Anthony Wright Q&A 2008 Super Bowl Week

Former USC quarterback Anthony Wright is the backup quarterback for the NY Giants. Affectionately known to USC fans as "A-1", he talks about his first Super Bowl, what Steve Spurrier means to USC, and his experience in the NFL in this exclusive interview for

GLENDALE, Ariz. — While starting quarterback Eli Manning absorbed question after question from the national media corps on Tuesday, backup Anthony Wright soaked in the sunshine and hung out with Hollywood starlets.

That's the life — all of the perks without all of the fuss, right Anthony?

"I think I've had a blessed career, especially the way I came into the league," Wright said in between dances. "I'm grateful to be a part of this Super Bowl. The job is not done and the task is still at hand. The focus is to get through all the obligations and distractions and get to the game on Sunday. If we can come out with a victory and I can go home with a ring, they I'll feel like the job has been accomplished."

Wright — a former South Carolina star — still keeps plenty of roots in Columbia, where he parlayed his career into a nine-year NFL journey that has taken him through Pittsburgh, Dallas, Baltimore, Cincinnati and the Big Apple. That journey started as an undrafted free agent in 1999.

Through the long and winding road, Wright never doubted he wouldn't make it to a Super Bowl one day.

"No, never though that," Wright said. "I always knew I had a talent. If I didn't, I wouldn't have been here (in the NFL). Some people may have written me off at Columbia my last year, but I never wrote myself off. I knew what I had inside me, even though the record might not have shown it. I'm in my ninth year and I'm playing in the Super Bowl and I can't be upset."

Wright has played little this year behind Manning, who has proved as durable as his older brother, Colts quarterback Peyton Manning.

But a quarterback with Wright's experience is invaluable in the NFL, even though he hasn't been needed much this season.

That's why he didn't mind mingling with reporters and starlets on the sidelines at University of Phoenix Stadium while other players sat at podiums and answered questions.

"I understand," Wright said. The guys that are on the podium are the ones that play. I understand that role. I'll do my talking when I'm asked to."

There has been one side benefit to not being the starter. It's allowed him to closely follow South Carolina's football season. He's impressed by the program's revival under head coach Steve Spurrier and mindful of what the coach's name recognition represents on a national scale.

"He's put them a little further on the map," Wright said. "Now when we win three or four games in a row, we're a Top 15 or 20 team easily. He's definitely given us a different aura and the recognition of the program is great now.

"I'm proud of the way the team played this year. I was able to go into the locker room and talk a little trash. I was disappointed by the way they finished. But I'm always a Gamecock and I love my team. When I get back there, I'll be involved with them."

Matthew Postins covers the Buccaneers for and the Charlotte Sun-Herald in Port Charlotte, Fla. He is covering the Super Bowl in Arizona. An award-winning member of the Pro Football Writers Association, he appears frequently on the Scot Brantley Show from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WHBO 1470-AM in Tampa-Clearwater.

Gamecock Anthem Top Stories