Monday Musings: Super Bowl edition
By Mark Concannon
February 7, 2011
This week's edition is devoted entirely to my week in Dallas covering the Super Bowl.
THE SPORTS WEATHER GODS - do not like Dallas, which got record snowfall when hosting last year's NBA All Star Game and had snow, ice and temperatures in the 20's for nearly all of Super Bowl Week, greatly reducing fan mobility to various shops and businesses. I'm guessing hotel room service had a boffo bottom line.
PASS THE SALT - Roads and sidewalks were still ice and snow covered several days after Tuesday's storm. Efforts to put sand on the surfaces were not effective and according to local officials, Texas roads are not constructed to withstand rock salt.
HAIL! HAIL! - A strike by some local Taxi drivers created a Mad Max environment in the competition for getting a cab.
THE REAL SUPER BOWL - wasn't so much about the battle between the Packers and Steelers at Texas Stadium. There was a far keener competition to see who could get into the hippest parties during the week. While I was writing in the media workroom, I overheard some PR exec making desperate calls for 90 minutes to score a ticket to the Direct TV bash. He did not succeed.
HOT TICKET - Stub Hub reported the average price paid for a Super Bowl ticket was highest among fans in California where the average ducat went for nearly $3,900. New York was next at $3,485, followed by Pennsylvania ($3,121), Wisconsin ($3,060), and Texas ($3,003)
YOU CAN'T GO HOME AGAIN - Waukesha native Frank Caliendo, a nationally known comedian, does a weekly big game prediction on The NFL on Fox pregame show. There are producers who work with him on making his picks. "They actually wanted me to pick the Bears over the Packers in the NFC championship game," Caliendo told me. "I had to fight for that one. If I had picked the Bears, I wouldn't have been able to go back to Wisconsin again." Frank also picked the Packers to win XLV.
I AM FINALLY ON FACEBOOK - because of former Steelers receiver Yancey Thigpen. Thigpen became a Lambeau legend for dropping the game winning pass in the end zone in the final seconds 15 years ago, giving Green Bay a victory and the division title. I tried everything to get in touch with him to get an interview, including friend-requesting him on Facebook, which of course I had to join. He didn't "friend" me, but through another contact, he called me and we had a delightful 20-minute conversation.
SMALL CITY, BIG TROPHIES - Even with Sunday's loss, Pittsburgh pro sports teams have won 11 championships with its three major league clubs since 1971. The only town that has fewer than four big league clubs that has won championships remotely close to that number is San Francisco/Oakland, which has won 6.
DUMB QUESTION - One reporter actually asked Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin if he would spend any time going out clubbing last week. Tomlin just shot the guy a look and waited for the next question.
MY FAVORITE INTERVIEW - was Giants quarterback Eli Manning who told me he was rushing to a radio interview but said, "Walk with me." So I did, getting Eli's take on Super Bowl XLV as we descended an escalator to Radio Row.
MY FAVORITE SOUND BITE - was from Fox analyst and Hall of Fame Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw, answering my question about Ben Roethlisberger and Aaron Rodgers handling pressure from blitzes. "The thing about blitzes, is that if you're on the money that day," Bradshaw said, hands gesturing, voice rising and eyes widening with excitement, "you can fry 'em!"
We're all pretty fried from two weeks of Super Bowl coverage but we'll rest up, be "on the money" and return with more musings next Monday, February 14th.