Tuesday, February 8, 2011





The Super Bowl was a very good game between two very good teams who played all-out football from beginning to end.

I noticed that there was a minimum of trash talk between the players and there were no phony demonstrations of rage or strength when either team made a play of minimal magnitude. Celebrations happened for big plays that happened at important times of the game.

I hope that every defensive player for every team that was out of the playoffs watched that game and noticed that not once did a defender do a “chicken walk” or flex his muscles after stopping a run for a one-yard gain. Maybe if those defenders on those teams at home focused more on playing the game and less on demonstrating how “great” they are, they might be in the playoffs next year.

The same goes for offensive players; I hope they noticed that not every first down in the game resulted in the offensive player giving the first down signal with Sir Laurence Olivier drama.

When the advocates for using municipal bonds to fund the building of a new NFL stadium pull out the “we can host a Super Bowl game” card, I do not think this will be one of the brightly illuminated facts they use to tell the locals how great that will be.

I'm pretty sure everyone reading this either watched the Super Bowl or has a good idea of what happened. The Packers jumped out to a 21-3 lead thanks in large part to two Ben Roethlisberger interceptions, the Steelers then closed the gap to 21-17 before it all came down to a wild 4th quarter where the Packers were able to hold on for the 31-25 victory. So I'm not going to add another recap to the overly large number that are already floating around in cyberspace. Instead let's look at the large number of flubs or mistakes, both on and off the field, that plagued what is supposed to be the biggest game in sports:

It started with Lea Michele (no surprise there as Fox tries to cross promote any way they can) of "Glee" doing a decent version of "America the Beautiful", but that was the highlight of the singing department. The Black Eyed Peas had a visually stunning halftime show, but their singing sounded muted and overwhelmed by everything else that was going on. But the real low-light of the night was when Christina Aguilera sang the National Anthem. She started singing and seemed off pitch, before capping it all off by messing up the words. Instead of singing, "O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming," she re-sang a slightly altered earlier verse by singing, "What so proudly we watched at the twilight's last reaming," Oh, that naughty, naughty twilight. "I can only hope that everyone could feel my love for this country and that the true spirit of its anthem still came through," she said after the performance.

Before the game, Jerry Jones said he wanted to break the old Super Bowl attendance record of 103,985 set in 1980 in Pasadena's Rose Bowl. But like everything he's touched this season, it's turned to shit. He would have set the record if not for the fact that 1,250 ticket holders showed up to the game only to find out their seats weren't finished. Two sections of temporary seating didn't get finished in time leaving the NFL scrambling to fix the situation. Ultimately, they were able to find seats for 850 of those ticket holders, filling seats that someone else could have had if not for this problem, but 400 were left to watch the game on TV. The tickets cost $800 and the NFL has said they'll refund them $2,400 in an attempt to make up for the inconvenience. No word yet if the NFL will refund them for the price of their airline tickets, car rental, hotel, overpriced food, time they took off work to go to the game, or the overinflated price they paid for the tickets when they bought them on the secondary market.

Because of a freaky snowstorm that hit the Dallas area, 4 of the 10 entrances to the stadium had to be closed. Combine that with the added security of the Super Bowl and the waiting time to get into the stadium jumped from an average of 15 minutes to 90 minutes. And to think people thought the lines to ride the new Harry Potter ride at Universal Studios were bad. The lines were very long and people didn't even know whether they were in the right line or not. Every where they looked, there were just fences and screens.

Before the start of the game, Terry Bradshaw said if the Steelers have the ball with less than two minutes to play and the game on the line, Roethlisberger will drive them down the field for the win. Turns out, the Steelers found themselves exactly in that position. Down by 6 with 1:59 to play, the Steelers had the ball at their own 13-yard line. Unfortunately for them, Ben couldn't even drive them to midfield, let alone the whole way. Not to mention he threw two costly interceptions in the first half that put them in this position to begin with. "If I had played a little bit better, I feel like we would have had a better chance to win the game," said Roethlisberger. Really?

For the longest time, John Madden was my least favorite sports announcer. How many Thanksgivings did we really need to hear about his stupid turducken? But he's gone now and Joe Buck has taken over the top spot. He seems to get holier-then-thou at times, misses calls, shows favoritism towards some teams and players, and generally acts like he just doesn't care.


The following is from the January 20 Peanut Gallery:

“Well, if “Shorty’s (Ray)” contributions to the game merit recognition, then I suppose that Ed Sabol’s contributions are just as important. (Please don't confuse Ed with his son, Steve, who is a co-founder of NFL Films.)

Sabol took the game and created a way to present it to fans in an entertaining way all-year round. Moreover, NFL Films really represents an audio-visual archive of the NFL for the vast majority of its existence. Obviously, Ed Sabol did not do this all by himself, just as no running back in the Hall of Fame achieved all of his yards and TDs by himself, but he had the vision and the persistence to make NFL Films what it is.

Ed Sabol definitely deserves to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a “Contributor” to the game.” It should have happened years ago when he retired.” END.

Well, last Saturday, Mr. Sabol, was among the seven-man class that was elected by the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Selection Committee who met in "North Texas" (???). The newest members of the Hall were selected from a list of 17 finalists who had been determined earlier by the committee.

Besides contributor Ed, the remaining members of the Class of 2011 Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinees include: defensive end Richard Dent, running back Marshall Faulk, linebackers Chris Hanburger and Les Richter, cornerback Deion Sanders, and tight end Shannon Sharpe.


(AP) In the waning minutes of Super Bowl XLV, with the Green Bay Packers clinging to a 3-point lead over the Steelers in an exciting game, the two teams took off their helmets, picked up picket signs and went on strike.

The players circled the field with picket signs that read “More Work? Less Pay? No Way!”,On Strike: An 18-Game Season Is The Reason,” and “@NFL Commish Sucks”.

Only after a panicked commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL owners caved in to almost every one of their demands did the Steelers and Packers return to the field, where the Packers wrapped up a six-point victory.


The Never Miss a Superbowl Club: From left, Tom Henschel, Robert Cook, Don Crisman, and Larry Jacobson.
Going into this year, four men had attended all 44 Super Bowls. I’m sure you’ve seen the four men gaining recognition by being featured in a national Visa credit card commercial for never missing a Super Bowl game. It was predicted here a couple of months ago that the commercial would be the "Kiss of Death" for at least one of these guys.

Well, this past Sunday, the “Never Missed a Super Bowl” club was trimmed to three, as Robert Cook, 79, of Brown Deer, WI, was hospitalized last week and didn’t make the trip to Texas. His two daughters went in his place.

Cook's wife, Sarah, said they were packed and ready to go last Thursday, but her husband became very weak and ended up in a hospital. Sarah says her husband was very depressed, as his streak is over. He did watch the game on TV from his hospital bed and was feeling a little better, as his Packers won it.

Donald Crisman, Larry Jacobson, and Thomas Henschel attended the game and now have all been to each of the 45 Super Bowls.

Cook's daughters enlarged a photo of their dad and attached it to a stick that they held up during the game, so he was there in spirit.


On the Monday (2/7) Morning Show on KGOW 1560, Lance Zierlein, when asked what happened in the Lingerie Bowl, acted as if there was no game this year. And just because a sports talk host doesn’t know about something, it doesn’t mean that it never happened.

FYI - As in the past, Lingerie Bowl VIII was held during the halftime of Super Bowl 45 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas in front of a crowd of about 3,000, as the Los Angeles Temptation defeated the Philadelphia Passion, 26-25. Both teams entered the game undefeated at 5-0.

Don’t be fooled, as the game was closer than the score indicates. The blocking was crisp; the tackling fierce. There was a flea-flicker and two double reverses. Game MVP, Ashley Salerno, threw a tight spiral from one end of the T&M to the other that shrimpboat,  Melissa Marguiles, hauled in over her shoulder in full stride for a touchdown for the game-winning play of the game.

There was one partial wardrobe malfunction during the game (please see above).


Speaking of the LFL (Lingerie Football League for the acronym-challenged), there will be an expansion team next year in Green Bay. The coach will be Gilbert “The Gravedigger” Brown who once played for the Packers as a defensive lineman/nosetackle from 1993-2003 (he sat out the 2000 season due to his contract not being renewed). The home games will be played at the Resch Center, which is located in nearby Ashwaubenon, a suburb of Green Bay. 

Fans can suggest a team nickname on the league's website (http://www.lfl360.com/articles/lingerie-football-league-announces-2011-expansion-to-the-frozen-tundra-of-green-bay/), and the person who first suggests the winning name will win lifetime home game tickets. Wow!!!

Nicknames already in use in the 10-team league: Seduction, Sin, Desire, and Passion.



Check out this promotion that appeared on the Web Site of the self-proclaimed, “Global Leader in Sports Gaming Information”:

“On Saturday morning, sportsbetting.com will randomly choose one NCAA Basketball game as the “Top 25-$25 Mystery Bets. Anyone who makes a single wager of $75.00+ on the side or total of one of the “Mystery” games, will win a free $25 bet.”

In other words, ‘Hey, suckers, spread $75 around multiple times on games that you may not have had any intention of betting otherwise. Maybe one of those games will be the mystery game. If it is, we’ll throw you a $25 bone for being so kind as to fall into our trap and allow us to take advantage of you.’

If you’re really the Global Leader in Sport Gaming Information – which someone else would need to call you for it to be true – then you probably don’t accept an ad like that. Any company that sells handicapping selections, but is affiliated with sportsbooks and dependent on them for revenue is creating the possibility for conflicts of interest. If you sell selections, you represent the player. Period.

Any business relationship with an online sportsbook immediately crosses the line into potential conflict and misrepresentation, and there are no legal regulations to prevent this from happening. A person wouldn’t even know if the handicapping company was receiving a percentage of their losses with the sportsbook – based on the selections they receive from the handicapping company. In other words, the handicapping company could be rewarded by the sportsbook when the company’s purchased picks lose. Imagine that?


1. Overlooked in off-season moves made by the Yankees is the signing of Bartolo Colon to a minor league contract. The Yankees seem to be trying to become the most gravitationally enhanced team in baseball with CC Sabathia, Bartolo Colon, Joba Chamberlain, and Andruw Jones. And Phil Hughes is not exactly a “little guy”, but he is svelte compared to the other four.

2. Bob Griese announced his retirement from ESPN/ABC as a color commentator. He has been doing that for about 25 years and he said that it was time for him to “experience new things”. I will also get to experience something new - a color commentator who is less downbeat in his presentation.

3. Will the NHL ever come up with a permanent All-Star Game format? By my count, the event has paired at least five different sets of opponents over the years. There was the Stanley Cup champion vs. All-Stars, East vs. West, Wales vs. Campbell, North American vs. World, and, in the latest example of idiocy, Lidstrom vs. Staal, in which the captains for each team now select players from a combined pool of both fan balloting and the NHL Hockey Operations Department.  What’s next? Single Guys vs. Married Guys? Full Dentures vs. Crowns?

4. With the possible exception of the arctic conditions, the biggest crisis in the Dallas metroplex last week was created by a shortage of strippers. So what kind of people did you think the Super Bowl attracted?

5. Last Wednesday (2/2), was National Signing Day. Surprisingly, for a national holiday, schools, banks, and post offices were open. Hope you and your family had a nice holiday and as you gathered at grandma’s house for a big dinner, you said a prayer for those unfortunate college football programs that didn’t load up on “five-star” recruits. The suggested meat for signing day dinner is "bologna" (aka "baloney"). FYI - Ben Roethlisberger nor Aaron Rodgers was a “five-star recruit”, however, Jimmy Clausen was.

6. It’s a good thing they didn’t have tweeting back in 1980 after the Astros’ J. R. Richards had a stroke. Otherwise, he would have been ripped apart and dumped on for faking it, just like Jay Cutler was accused of.

7. People are already whining that Super Bowl 48 in 2014, which will be played in New Jersey will be an "ice bowl" in which we will be able to see the condensed breath of all the players who will be sliding all over the field. But then a check of the game-time weather this past Super Bowl Sunday at the New Meadowlands Stadium was clear and 44 degrees F with winds at 5-10 mph, so stop your whining already.



Yesterday’s Record ATS: 3-1
Cumulative Season Record ATS (excludes “pushes”): 330-212

Today’s Action (for reading purposes only):


MIAMI* (-10.5) over INDIANA

There is nothing like a new face to perk things up for Indy. The Pacers won their first two games for interim Coach Frank Vogel and they scored over 100 points both times. This is an important game for the Heat, as they have a four-game road trip coming up quickly. Eddie House is playing high-level basketball of the Miami bench. He had 15 in 21 minutes in the recent win over the Clips and Mike Miller has been making good decisions with the rock. MIAMI, 112 - 95

This is a difficult game for Memphis, as they lost to the defending champs last night, but the Grizz put together a nice string to end January, winning 6 of their last 7 in the month. The Thunder has to defend better, but contributions from Serge Ibaka and Nick Collison off the pine proves they are no one-trick Durant pony. OKLAHOMA CITY, 92-86


UTAH (+17.5) over SAN DIEGO STATE*
Kawhi Leonard was cramping at the altitude at Utah in their last meeting, and will likely be in far better fettle here, but this is an outrageous number for a team with one thing in mind – late March (the idea of the Aztecs being denied an at-large bid, if they don’t win the Mountain West tournament is absurd, since they’re better than BYU, and will demonstrate that fact, later this month). No need to extract undue punishment, here . . . just win comfortably, and move on to Vegas, and the next big W. SAN DIEGO STATE, 72-62



Email: houstonmediawatch@yahoo.com
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