
BRK 68
CHA 95
 
4th
TOR 93
CLE 94
 
4th
BOS 72
UTA 68
 
3rd
MIN 51
DEN 66
 
3rd
NOP 52
DET 50
 
3rd
MIA 52
LAL 55
 
3rd
HOU 72
MEM 73
 
3rd
OKC 60
PHI 62
 
2nd
SAN 45
SAC 36
 
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
MIL
10:30pm Tonight
LAC
POR
Final
UNCA 80
LIB 70
 
Final
PSU 67
OSU 77
 
Final
USB 62
BING 57
 
Final
FORD 66
DUQ 81
 
Final
GMAS 51
GWU 67
 
Final
UNH 54
HART 52
 
Final
STJOE 55
LAS 50
 
Final
Terriers 79
LIU 70
 
Final
GTDNS 83
MAINE 66
 
Final
LOU 59
ND 71
 
Final
SHU 66
PROV 79
 
Final
BRY 91
SHU 85
 
Final
MORE 79
SEMIZ 74
 
Final
MNTER 58
RFLSH 73
 
Final
LSU 63
TENN 78
 
Final
SFLA 74
UCF 45
 
Final
VERM 66
UMBC 39
 
Final
RMU 91
WAGN 68
 
2nd
UMASS 50
RICH 56
 
2nd
TULA 46
HOU 43
 
2nd
YALE 58
HOW 43
 
2nd
PITT 47
MIAMI 49
 
2nd
TXPA 35
NMST 45
 
2nd
MSU 39
PURD 33
 
2nd
STLU 37
BONA 48
 
2nd
DUKE 66
WAKE 29
 
1st
TULSA 8
CIN 12
 
1st
VANDY 22
MSST 29
 
1st
OKST 17
TCU 21
 
1st
UCLA 32
USC 19
 
1st
WYO 30
UTST 22
 
1st
MARQ 9
STJ 10
 
1st
EILL 0
SIUE 0
 
10:00pm Tonight
FRES
AFA
10:00pm Tonight
SJST
BSU
10:00pm Tonight
NEV
COLST
10:00pm Tonight
ILL
NEB
11:00pm Tonight
ORST
OREG
11:00pm Tonight
UNLV
SDST
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
UCSB
 
2nd Intermission
WIN 0
OTT 3
 
2nd
DET 1
NYR 1
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
MON
10:00pm Tonight
COL
PIT