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Vincent wins Payton award

‘72 Dolphins will join coin toss ceremony

SHARE Vincent wins Payton award

SAN DIEGO — Cornerback Troy Vincent of the Philadelphia Eagles is the 2002 winner of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award.

Vincent is the first active player to serve on the Pop Warner board of directors. He established a foundation to provide education and services to troubled youths and to help young adults learn the skills they need to care for themselves and their families.

Vincent is active in several charitable organizations in the Philadelphia area and is a member of the executive committee of the NFL Players Association.

Last year's winner was running back Jerome Bettis of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

TOGETHER AGAIN: Thirty years after they completed the only undefeated season in NFL history, members of the 1972 Miami Dolphins will be honored during the coin toss ceremony at Sunday's Super Bowl.

Miami went 17-0, capping the season with a 14-7 victory over Washington in the Super Bowl. As far as the Dolphins are concerned, their record stamps them as the best team in history.

"Nobody did it before and nobody's done it since," coach Don Shula said. "They keep score to see who wins. They keep records to see who's best. This team won two straight Super Bowls and lost six games in three years. Who wins the games is how you determine the best team. We'll stand by our record."

Besides Shula, Hall of Fame Dolphins Larry Little, Bob Griese, Paul Warfield, Jim Langer, Nick Buoniconti and Larry Csonka will participate in the coin flip. They hope to add another Hall of Famer when guard Bob Kuechenberg is considered for election on Saturday.

SUPER SWEEP: Nearly 70 foreign-born security guards and drivers working at or around the Super Bowl were arrested by immigration agents in a three-month operation designed to ensure the safety of fans, authorities said Friday. Another 41 were being sought.

As part of Operation Game Day, the Immigration and Naturalization Service arrested 45 security guards and 24 cab drivers. Of those, 34 had criminal convictions.

Those detained on immigration violations could be deported. Six face prosecution on federal criminal charges. There was no indication any of the workers had terrorist ties, the INS said.

WOMEN WATCHING: A lot of women will watch the Super Bowl on Sunday.

You know that. But we're talking about a whole lot of women.

More than watch the Academy Awards. More than watch figure skating in the Olympics.

Determining who watches anything on television is not an exact science. But according to the television ratings service Nielsen Media Research, an estimated 37,614,000 women — roughly 43 percent of the audience — were watching at any given moment of Super Bowl XXXVI between the New England Patriots and the St. Louis Rams last year.

The corresponding number for the women's figure skating finals was 26,118,000; for last year's Oscars, the number was 25,793,000. In both cases, women were clearly the majority of viewers.

Women will watch because they're eager to see the commercials. Or because they like the half-time entertainment. Or because they enjoy being host or guest at a Super Bowl party.

Or because they feel compelled to take part in what has become an American civic ritual. Academics call it one of the nation's great "common-knowledge generators," and "a cultural high holy day."

"It's the only sporting event a lot of people, women included, will watch all year," said Brian McCarthy, an NFL spokesman. "We want to offer a total entertainment experience, not just the game."

OVERTIME CHANGES: After a season of parity and a postseason of controversy, Commissioner Paul Tagliabue announced Friday that the NFL was considering a change in its overtime format. A record 25 overtime games were played this season, and 10, or 40 percent, were decided on the first possession. Since overtime was adopted in 1974, 28.3 percent of games have ended on the first possession. Changing the overtime format — currently sudden death — could raise the excitement level even more.

One proposed change would allow each team's offense at least one possession, similar to the method used by the NCAA. Another would have the teams play until one scores at least 6 points. "The likelihood is that we will probably end up with a change in the overtime system," Tagliabue said.