February 10, 2010

Norman Chad posted this Super Bowl review using his great style. 
“It wasn’t Giants-Patriots or Steelers-Cardinals, but Saints-Colts was almost scintillating and almost sensational. America is on the uptick; I’ll bet you even bin Laden was watching. With Super Bowls like this, we’re again a superpower with a smile, baby! 
As usual, I viewed it all and took copious notes:
2:02 p.m. ET: Haven’t I seen CBS’s Jim Nantz and Peyton Manning together in a Sony commercial? And now they’re together at Super Bowl XLIV — what
a small world!
2:11: Pam Tebow does commercial celebrating her son Tim. I’m still concerned about his arm strength.
3:27: Pizza Hut advertises “any pizza, any size, any crust, any toppings — just $10.” Then, in small print, it says, “additional charge for stuffed crust pizza.” Uh, so it’s not any pizza, any crust blah blah blah. That’s America.
4:35: Katie Couric interviews President Obama. What, Shannon Sharpe can’t do double duty?
5:34: Sharpe: “As you look at these guys warming up on the field, they know it’s about football now.” As opposed to forensic science.
5:52: If the E*Trade baby replaced Norman Esiason, what would we lose?
6:01: Go Google some Jay-Z lyrics and see if he should be kicking off the kickoff show of the Super Bowl.
6:23: Nantz: “Coming up, the coin toss!” Oh, they’re going to fit a game in?
6:36: Back when he wore “GIANTS” on his helmet, I hoped Phil Simms got sacked during warmups. But once he stepped out of Giants Stadium and into a broadcast booth, I discovered he is a delightful game companion.
(Fast Fact: According to the Wall Street Journal, there are 106 pets in the U.S. — out of a 475,000-animal database — named after Peyton Manning and 32
named after Drew Brees. None is named Norv.)
6:44: Could’ve sworn I saw Peyton running the no-huddle while shopping at Safeway the other day.
6:45: When Peyton tells his kids bedtime stories, I wonder if he changes them as he goes along.
6:46: During rush hour, you’ve got to figure Peyton directs traffic.
6:47: When Peyton and his wife have relations, something tells me he has a foreplay clock in his head.
7:41: Saints’ Sean Payton goes for it on fourth and goal. I turn to my dog Sapphire and tell her I’d kick the field goal.
7:50: Agreeing with Payton’s call, Bill Cowher says, “He sends a message to his football team: ‘I’m playing to win the game.’ ” And I thought he was there to
watch The Who.
8:22: Payton starts second half with successful onside kick. I guess he REALLY wants to win.
8:24: I’m sure he does a good job, but I assume some Colts starters don’t even know Jim Caldwell is the head coach.
8:27: With the Saints driving to take their first lead, Toni — a.k.a. She Is The One (And Then Some) — asks me what I want for dinner.
8:27:15: Hey, I understand and accept ” ’til death do us part,” but if the little lady interrupts the game one more time, it’s going to be somebody’s funeral.
8:53: If you told me there’d be a weed killer commercial during the Super Bowl, I’d tell you you’d been smoking some of it.
9:17: Referee Scott Green overturns failed two-point conversion call on replay challenge, giving Saints a 24-17 lead.
If that was indisputable visual evidence, then I’m a Bolshoi-trained ballerina.
9:26: As Peyton drives Colts for potential game-tying drive, my stepson Isaiah asks where his weekly allowance is.
9:26:15: I make a note to check my prenup after the game.
9:28: Peyton is picked — I replay it on my TiVo because I believe it must be an optical illusion.
9:42: If I’m Drew Brees, I’m not going to Disney World, I’m going to Denny’s for a Free Grand Slam Breakfast Tuesday.

Ask The Slouch
Q. If there’s an NFL lockout in 2011, what will Ron Jaworski do with his time? (Terence Lane; Columbia, S.C.)
A. The prospect of an NFL lockout is so horrifying, ESPN colleagues have been instructed to not even mention it to Jaws.
Q. What was Lane Kiffin’s recruiting pitch to land a 13-year-old at USC? (Paul Lyons; Spokane, Wash.)
A. I believe Kiffin promised him Halloweens off.
Q. Is it okay if I sometimes skip over your column and read just the questions and answers? (Don Gallovic; Lakewood, Ohio)
A. Maybe I’ll start a hidden $500 reader giveaway in the body of the column — that will bring you back, won’t it?
Q. Are people who play soccer video games required to work the controls with their feet? (Jim Mannella; Pittsburgh)
A. Pay the man, Shirley.”

Bill Conlin, of The Philly Daily News really likes the snow and talks about the recent “snow-challenged winter Olympic games. “So it’s the last day of ski
jumping at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary and I’m walking around town in a light sweater. Office workers are eating lunch on park benches and sunning themselves. The only snow in the Alberta cow town has been trucked more than 50 miles from the foothills of the Canadian Rockies and packed onto the ski jump.
It was melting as fast as the army of workers could put it down. It appeared Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards, a self-promoting Brit with the ski-jumping skills of
Shrek, might be saved by a water landing.
As a professed snownik, I eagerly volunteered for Winter Olympics column duty. And why not? I envisioned one blizzard after another and packed for
Calgary like a 19th-century arctic explorer. When Les Bowen and I arrived there, it was about 10 degrees and the ingredients that go into champagne powder snow were gently falling. Hot damn. OK, cold damn. By the time we arrived at the media village, the flurry had stopped. They were the last sincere flakes to fall on Calgary until the day after the Closing Ceremonies. A number of alpine skiing events had to be postponed when a chinook wind blowtorched the mountain slopes. It is difficult to run downhill on a slope of slush. The trails used for the nordic events had to be manicured with ribbons of trucked-in snow.
We wondered if the Jamaican bobsled team would be literally bobbing down the chute like corks.
I covered four Winter Olympics – Calgary, Albertville, Lillehammer and Nagano, spending a total of 12 weeks in the company of God’s Frozen People. There was zero snow in Calgary. Albertville, which sits on a valley floor surrounded by the majestic French Alps, was flakeless. The only snow I saw actually falling was the day of the women’s downhill in Meribel, which is kind of like the Wildwood of the Alps. Les actually got snowed in up there covering hockey. He’s on the cell phone describing the big, fat flakes and I’m 20 miles away in the La Lechere press center describing the big, fat raindrops. When I covered the men’s downhill in Val d’Isere, the town just north of the Italian border still was choked with snow from an epic December storm. At lunch, a waiter informed me I was sitting exactly in the spot where, a month earlier, two people were killed when an avalanche thundered into town. Oh??
L’addition, s’il vous plait.
At Les Arcs 2000, I gathered material for a column on speed skiing, a demonstration sport in which the helmeted competitors careened straight down precipitous slopes at speeds topping 100 mph. Earlier that day, a competitor took the wrong route on a practice run and ran into a snowcat hidden behind a drift at 80 mph. He was killed instantly. It was 11 degrees and lunch was served at an outdoor cafe located atop 100 inches of snow, not one flake of which had fallen in my presence. The cloudless sky was cobalt blue and majestic Mont Blanc, more than 75 miles away, seemed close enough to touch.
The region around Lillehammer was pounded by a record December snowfall of more than 60 inches in some towns. Most of it was still in place that
February for the juicy Tonya Harding-Nancy Kerrigan Hairpull Olympics. The chill between the two figure skaters was nothing compared to the numbing cold that prevailed for those games. The only snow that fell was from a starlit sky during the Opening Ceremonies. It was 15 below zero and the atmosphere was so dry, what little moisture was there became large, fluffy, flakes that floated in slow motion. With overnight temperatures as low as 30-below, volunteers in vans patrolled the area, picking up media members and games officials waiting for buses before they suffered frostbite. Les and I shared a small cottage that would be moved with scores of others to a lakefront location after the games and sold as vacation getaways. Ours was surrounded by huge banks of plowed snow. Not a flake melted during our stay.
Three weeks in Nagano yielded one miserable, 2-inch event that became instant slush. And, yep, the men’s downhill, first event of the games, was postponed a day by, you guessed it, too much snow in the nearby mountains and low visibility. Les went up into the hills and did a piece on the region’s fabulous snow monkeys, who bathe in hot springs. Naturally, it snowed for him. Les is a snow magnet.
Now, with weather history about to be made – a possible third 20-plus inch storm in the same season – we’re talking a maybe once-in-500-years occurrence, where am I? In Florida, waiting for the pitchers and catchers to show up. Not sunny Florida, either. This is the coldest place on earth when it is in the low 50s and the wind is howling off the Gulf. On the southern tail of the weekend Snowpocalypse, tornadoes and severe thunderstorms raked the Tampa Bay area.
My son rubbed it in by e-mailing photos of a 5-foot drift against our front door.
So in the generous spirit of the Olympics, I think the Delaware Valley should reach out to snowless Vancouver, Canada’s warmest city in winter, and invite the British Columbians to move their cross country
skiing, their biathlon and trick skiing events to Buffalo on the Delaware. Dump 40 inches of snow in South Jersey’s pristine Pine Barrens and you’ve got instant Norway. All you need is 50,000 folks camping out for a week to cheer their national heroes to victory.
And the demonstration sport can be the one that was improvised Saturday in Philly: the Art Museum Steps Toboggan Run. But we’ll replace curling – bowling with brooms – with a sport derived from the rich tailgating tradition of Eagles fans: hurling.”


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