February 6, 2010

Dave Barry must have been inundated with harsh e-mails over yesterday’s column. Here is his reaction, that appeared in the Miami Herald and this time he was assisted by Chuck Fadely. 
“I want to start with a retraction and an apology. My previous Super Bowl column, which offered tips for visitors to Miami, deeply offended some readers, who informed me that: (a) I am hurting Miami’s image; (b) I am an idiot racist piece of lowlife no-talent scum; and (c) they did not mean this in a good way.
OK. Let me first stress to our Super Bowl visitors that in my column I was just “kidding around” by attempting to make jokes using ridiculous statements
about Miami that are completely untrue. I hereby retract all of those statements. These are the facts:
1. Miami is totally safe.
2. There are taxis galore!
3. The drivers here are courteous and law-abiding.
4. Especially on Interstate 95 and the Palmetto Expressway.
5. Miami’s mass-transit system is very convenient, and it is not true that last July 20 during rush hour two men boarded the downtown Metromover carrying a six-foot nurse shark that was still alive.
6. There is plenty of available parking on South Beach, where the clubs feature affordable drinks in an atmosphere of quiet, soothing music.
7. The snakes in the Everglades are petite.
8. As are the Kardashian sisters’ butts.
Finally, I want to say to any fellow Miamians whom I offended: I’m sorry, OK? I love Miami! It’s the greatest city in the world, with the friendliest people!
Please don’t kill me.
Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s move on to today’s topic, which is: Super Bowl security. Here, there is good news and bad news:
The good news is, this week Janet Napolitano, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, inspected Sun Life For Now Stadium and declared it looks secure.
The bad news is, this is the same Janet Napolitano who declared that “the system worked” after a man with known terrorist affiliations managed to get on a U.S.-bound plane with a bomb in his underpants. So with all due respect to Janet, she would not necessarily notice if Osama bin Laden was standing on the 50-yard line with a rocket launcher.
But I’m sure the Super Bowl will be safe. For one thing, if any terrorists did come to South Florida this week, by now they’re passed out somewhere around the Clevelander Hotel face-down in a puddle of their own bodily fluids. For another thing, Super Bowl security is very tight.
Q. How tight is it?
A. Yesterday the Air Force shot down the Goodyear Blimp.
So if you’re going to the game, be prepared to be subjected to heightened security, as follows:
• There will be no tailgating within a 75-mile radius of the stadium. This is in response to intelligence reports of a disturbing new al Qaeda weapon, “The
Kielbasa of Death.”
• No objects of any kind will be allowed anywhere; this includes watches, wallets, phones, dentures, pacemakers and artificial limbs. Anyone holding an umbrella will be taken out by snipers.
• Nobody will be allowed inside the stadium wearing underpants. This rule will be enforced by a specially trained all-German-shepherd security unit, the Groin Patrol.
• Nobody will be allowed to go to the bathroom during the second half.
• No congregating of any kind will be permitted; this includes players forming a huddle.
Speaking of players: This year’s Super Bowl will feature a total of two teams, the Colts and the Saints. This is one of the nuggets of information I picked up on Media Day, which is when all the players are herded into a confined space to be harassed by several thousand media people, approximately four of whom are legitimate sports journalists. The remainder (I include myself in this group) are there to gawk and eat free food.
Among the things we were gawking at was a woman “reporter” from Telemundo, who was wearing wings, a halo and very tight clothing; she was telling players she was a “saint” and asking the players suggestive questions. This kind of thing really irks my wife, who as a female sportswriter has fought many battles to be treated as a professional, and thus detests the bimbo-ization of the sports press corps. As we left Media Day, she and I had this conversation:
ME: Did you see the Telemundo woman?
MY WIFE: (disgusted): Yes! She had huge angel wings.
ME: That’s not all that was huge.
MY WIFE: Those were NOT real.
Anyway, based on what I learned at Media Day, the Super Bowl looks to be shaping up as an athletic contest featuring hairy men the size of grain silos. But the winner, for my money, will be the great city of Miami and its great and forgiving citizens with their excellent sense of humor who love to be kidded. In conclusion, I retract everything. Thank you.”

Bob Glauber  commented, in NY Newsday, about the position taken by the NFL Player’s Association Executive Director, DeMaurice Smith and a few other things of interest (at least to me).
“NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith said Thursday that the league appears intent on locking out the players before the 2011 season.
“The simple fact is they have engaged in a concerted course of conduct where anybody looking at it will see that they have done more to prepare themselves to not play football than to play football,” Smith said in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
“On the one hand, you have a collective-bargaining process designed to have two equal parties negotiating over issues. On that side you have concerted
action designed to severely restrict, and critically enhance [the NFL’s] bargaining leverage.”
Smith hinted that the NFL might be attempting to break the union. “The first data point, you hire the guy who orchestrated the hockey lockout in [2004-05], ” Smith said, citing the March 10, 2008 hiring of Bob Batterman, the attorney who represented the NHL during the longest work stoppage in sports.
“In 2008, 2009, you negotiate television contracts that pay the teams even if the games aren’t played. You renegotiate coaches’ contracts envisioning a lockout.
 And you are arguing in front of the United States Supreme Court that the antitrust laws should no longer apply to you. What does that sound like to you?”
The NFL said it believes there will be a resolution of the labor issues. “The agreement will get done,” NFL vice president Greg Aiello said. “It’s just a question of when.”
Freeney to test ankle
Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney, who hasn’t practiced since suffering a sprained ankle in the AFC Championship Game against the Jets, said he
expects to test the ankle in practice today.
“I will probably go out and see what I can do, and then Saturday a lot more,” he said.
Freeney hopes to make a decision about his availability by Saturday, but it might come down to game day.
“I am still day-to-day,” he said. “Every time I wake up in the morning, I reassess the situation. I’m just feeling it out. It’s starting to feel a little better and it is starting to look more like an ankle now.”
Manning’s new alter ego
Until this year, Jim Caldwell served as Peyton Manning’s quarterbacks coach. His replacement: former Bills backup quarterback Frank Reich.
Reich is best remembered for the greatest comeback in NFL history, rallying the Bills from a 35-3 second-half deficit to beat the Oilers, 41-38, in an overtime playoff game Jan. 3, 1993.
“It’s been a great journey,” said Reich, who started seven games for the Jets in 1996. “When I decided to get back into football, the first call I made was to
Bill Polian, and thankfully he just opened the door. He said, ‘Tell me how I can help you.’ I said, ‘If something comes up . . . ‘ ”
Reich started as a coaching intern, and when Caldwell took over as head coach, he was tabbed as Manning’s position coach.
Manning loves having Reich as his mentor.
“Frank has got a lot of football knowledge,” Manning said. “Serving as kind of a mentor-type coach, if you will, to Jim Kelly throughout the majority of his
career. Then when being called upon to play, going in, leading one of the greatest comebacks of all time. I really think at this point in my career, being a veteran, I like having somebody that has played longer than me, who has actually played the game and knows what is going on.”
Saints’ game plan almost complete Coach Sean Payton said the Saints’ game plan is “probably 85 percent in. There are some things we’ll give them [today].”
Payton said the week off between the conference championships and the Super Bowl has done wonders for his players
“I think the extra week really affords you a chance to get their legs back,” he said. “We were careful not to install too much last week. We got them on the
field and off the field, and really gave them a chance to kind of catch their breath, if you will. The routine here is a little different and yet we got good work in Wednesday with pads.”
Peyton’s advice: Don’t watch TVPeyton Manning has some advice for his teammates on what to do leading up to Sunday’s game. That includes trying to have as normal a Saturday as possible, which includes studying tape and getting a good night’s sleep. And on Sunday?
“One thing I have learned is not to watch the pregame coverage,” he said “That can certainly cloud your mind a little bit. I did a good job of avoiding that last [time]. It is a little bit of hurry up and waiting, but you are excited when you finally board the buses and head toward the stadium.”


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