Most of today’s cliche-spewing, company-line towing pro athletes would decide to lay low if they’d had as quiet a Super Bowl as Philly’s Freddie Mitchell.
Mitchell (above), held to one catch on Sunday (two fewer than Rodney Harrison), has followed his pre-game boasts with more fantastic comments afterwards, as heard on ESPN Radio’s “All Night With Todd Wright” Wednesday evening.
“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.”
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.”
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.”
Mitchell also had some choice remarks about the Super Bowl itself and where it was played.
“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.”