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
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.
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
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.
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!
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
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”)
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.
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.
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.
Esquire TV 8 p.m.
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).