Super Bowl loss fails to quiet voluble receiver

Updated: February 10, 2005, 11:38 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

The mouth that roared just won't be ignored.

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Freddie Mitchell was muzzled pretty well by the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX. But Mitchell is still trying to get in the last word.

T.O., he came and did an excellent job ... but that really took away from my play time and my opportunities. I couldn't shut a lot of people up that I wanted to shut up.
Freddie Mitchell on Terrell Owens in Super Bowl XXXIX

On Wednesday, Mitchell sounded off on ESPN Radio's AllNight with Todd Wright, not only defending the disparaging remarks he made about the Patriots' defensive backs prior to the Super Bowl, but taking it a step further and calling out the Patriots again.

Mitchell had admitted to ESPN anchor Dan Patrick days before the game that he knew only the numbers of the Patriots' defensive backs (he then listed them incorrectly). Mitchell also managed to call out safety Rodney Harrison, saying, "I got something for you, Harrison."

Mitchell was later reprimanded by Eagles coach Andy Reid and was not granted a podium for media interviews in Jacksonville.

On Wednesday, Mitchell need no such podium to take more shots at the NFL champions.

"It was kind of like me being facetious and kidding around. They blew it way out of proportion," Mitchell said of his pregame comments. "[Their reactions] reminded me of little girls. They're sensitive. Real, real sensitive.

"Now the thing that bothers me the most is you've got everybody talking now. ... I've got [Patriots coach Bill] Belichick even throwing remarks about me. It's like, 'Man, did I hurt you that bad that you have to go out and shout my name?' Troy Brown saying something, Mr. Belichick saying a little something. It's funny how I got under their skin."

Mitchell wasn't able to get "under their skin" on the field, however, with just one reception for 11 yards. He had one fewer catch than Harrison, who intercepted Donovan McNabb twice.

But to hear Mitchell on Wednesday, even that wasn't his fault. Mitchell argued that the surprising play of Terrell Owens contributed to his own minimal contribution.

"T.O., he came and did an excellent job ... but that really took away from my play time and my opportunities," Mitchell said. "I couldn't shut a lot of people up that I wanted to shut up. That really hurt the situation."

FedEx eyes "FredEx" wear
Freddie Mitchell has been selling shirts and caps with a "FredEx" logo on his Freddiemitchell.com Web site, and FedEx has noticed.

The delivery service will approach the matter "in a courteous manner," FedEx spokesman Jim McCluskey told the Philadelphia Inquirer, noting that FedEx is the official shipper of the NFL. McCluskey added, however, "If we do find a violation of our brand, we'll ask that it stop."

At least to the untrained eye, the "FredEx" logo looks as though someone simply added an "r" to the trademarked FedEx logo, even including the subtle arrow in the "Ex" portion -- a detail that caught the design world's eye when Lindon Leader created the logo in 1994, according to the Inquirer.

Owens had nine catches for 122 yards in his first game since undergoing surgery six weeks ago for his severely injured ankle. Still, Mitchell is confident he'll get his chance to be "in the position to make a play or ... to be the marquee guy."

Despite Owens' unexpected production -- he was the Eagles' leading receiver in the loss -- Mitchell believes it was the television analysts who placed too much emphasis on Owens.

"[The analysts] think they know it all. ... T.O. is just on a pedestal, and everybody else is pretty much peasants.

"I think when they get to the realization that one player cannot beat a whole team and we won [in the playoffs] without T.O. We got to the Super Bowl without T.O. We can win without T.O. I think that they'll educate themselves more and they'll know that could happen."

In the days since the Eagles loss, much of the media attention has shifted to McNabb and his teammates' claims he was sick to his stomach during the fourth quarter of the game.

Center Hank Fraley, in a TV interview, said that McNabb nearly puked in the huddle in the final minutes of the game and had trouble calling plays to the team. Fraley said at one point Mitchell had to call the play for McNabb.

Mitchell offered his take on what happened.

"Donovan, he dry heaves a lot when he gets under certain situations. It's happened before. It's happened in the NFC Championship game.

"He was dry heaving and he couldn't get the words out in the play, so he gave me hand signals. ... I basically called the play and knew what the coaches were thinking in that situation. I called the play out and went on from there."

Mitchell added, with a laugh, that if he were in that situation again, he'd have called a different play, one in which he was the intended receiver.

Mitchell also had some choice remarks about the Super Bowl itself and where it was played.

Freddie Mitchell
Wide Receiver
Philadelphia Eagles
Profile
2004 SEASON STATISTICS
Rec Yds TD Avg Long YAC
22 377 2 17.1 60 54

"The game to me was more of a monopoly. The whole Super Bowl has become such a monopoly to make money rather than the game. I think they've gotten away from the game ... It's basically all about making money than anything else. I don't think nobody cares about the game anymore."

As for the host city, Mitchell said: "Jacksonville had five years to prepare for this, and even with the preparing is it was a bad situation, and I can't believe the NFL handled it like that."

He added: "What really annoyed me was Jacksonville, the city, taking advantage of it. The Comfort Inn suites were $500 a night for a regular room. Just the players' families -- everybody really got taken advantage of."

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