Super bowl blog: pre-game

I thought it would be fun to ‘liveblog’ the Super Bowl, timestamping thoughts as they occur, with Dennis to confirm that I have not, in fact, edited my wit and wisdom (save for spelling, which is one of my things). In saying this, I’ve assured that only Micky, Dennis, and my dad will read this, but that’s fine. I like sports, so you will be subjected to musings on that from time to time.

Being as it’d be really irritating for me to send new entries every five minutes, I’ll break it down into no fewer than three segments- pregame, first half, and second half. As I haven’t watched the halftime show in years, you will be, mercifully, spared from anything other than commentary on that.

There’s a bandwagon theory in picking for either side today- either the Bears don’t have a chance; or nobody respects them, and they’re going to shock the Colts- but I can’t get behind Rex Grossman at quarterback. The difference between him and Manning is huge. Still firmly behind the Colts.

1:31 pm – Flip on CBS’ pregame, and  the first thing I see is Tank Johnson’s mug on the screen. Ugh.

At least Boomer Esiason had the gonads to say what most people have been saying for the last two weeks- Tank Johnsons shouldn’t be playing in the Super Bowl. Shannon Sharpe and Dan Marino are more wishy washy, saying it’s not up to the team to go against what the judge said, but Boomer summed it up nicely: “I’m sick of talking about this. There’s so many better things we could be discussing- Thomas Jones, Marvin Harrison.”

1:34 – Being as it’s three hours to kickoff, I’ve probably missed two thirds of the pregame, but I’m not all that torn up about it.

I figure I’ll mention I’ve only been up for an hour and a half at this point, as a result of my Mario Kart domination following the Flames game last night (Note: Actually, Ryan handed our heads to us for the majority of it, even doing the ‘double win’ trick on not one, but two occasions)

1:36 – Boston Pizza and Prison Break commercials. How many of those am I going to see in the next seven hours?

1:37 – First shot of Tony Dungy, leaving the hotel. I never noticed he was bald.

1:41 – Not that the piece on Walter Payton and Brian Piccolo isn’t a nice, touching piece, but it goes to show just how much time they have to fill during the pre-game.

1:45 – Esiason seems to be grandstanding today- mentioning he’d like to see more players like Payton, not demanding a trade, being loyal to their team.

1:47 – Shots of Grossman, Harrison, and Manning. Manning looks like he’s channeling Bill Belichick in those grey sweats.

Go to commercial, and flip to ESPN, see if they’ve got any pregame- they’re on commercial too. Gah.

1:48 – With two Flames wins, and the Super Bowl today, it’s a good weekend to be a sports fan in Calgary. Some concerns with their defensive play, but the fact that they’ve finally found some scoring is outstanding. Also, Kipper may need to sit a game at some point. He looked like he was battling yesterday.

That ‘Bud Light’ five minute date commercial is solid. I hope we see more of that today, and less of that dumb Boston Pizza one with the ‘dangerous flirt’.

1:51 – Commercial’s done. James Brown is a solid studio host.

Musical interlude with an old looking Stevie Nicks- I think we’re flipping channels.

1:52 – No, nothing else on, so we’re musing on something else now while Stevie attempts to sound younger than she is.

The music reminded me: Prince for the halftime show? As I quipped to Micky yesterday, “What, was they J. Geils Band booked?”

Yee gads, Stevie has to fill time during the guitar solo, so she’s spinning in place. That’s probably as much as she can do at her age. How old is she now? And how much did she have to pay to get on the Super Bowl pregame?

1:55 – “Coming up on the Super Bowl today” as they cut to commercial… Was that Joe Namath?

Wikipedia answered my question- Ms. Nicks is 58. That sounds about right, given how she looked.

1:58 – “Deal or no Deal” after the Super Bowl. You paid for the whole seat, but you will only need the EDGE.

I’m hungry, so it’s time for a food break.

2:16 – After a generous bowl of Two Scoops: Raisin, we’re back, though with Mom and Dad on the phone, there might be another break once they’re done yakking with Dennis. CBS is doing the obligatory tribute to the armed forces, complete with someone in Baghdad- still classy, even if it feels a little rote at times.

Another Flames note- Dennis and Micky both commented during the game last night that we didn’t see a lot of Rhett Warrener. One of them supposed that he might be hurt, but I figured they’d have said something if he was.

Turns out he was injured on his first shift, which I read in the paper. And it wasn’t mentioned once during the game, which we watched the entirety of. Might have been during the intermissions, during which we played some Mario Kart, but the play by play crew didn’t say anything about this.

In conclusion, we’re awesome.

2:18 – Come to think of it, Aaron, he may not even have been African-American. He might have been Canadian.

2:21 – First shot of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms, who are calling the game. Simms starts talking about Peyton Manning’s footwork. I think ‘So when does that become happy feet?’ just as Simms talks about the difference between that and happy feet.

2:22 – I almost confused Boomer for Simms earlier on- with CBS cutting from one to the other, I don’t feel so bad about it now.

Cut to commercial, where Brown previews the next segment: A sitdown with a ‘defiant’ Rex Grossman. Grossman could be great, and he could be terrible. Sure, people have been ragging on him, but he’s had some stinkers this year.

2:27 – Leslie Visser sighting! Where has she been hiding, with the mediocrity patrolling the sidelines and writing on the NFL today? Turns out she’s doing the piece on Grossman.

Grossman: “There’s been 11 or 12 games that I’ve been extremely proud of.” Aaand, as for the other four or five…

Sure, Lovie’s behind him, but he has to be. He’s a good coach- he SHOULD be behind his quarterback. A controversy there can kill a team. That’s part of what did in Jacksonville this year, I think. That, and David Garrard sucks.

2:33 – A Hines Ward story? What year is this?

2:36 – The Dennis Green rant! Yes!

That game is one of the reasons I’m not picking the Bears. Arizona would have beaten them- in CHICAGO- if Dennis Green had put it in Matt Leinart’s hands.

2:38 – Highlight montage- with some shots of Devin Hester. People talk about Hester as the X factor, but he can be had. The game after he had the 3 TDs, he had three fumbles (all of which were recovered by him, I believe). He could change the game for the Bears, but it could go either way

3:00 – Done talking with Dad- he’s surprised I haven’t talked about the Flames picking up Conroy. Simply put, I loved the deal. Lundmark and a couple of draft picks that aren’t first rounders? Done.

That’s a Darryl Sutter deal, through and through. Not necessarily a big name outside of Cowtown, but Conroy’s a good piece to add at this time of year, and someone that the team and the locker room is familiar with. Most importantly, he isn’t a rental player- he’s under contract for one more year after this one. And you know he’ll love being back in Calgary.

Is he done dealing? Maybe. Oddly, I think they might need another defenseman, in the Warrener mold. Or a backup goalie, if they’re not going to play McLennan.

3:02 – They’re talking to Dungy now, and asked him how he’s going to deal with the pre-game and halftime festivities. He doesn’t sound concerned, but he’s going to let them relax.

3:05 – Urlacher is a monster. Still, I grinned when I saw Butkus saying that Urlacher has to ‘be meaner’.

3:08 – Bill Cowher coming onto the set after commercial- taking bets on the first one to ask where he’s coaching next. My money’s on Boomer.

I’ve got a side bet on Marino being the first one to get spit on by Cowher, as he’s the closest.

3:11 – There’s that Boston Pizza ad again.

3:12 – The Grammys are next Sunday. Apparently the Police are reuniting. How much money did someone have to wave in front of them for that?

And a little miniature American Idol contest to sing with Timberlake. How quaint.

3:15 – Archie Manning on the set. That’s at least the fourth guest they’ve had, with Armen Keteyian, Leslie Visser, and Katie Couric on earlier. How many of those headset mics have they gone through?

Peyton should never have talked about that tango he did in junior high on media day. You knew, you just knew, the moment he said that someone made a video, that it would be all over the country by 6 PM the next day.

“Deep in the Manning vault”, indeed.

3:19 – T-minus one hour and eleven minutes until the game starts, with at least another fifteen minutes for anthems, tributes, and pregame hoopla. I started this much too early.

24, Prison Break, AND Heroes? Sounds like a good night. I keep meaning to watch Heroes, but I’ve never found Prison Break to be all that great.

As for that ‘The Jane Show’? Yeah, pass.

3:21 – Bill Cowher looks really good in a suit. As Brown said, he’s much too young to retire.

It’s too bad that the league’s apparel people won’t let coaches wear suits on the sidelines. How can that be worse than Bill Belichick looking like he walked in from a morning jog?

3:23 – Cowher talks about coaches having to ‘be themselves’, contrasting his ‘words of encouragement’ with how guys like Dungy and Smith do it. Though Cowher’s words are occasionally more colourful than a religious guy like Dungy.

And Marino ruins my bet by being the first one to ask about where he’s coaching next, though not directly.

3:27 – Being bombarded with L.A. weight loss commercials, though at least they had the decency to have variety in their spokespeople. 207 lbs. is NOT a typical loss in any weight program. But of course, they get the commercials, while in the fine print: “Results not typical.”

3:30 – Is it me, or does Marino sound a little defensive when he talks about Payton Manning? Having him do the interview is an easy fit, though.

3:32 – And Payton makes light of his reputation as a guy who does a lot of commercials. I actually enjoy it, even if it seems like he’s in an awful lot of commercials. He seems to have fun with it, and it’s a nice contrast to his intensity on the field.

3:34 – One concern I would have with the Colts is that beating the Patriots might have been their personal Super Bowl. They’ve cleared their big hurdle, and they may be emotionally spent. I haven’t seen this angle yet in the coverage, and with as much as there has been, that surprises me.

On the other side of that, it could be that beating the Patriots inspires them further, as the Red Sox beating the Yankees in the ’04 ALCS was for them. So there’s that end of it as well.

3:38 – What’s with all the weight loss ads? I’d forgotten Kirstie Alley was still alive. Star Trek 2 was a long, long time ago.

“How much trouble can your child get into online?” Lots. Supervise them. There, I just summarized a half hour news report in three words. No need to thank me.

3:40 – Time for picks. Boomer takes the Colts, saying it’ll be Manning’s “crowning achievement”, with the Colts winning 31-21.

Marino- big surprise- also picks the Colts, though he mentions Vinatieri as well as Manning. Now Shannon’s going to take the Bears, to be different.

Shannon picks the Colts too, though he gets his out when he says he wouldn’t surprised if the Bears win. He talks about the Indy recievers against the Bears cornerbacks, who are susceptible to what they call “double moves”.

JB bows to the pressure, and picks the Colts, throwing a shout out to some doc who fixed his eyes. Seemed like odd timing for that.

3:44 – I worked at Tim Horton’s once. I’m glad I don’t now. That breakfast sandwich sounds like more work than I want to know, and I already knew far too much.

3:43 – Did I hear that right? Cirque de Soleil (definitely butchered that spelling) after the break?

3:47 – I did, apparently.

3:49 – Just saw a bunch of guys dressed up as referees riding in on… what are those, ostriches?

Checking my glass, to make sure someone didn’t slip alcohol into my drink. This performance, while impressive (and colourful. Definitely colourful), is weirding me out. I’m taking a breather.

3:58 – Boston Pizza commercial, take 3.

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