Keyshawn Ends Self-Imposed Silence
The Tampa Tribune, published 27 January 2003

His self- imposed media gag order didn't make it through the weekend. After finally capturing his first Super Bowl ring, Keyshawn Johnson wasn't going to pass up a chance to be a postgame ringleader Sunday night.

``I got my championship that I'm chasing,'' said Johnson, who indicated Friday on a Web site diary he wouldn't speak to reporters the rest of his career. ``And I've chased it all the way to Tampa, and I got it, baby. Nana, nana, nana.''

A degree of validation accompanied Johnson's verbosity. Though some will argue otherwise, the seventh-year pro - who has indicated he'll only play three more seasons - said he thinks Sunday's victory lends credence to any claim he wishes to make on being among the game's elite at his position.

``I think it does [bring validation],'' said Johnson, who finished with a team-high six catches for 61 yards in his initial Super Bowl appearance, but watched Keenan McCardell catch both of Brad Johnson's TD passes. ``Now all I have to do is get me another one. When you get it once, you want it twice. And when you get it twice, you want it three times. I'm already thinking about what we're going to do next season, who we're going to bring in to help us try to get back.''

McCardell, meanwhile, got some personal validation of his own. His only other Super Bowl ring came as a Washington Redskins rookie in 1991 - when he was on injured reserve. This one, he suggested, seems more warranted. He may have legitimized it once and for all on a 5-yard scoring catch from Johnson with 30 seconds to play before halftime.

The catch, capping a 77- yard drive, gave the Bucs a 20-3 halftime lead. ``We wanted to go in with a score before the half, either three points or seven,'' McCardell said. ``Brad saw me one- on-one and he made a big play.''

McCardell's second TD, an 8-yarder that also came in single coverage, capped an 89- yard drive that consumed 7:52 and pushed the Bucs' lead to 27-3. ``We were driving and we knew we needed to put some points on the board,'' he said. ``I really thought that making that score, me being a leader, I have to step up and make a play. [Brad Johnson] saw me, I made a move and it was a touchdown.''

With that, the former 12th- round draft choice basked in the pinnacle of his career. ``I hope there's some more [Super Bowls] out there,'' McCardell said. ``It feels so sweet I don't know what to say.''

His fellow wideout, of course, rarely encounters such a problem. So why did Keyshawn start talking after a two- day reprieve? ``I'm entitled to change my mind just like you guys are entitled to change yours,'' he said.