IT’S ALL HAPPENING! Thursday, January 30


This is how it could feel at about the time Bruno Mars takes the stage.

 1. Super Bowl Low Winter Sunday

Honestly, I’m all for the unique spectacle –as long as it remains unique –of a chilly, perhaps even sub-freezing, Super Bowl. Besides, the weather peeps are now forecasting temperatures in the high 30s for game day. The chill isn’t my problem, particularly because I’ll be watching the game on television.

Here’s my question, though: If you were attending the Super Bowl in person, don’t you think you’d probably need to leave even earlier than you might regularly do for a game because of security, etc? And because most of the attendees are not locals, and because Met-Life Stadium is not within walking distance of anything unless you happen to be a toll-booth collector, doesn’t that mean that most people will be using public transportation?

And so my question is, What do you do at Giants Stadium once you arrive (oh, and did you know that they’ve banned charcoal grills, propane tanks and open flames in the parking lot of any kind, so even if you do have a car, you’ll need an electric grill to properly tailgate)? For three hours or so? You cannot sit in your car and wait it out. And there’s no real indoor areas, unless you have luxury box seats, once inside the stadium.

Roger Goodell and the gang are awfully lucky. The last two days in New York City, the mercury has not climbed above 21 degrees. If the Super Bowl had been held either day, you’d have been exposing almost all of the fans attending the game to those temperatures for at least seven hours. Perhaps more.

And I haven’t really seen this story in the media–could it be because much of the media will be seated inside a heated press box and so it hasn’t occurred to them? I don’t know.

You can talk about how the game will affect players’ performances, but I doubt it will. Especially since both teams hail from cold-weather towns and it’s going to be above freezing. I’m thinking more of the fans –and I haven’t even mentioned that alcohol intake will only accelerate the lowering of body temperature. And so I’m with Don Shula, whose Miami Dolphins played in the heretofore coldest –39 degrees –Super Bowl on record: Why?

2. Trio Grande

Tyler Ennis is Canadian and plays a sport in upstate New York, but he is not to be confused with the Buffalo Sabres’….

Not that it matters, but there are still three unbeaten in college hoops: Wichita State (22-0), Syracuse (21-0) and Arizona (20-0), the latter two of whom won last night on the road. As ESPN noted, the last year three teams started out at least 20-0 was 1976, which is also the last year a men’s basketball team –Indiana–finished an entire season, NCAA tournament included, undefeated.

Today’s question: Where are the potholes?

Shockers: Easiest schedule of the three, since all games are versus MVC foes. Look out for games at Indiana State (16-5) on February 5 and at Northern Iowa (terrific arena) on Saturday night, February 8.

…Tyler Ennis, who is Canadian and who plays a sport in upstate New York.

Orange: Toughest remaining schedule, as the ‘Cuse faces No. 17 Duke home-and-home (beginning this Saturday at the Carrier Dome), is at No. 18 Pittsburgh on February 12, and will have a sneaky tough game in Charlottesville versus the Cavs on March 1.

Arizona: The Cats shouldn’t lose, but if they do it could come as soon as Saturday at Cal (14-7) or at rival Arizona State on Valentine’s Day, which also happens to be the state’s birthday. Did they plan that?

3. Rick Reilly Smackdown

And so people remembered that “Crowd Goes Wild” is still on the air.

Oh, Riles. Did you really refer to Regis as “the little guy in the make-up” at Super Bowl Media Day? That did not go down well with Reege’s on-air cohort, Kate Nolan, who administered an on-air objurgation on her octogenarian colleague’s behalf. Oh, yes, there was much objurgating going on. And somewhere, Riles was smiling, because they were talking about him.

4. Crucifictorious!

Notre Dame’s Crossroads project. Fans may take some time to get attached to it.

You know that neighbor who has decided to add on to his den because it’s going to make the room so much more spacious (plush theater seats for EVERYONE!), but you’re afraid to tell him that he may be ruining the aesthetics of his home’s exterior? Uh, hello, Fr. Jenkins…

Notre Dame unveiled its $400 million stadium expansion project yesterday, the Campus Crossroads Project, that will be 33 months in the making (33 is a popular number around Jesus fans) and will, according to the school, create 750,000 square feet of new space. Which isn’t actually true. It’ll just take 750,000 square feet of what was refreshing, soothing open air and transform it into classrooms, an indoor basketball practice facility, 3,000-4,000 new seats for well-heeled alums, and a 500-person ballroom…which is bizarre, since DANCING IS A SIN!

Muffet reminds Mike Brey that SHE is the one who’s been to three consecutive Final Fours, calls dibs on practice times at new hoops facility.

Anyway, our good friend Ken Fowler (class of ’08, I believe, and also an alum of Duke Law School) saw entirely through the ruse. Fr. Jenkins wanted a bunch of new toys, but it’s hard to get boosters on board for some of them. So, you know how pols attach pork to a bill while getting the bill passed? Well, Fr. Jenkins literally attached these projects to the stadium. Boosters will spend for a stadium renovation, particularly for more luxury seating so that they don’t have to share a press box with sports writers –and their acerbic in-game tweets concerning said millionaires’ lack of observation of the cardinal rule of the press box– so then you just attach a slew of pet projects to that renovation plan. And you don’t just attach them in principle; you attach them structurally.

As Ken wrote, “Can’t get anyone to fund the music building? Connect it to the stadium. Basketball facility? Football stadium! Student center? ND Stadium!!!”

I hope I’m still around when Ken becomes athletic director at Notre Dame some day…

5. We’d Like To Make A Withdrawal

In news unrelated to this item, Christie Brinkley is still in her 50s…for three more days.

So, the federal government –technically, that’s “us” in lower-case letters — has asked a judge to up the penalty on Bank of America for lighting a house fire on the American economy from $863 million to $2.1 billion. Which, granted is almost a tripling of the penalty.

So what? Wouldn’t it be better to send some of BoA’s top executives to, as that character in “Office Space” so warmly phrased it, a “pound ’em in the ass” prison? I mean, sure, still collect the $2.1 billion. But that executive who conjured the Countrywide scheme, well, he’s already living large and will continue to do so. What does he care?

Rule No. 2: The only REAL commodity is time.


Really enjoyed Jeff Pearlman’s Quaz with Chuck Culpepper. I met Chuck during on an otherwise dreary November Saturday in Starkville, Miss., in 1993. The Mississippi State game (I cannot even recall whom they played) was boring, so Chuck and I spent the entire game talking. As most people do, I found Chuck insightful, wise, kind and witty. He’s everyone’s friend on the beat because he’s such a giving person. And I’d echo his words to Jeff, that at the top of his list for career priorities is “Adventure.” That’s always been near the top of the list for me, too. (Right below “complimentary tote bag”)


Gandhi: The ONE lawyer everyone seemed to like. Him and Lester Munson.

Though Day of Yore is in hibernation, this is historically a bad day for pacifist revolt. Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated 66 years ago today, while 13 protesters in Northern Ireland were gunned down by British troops on this day in 1972, a moment better known as “Bloody Sunday.” Some readers will consider the greater tragedy being the boost it gave to U2’s career.

 The Hall

Charter Inductees: Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner

1937:  Tris Speaker, CF; Cy Young, P.

1938: Grover Cleveland Alexander, P; Eddie Collins, 2B

1939:Nap Lajoie, 2B; Joe Jackson, LF

1940: Billy Hamilton, OF; Cap Anson, 1B

1941: Wee Willie Keeler, RF; George Sisler, 1B

1942: Rogers Hornsby, 2B; Pie Traynor, 3B

1943: Mickey Cochrane, C; Frankie Frisch, 2B

1944: Ed Walsh, P; Old Hoss Radbourn, P

1945: Lou Gehrig, 1B; Kid Nichols, P

1946: Ed Delahanty, LF; Lefty O’Doul

1947: Pud Galvin, P; John McGraw, INF

1948: Carl Hubbell, P; Addie Joss, P


Harry Heilmann, RF/1B; 1914-1932, Detroit, Cincinnati

“Slug” had a career batting average of .342, 12th all-time, and was the last American Leaguer before Ted Williams to have a .400 season (.403 in 1923). A four-time A.L. batting champion, he should also be remembered as the first ball player to hit a home run in EVERY Major League ballpark in use during his career.

In the offseason, Ward conducted trains…without changing uniforms.

Monte Ward, P/SS; 1878-1894, Providence Grays, New York Giants, two others

Granted, Ward played in baseball’s primeval era, but he owns the fourth-best WHIP of all time (1.04) despite having pitched more career innings (2,469) than two of the men above him on that list, Addie Joss and Mariano Rivera. In 1879 Ward, who also amassed 2,107 career hits, had a record of 47-19.

Remote Patrol

Groundhog Day

Esquire TV 8 p.m.

Bill Murray’s attempt to provide more than just laughs here shouldn’t get lost in translation.

Sure, it’s airing a couple of days early. And you are probably like me: Do I even get Esquire TV? Still, I contend that besides being very funny, this is one of the deepest movies ever filmed. The conceit being: If you had to relive the same day over and over, wouldn’t you eventually endeavor to live it as well as you possibly could? So then why not treat every day that way? Genius. And Ned Reyerson, you goof, always stepping in that slush puddle (UPDATE: My bad, Needlenose; it’s Phil Connors who steps into the puddle).

3 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING! Thursday, January 30

  1. Well, I wouldn’t say my Heaters failed their “midterm” last night but they certainly didn’t grade higher than a D+. Sigh. Oh, alright, if someone had been lurking around my house around 9:00 PM or so, perhaps some channeling of Nancy K may have been heard (“why, WHY, Whyyyeeeeeee?!”) And they had started out so great! They, er, STORMED the Thunder in the 1st quarter! It was glorious!

    But, I tell myself this loss is a GOOD thing. (Rationalization & opposable thumbs – human triumph over lower life forms, e.g. Laker fans…) Yes, this loss forces the Heat to recognize the ‘off-on switch flipping system’ may not actually get them to a 3rd straight title. But since we’re only halfway thru the season, there is still oodles (um, jock jargon) of time for a course correction.

    I like Durant. I’d even root for him, if only ’cause he’s a MARYLAND boy (whoo-hoo, homie!), if there was no LeBron. But there is. And KD shouldn’t prepare mantle space for that MVP trophy just yet. My guy’s just getting started.

    And thanks for the LeBron pic yesterday. Perhaps not the photo I’D have chosen of Sweet Baby James in that vest from Battioke 2014, no, I’d have gone with one that revealed he was not wearing a shirt & those awesome abs gave his sexy shoulders some competition. Excuse me, feeling a little lightheaded…

    For the record, I HATE even the idea of Super Bowls in cold, crap weather cities. I was even selfishly hoping there’d be a blizzard just so the NFL wouldn’t try it again. And every time I hear another blowhard on TV grouse that “football is a cold weather sport, etc”, I want to throw him into a car stuck on an Atlanta interstate yesterday. For 10 hours. Yeah, cars are for “cold weather” too.

  2. Oh, one more thing about last night’s “midterm” – the Heat’s FINAL grade is 100% based on what happens in May-June. In some respects, that game could be looked at as practice, yea, little Iverson…”practice, we talkin ’bout PRACTICE!”

  3. Congrats if you own UA. I’ve had that stock on my Watch List for 3-4 years. Finally moved it to my “To Buy list” last year but was hoping/waiting for it to go back down to low $60s during a market correction before buying. Darn. (Another MARYLAND guy btw, both the state & my alma mater).

    Meanwhile, 1 of my stocks (INFN) has jumped up about 29% today. Whoo-hoo! Of course, it had fallen a freakin forty % since October so not doing the Dance of Joy just yet.

    And just saw on your twitter that apparently Thayer Evans did not enter Sportswriter Protection after all.

    BTW, what do you think of your “buddy”‘s (Seth Davis) Wooden book? I’ve only read 2 excerpts but was greatly suprised about some of the things I read. I didn’t watch/become of fan of UCLA til the Walton years & Bill has always said such glowing things about Coach Wooden that I guess I assumed all his players had thought that way about him & that program. Was also further enlightened about the mostly unhidden “financial aid” (wink, wink) in widespread use in colleges at that time. Bet any college athletes that have fallen foul of the current NCAA “rules” must go ballistic when they read it. Luckily for UCLA & colleges everywhere, they are not ruled by an org like USADA. If they were, all their athletic championships would be STRIPPED (going back 20,30,40 years) & they would be henceforth tagged as “running the most sophisticated, professionalized, successful cheating program that sport has ever seen”. Can’t wait for THAT book.

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