It could have been the Baltimore Ravens representing the AFC in Super Bowl XLVI last week, and not the New England Patriots -- if not for a shanked field-goal attempt off the foot of Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff in the final seconds of the AFC title game.
Cundiff walked away expecting abuse for his crucial mistake -- but he told the Associated Press today that he's actually been pleasantly surprised with the support he's gotten from his Ravens teammates.
"It's been impressive. I expected a lot more backlash," Cundiff said. "I had a lot of guys that kept telling me, 'Look, I've made mistakes.' Obviously, everyone sees my mistakes. That's just the way it goes."
Cundiff, a 10-year NFL veteran who earned his first Pro Bowl selection 2010, missed a 32-yarder that would have tied the AFC Championship Game, 23-23, in the final seconds. It was only his 10th miss all year -- Cundiff went 28-of-37 during the regular season. "They knew if I had that same situation to play over again, I'd probably make it 99 times out of 100," he said. "It was a really strange situation. The team understood the context of it all. So they knew going forward that they don't have to worry about me, because they know what I've been through."