June 01, 1998 12:00 AM

New York Giants fans who trekked down to Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium to see their team walk away with the NFL championship were disappointed when the “Big Blue” were upset by the Baltimore Ravens, who won the Super Bowl XXXV title, 34-7. Displaying a dominating defense, the Ravens only allowed the Giants one touchdown in the game, which also boasted CBS’s “Matrix”-like “EyeVision” instant replay system. The Ravens’ Ray Lewis — the middle linebacker who had been jailed a year ago after being arrested following a double murder charge, but was later acquitted after pleading guilty to obstruction of justice — was named the event’s most valuable player. “There is no emotion like this,” he told reporters, “right now, to be here after being where I was last year.” Also entertaining the stadium’s 70,000 fans were pre-game headliner Sting (who performed “Desert Rose” and “Roxanne”), Ray Charles, who sang “America the Beautiful,” the Backstreet Boys, who sang the National Anthem and a mixture of musical acts featured in the MTV-produced halftime show, including ‘N Sync, Aerosmith, Britney Spears, R&B singer Mary J. Blige, and rapper Nelly. The eclectic bunch of artists collaborated on Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way,” the rock group’s 1986 hit song. And adding some levity to the halftime show was a 90-second film starring Chris Rock (as himself), Ben Stiller and Adam Sandler playing hilarious showbiz coaches manipulating ‘N Sync and Aerosmith’s halftime performances.

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