You can always measure Super Bowl hype by the number of times the consensus favorites are accused of inappropriate touching. From Nick Cafaro in today’s Boston Globe :

Mike Vrabel just shook his head and smiled.

“Never happened,” he said. “Never happened.”

The last time the Patriots played the Eagles, Week 2 of the 2003 season, Eagles linebacker Ike Reese said in a Sports Illustrated article, “Brian Westbook fumbled a punt, and we were all down there scrambling for it. Mike Vrabel had my testicles in his hand, and he was squeezing them. Where the football ends up depends on who has the strongest will or the strongest hands. Guys reach inside the facemask to gouge your eyes. But the biggest thing is the grabbing of the testicles. It’s crazy.”

Vrabel (above) said, “It’s the NFL and there’s a lot of stuff that happens on the field. As NFL players you don’t come into the locker room and start talking to the media about it. I’ve had everything — you name it — done to me out there. But you don’t start saying this guy did this or did that.”