XL in number but not in size or specatacle
OK so I am not exactly the world's biggest fan of the Super Bowl. I lasted until the end of the first quarter before falling asleep on the sofa this year but had quite honestly seen enough. Great for all Steeler fans such as Martin Dodds of the Fantasy League (last seen dancing on the Thames Barrier with a bottle of Moet et Chandon) and Nick Halling (last seen up his own arse), but not so good for Seahawks such as ex-Bucs Chartric Darby and Joe Jurevicius.
British TV coverage was its usual embarassing self - please get the contract away from ITV now! Starting the programme about 60 seconds before kickoff was bad enough, but combining it with Gabby Logan and Martin Johnson just is never going to work. Martin, you're a top bloke and you know your stuff but please get a personality! And as for Eagles LB Dhani Jones - did you think you were dressing for Antiques Roadshow?
Sky had their usual link-ups with a "celebrity party" somewhere in London, hosted by Sophie Blake in the lowest cut dress of all-time. Apparently she presents Sky's coverage of the speedway - based on that top and what it revealed, I know where they can park one of their bikes.
The National Anthem was interesting. Aaron Neville set a record for the slowest rendition (nine minutes just to reach "Rockets' red glare) which gave Aretha Franklin enough time to be signed to play left tackle for the Lions next season - she's certainly big enough now.
And then of course came all the controversy over calls by the officials or non-calls. I guess it's just the sign of the times, but the outcry this past week has been totally over the top. I've make my views clear on criticising officials in the past, but I did think the comment that Pittsburgh will face salary cap problems in 2006 by trying to pay the referee was quite funny on the side.
A few other matters
Congratulations to PTI's Tony Kornheiser for being named as part of the new Monday Night Football team for 2006. The show is moving to ESPN which gives Mike Turico the chance to call the games. The one downside is that the world's biggest arse, Joe Theisman, is also part of the same crew.
News has reached us from Tampa that the famous "Gaslight" club is no more. Phil and Mark Jones paid their respects outside the former home of the Bucs UK (allegedly!) in a moving one-minute silence last Friday evening.
And now comes the Pro Bowl, or as Denis Crawford brilliantly put it in his column, "Dancing with celebrities in pads". It's a joke game but it gives people something to write about when little Johnny doesn't get selected for the game and his hometown fans go ape on their local bulletin board (see Bucs fans and the A-Train as exhibit No.1). I've got a copy of the 1997 Pro Bowl taped from German TV which is still funny to watch even now - I mean, Trent Dilfer - Pro Bowl QB. Awesome.
You've been great - enjoy the Belle Stars.
Paul Stewart, February 2006