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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, February 3, 2003

Titans will help out ex-Warrior

 •  AFC keeps picking on NFC
 •  Gannon still feels sting of Super Bowl setback
 •  Manning calls Colts teammate an 'idiot'
 •  Ferd Lewis: Now we know what makes Ricky Williams special
 •  Pro Bowl statistics

By Ferd Lewis, Stacy Kaneshiro and Kyle Sakamoto
Advertiser Staff Writers

Tennessee Titans coach Jeff Fisher said his team will make a financial contribution to help with Nate Jackson's medical expenses.

"(Nate Jackson) is a special person even though we only got to know him for a short period of time," said Tennessee Titans coach Jeff Fisher.

Advertiser library photo

Jackson, a University of Hawai'i defensive back who was on the Titans' roster until late August, underwent surgery to replace a heart valve last November.

"When I heard about his condition, I felt real touched," Fisher said. "Nate came to our camp and did nothing but the right things. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to stay with us. He's had some tough times over the last year."

Fisher said, "He's a special person even though we only got to know him for a short period of time."


• Bills' QB invites many: Buffalo quarterback Drew Bledsoe brought offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride, as well as the Bills offensive linemen, as his guests to the Pro Bowl.

"When you play quarterback, the only reason you get personal recognition is if you have great guys around you, so I brought Kevin and I brought my offensive line over to show my appreciation," Bledsoe said.

It was especially meaningful to Gilbride, whose son Kevin plays baseball for the University of Hawai'i. The elder Gilbride attended Saturday's UH-Alumni baseball game. Bledsoe was aware of his coach's ties to UH.

"I know he was trying to find a way to have a trip over here, so I'm just glad I could do it for him," Bledsoe said.


• Analyst skips ABC's broadcast: John Madden, who usually appears alongside play-by-play sportscaster Al Michaels on ABC football telecasts, was replaced in the booth by Dan Fouts.

Madden, who has not flown since 1979, remained on the Mainland and was featured in-studio at halftime.

"Buses don't float," Michaels said by way of explanation.

Madden travels more than 80,000 miles a year on the "Madden Cruiser," a custom motor coach, according to Family Motor Coach Magazine.

Madden was a graduate assistant coach at Cal Poly San Luis-Obispo in 1960 when a quirk of fate kept him off the Mustangs' plane that crashed taking off after a road game in Ohio. The crash killed 22 of the 48 people on board.


• Tomlinson's plea in vain: When AFC running back LaDainian Tomlinson, of the San Diego Chargers, lost the ball on a play ruled a fumble in the first quarter, he sought, in vain, for a replay.

But unlike regular-season games, there are no replay challenges in the Pro Bowl.


• Hall of Famers: Former Kansas City coach Hank Stram, lineman Joe DeLamielleure, running back Marcus Allen, receiver James Lofton and defensive end Elvin Bethea were honored yesterday as the Pro Football Hall of Fame's 2003 induction class.

Stram coached for 17 seasons, leading the Chiefs to the 1969 Super Bowl title.

DeLamielleure, a guard, played in 185 consecutive games over 13 seasons with Baltimore and Cleveland.

Allen, inducted in his first year of eligibility, had 12,243 rushing yards and 5,411 receiving yards with the Raiders and Chiefs. He was the 1984 Super Bowl MVP and the 1985 NFL MVP.

Lofton had 14,004 receiving yards over 16 seasons with five teams.

Bethea played 16 seasons for the Houston Oilers and finished his career with 105 sacks.

• Castle's Maeda wins award: Castle High football coach Nelson Maeda was honored in pre-game ceremonies as Hawai'i's NFL Coach of the Year.

Maeda led the Knights to the O'ahu Interscholastic Association championship and a runner-up spot in the state tournament. He was The Advertiser's state co-Coach of the Year with Saint Louis' Delbert Tengan.

• Photographer honored: Veteran photographer Pipi Wakayama was honored for his 24-year contribution to the Pro Bowl.

Wakayama has been an official photographer for every Pro Bowl in Hawai'i. Prior to that he was the photographer for every Hula Bowl.

• Retiring referee receives flag: Prior to the game, retiring NFL referee Bob McElwee, an alternate official, was given an American flag that was raised yesterday morning on the Arizona Memorial.

The flag came from Adm. Thomas Fargo, commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific.


• Hawai'i's flag not on pole: The Hawai'i state flag was notable in its absence from the three flag poles atop the north end of Aloha Stadium.

Three flags — the U.S. flag, NFL flag and a POW-MIA flag — flew at half-staff throughout the game in recognition of the Columbia disaster.

But the Hawai'i flag, although it was carried by an honor guard on the field, wasn't run up the flag pole until 4:50 p.m., well after the game was over.


The AFC leads the NFC in Pro Bowl victories, 17-16. ... Oakland Raiders receiver Jerry Rice made his 13th Pro Bowl appearance and is one behind Bruce Matthews for the all-time record. ... Defensive back Rod Woodson is one of eight players to play in the Pro Bowl for three different teams (Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Oakland).... New York Giants tight end Jeremy Shockey was the lone rookie in yesterday's game. ... The NFC had 16 first-time Pro Bowlers yesterday, while the AFC had 14. ... Oakland Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon threw two touchdown passes, extending his record to seven for his career.