Super Bowl XLIX Week in Arizona

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at Super Bowl Week XLIX from “The Valley of the Sun” – aka: Phoenix/Scottsdale/Tempe/Glendale et. al.

This place is fabulous. But you already knew my opinion on Arizona, right? Sorry about the snowstorm getting ready to Kam Chancellor the East Coast with replacement referees not watching for helmet to helmet contact, but hey, when are we going to learn that living up in those places means dealing with that nonsense every winter.

/global warming dig
/Al Gore joke

As you listeners/readers may know, I have become selective in terms of which cities to bug my employers to send me when it comes to the Super Bowl. Cold weather recent venues (Indy/NY?) Hells, nah!

Arizona? I’m in.

Maricopa County has grown from 2.6 million residents in 1996 (Super Bowl XXX, where Neil O’Donnell handed that jackass Barry Switzer his ring) to nearly 4 million today. So the place is doing something right!

The photo above was from that venue, the ASU campus stadium, which was deemed “good enough” by the league back then to get it done. Also, what I find interesting, is that all the photos from the 1996 game I find on-line, are clearly printed analog photos, that have been scanned. Digital cameras and the internet were still tiny tadpoles, in what is now our sprawling digital age.

Which got me to thinking about this annual tradition of “radio row” and “saturation coverage” leading up this game. This week WAS what the internet and digital media now delivers every day, every week, every season. Not just 4 or 5 stories about a game, but 40, or more. And more. And more.

It was sorta special then, because when else would you have so much content produced by so many outlets, for just one game? Answer: never. Now, this degree of content about sports, and big games, gets produced on a regular basis thanks to the miracle of cheap (actually, almost FREE!) digital publishing platforms and countless numbers of highly creative and thoughtful people out there hustling to make a name for themselves.

In other words: every day in sports land, is Super Bowl Week. It’s just going to cost our employers more money this week!

But I am going to take a low-key approach this week, if it’s okay with everybody. Because who cares about me and the per diem spending, really? I’m barely going to tweet, if at all, and I’m just going to do the best shows I can do from here.

And I think they will be good, and focused.

Because this should be an epic game. Incredible, interesting matchups galore. Lots of “legacy” crap on the line for both teams/coaches/QBs. Big contract looking for Russell Wilson. What happens if all of a sudden, the carriage turns into a pumkin and he looks even WORSE than he did against Green Bay before they collapsed?

(Don’t scoff. Many would argue that New England’s defense is every bit as good as Green Bay, if not better. Plus, hello. Revis.)

Even the guys who don’t say anything – like Beast Mode and the Hoodie – are still fascinating in the way they say nothing, and why they say nothing.

I think #deflategate will cease to be much of anything by Wednesday, with the only last flurry left being Roger Goodell’s obligatory corporate-speak, ass-covering answers in his state of the union presser on Friday.

There might be some fun/semi-relevant shenanigans and we will of course let you live a bit vicariously through us on those moments, if/when they happen.

In the meantime, here’s a video that has a mere 16 million hits in about 1 week. I always think “well, SURELY everyone has seen this already after getting passed around via Facebook, Twitter, email and such” but then you may still have missed it.

How many takes, and how many creative writers it took to make this bad lip reading video is beyond me. All I know, is that they are geniuses.


If You Have A Nimble Hand, and 0.65 Seconds, You Can Do It

So here’s the deal. It would take a very deft ballboy/equipment manager to EXPERTLY remove exactly 1 pound of PSI from a football. Watch the video to see exactly how quick TWO pounds of pressure bleeds out when you stick it with a needle.

1.3 seconds to be exact. To we’re talking a PFFFFFT of approximately 0.65 seconds to bleed off one pound.

Can it be done? Sure!

But to do that 11 times on the sidelines of an NFL game, with so much on the line, I’m skeptical.

I would be more apt to believe the Patriots engineered filling the balls with warm air – or a similar geo-thermal “trick” I am too stupid to imagine – so that they “naturally” bled off a pound or so of PSI once exposed to the 50 degree outdoor weather.

Mark It Zero, Belichick!

So here we are America, on the precipice of terminal national stupidity.

The two biggest scandals in the last few months have been the size of Kim Kardashian’s greased-up ass, and the mysterious loss of 2 PSI in 11 footballs in a single game, in a single half, where not a single record was broken, en route to a 45-7 thrashing.

Hey, China! If you ever thought about invading, now’s a good time.

I think we’d be a pretty easy mark at this point in our 238 year history.

Those pressers on Thursday were the biggest hypocritical shit-show I’ve ever seen.

The professional NFL media is as easily manipulated as the watchdog who can be silenced with the mere toss of a steak bone, yet bark like maniacs when you turn on the vacuum. The same professional media openly abets the league when it tries to shake down cities for new taxpayer funded stadiums by breathlessly reporting every relocation rumor, yet gets their pants in a wad about whether a gay player is getting a fair shot in training camp.

Professional buffet grazers like Bob Kravitz of the Indy Starr and Rob Borges of the Boston Herald are now demanding Belichick get fired, and incredulous that Brady doesn’t have instrument grade PSI sensors in his fingertips.

I especially loved how at one point Thursday, a reporter frustrated that Brady hadn’t yet simply admitted he was indeed a witch, basically begged him to say “sorry” – for something, anything, I suppose.

There are questions so simple, and yet so unanswerable, they ought to make half-smart people stop acting like idiots.

Questions like…

Q: If the various game officials who handle the footballs can’t notice a discernible human difference to stop the game and change balls, then how can it possibly matter?

Q: If everyone thinks throwing and catching an NFL football is so much easier at 11 psi instead of 12.5, then why isn’t THAT the official recommended inflation point?

Q: If it’s so crucial, why not glue a tamper-proof seal over the nipple before the game, and remove any ball which has that seal broken?

Unless the NFL has some kind of proof the Patriots did something, then they got nothing. You better have good video of a kid on the sidelines, or somebody credible in the building who you can flip.

Brady and Belichick didn’t owe anybody anything Thursday. All they should have said is: “The league’s investigating, and we’re cooperating fully.”

But every armchair Perry Mason in the room couldn’t help shouting over each other, in a desperate fling at delivering the “ah HA!” question that would reduce either guy to a puddle of confessional tears.

It’s impossible to hate that crowd any more than most fans already do.

But yeah, they’ll say, it’s about the “integrity of the game.” It’s about RULES, man!

Geezuz. Really? Since when did everyone turn into Walter Fucking Sobchak? “MARK IT ZERO, NEXT FRAME!”

This is a league that shits on it’s own “rules” whenever the situation is inconvenient, or if they just feel like it.

You know, like those new fancy concussion RULES for players on the sidelines? Russell Wilson took a Cat-5 direct hit from Clay Matthews, and was looked at for “about 2 seconds” according to Fox’s Erin Andrews.

You know, like the time the Redskins and Cowboys followed the written RULES on the so-called “capless year”, and then were HAMMERED by the NFL for violating an un-written and patently illegal “you better not do that” warning from several of the more powerful owners?

You know, like the RULES regarding player retirement not being used as a convenient end-run around escaping a team’s contractual rights?

Brett Favre was trying to slink his way to the Vikings, when the Packers realized, “holy shit, we can’t let that happen! He might hurt us!”

So they engineered a trade with the Jets, complete with poison pill language to make sure he wouldn’t be immediately re-routed to the Vikes. Favre plays one crappy year in NY, and then… ta da!… retires.


So what do the Jets do, once he’s safely on their “Retired/Reserve” list.

They RELEASE him. For. No. Fucking. Good. Reason.

Here, don’t believe me? The NY Daily news smelled a rotten fish the whole time…

“This move raises many questions.

On the surface the move makes no sense for the Jets, who would have owned Favre’s rights through 2010 when his contract expires. Now, if he signs elsewhere, they’re not entitled to any compensation. It cost the Jets a third round pick to acquire Favre last summer from the Packers, who dealt him after an ugly divorce.

Unless he is planning to return, Favre had no logical reason to request his release. The Jets didn’t have to accomodate him.”

And yet they did. And of course he DID un-retire one more time. And then he proceeded to squarely fuck the Packers up the ass for two seasons like he had planned to all along, in a scenario the Packers were willing to pay good money to explicitly avoid.

And did the NFL explain the Jets’ curious release of Favre? Or block his un-retirement as a circumvention of league rules?

Of course not.

And the media was nowhere to be found. Keep barking at the vacuum cleaner you dummies. You are starting to do the impossible: making the rest of America part-time Patriot fans.

The Three Worst Images in Recent Packer History

Once you see the Morgan Burnett “lie-down” play in the “All-22″ coaches film format, you will want to re-smash your remote control all over again.

Not to beat this into the ground, but the fact that Burnett had somehow felt surrendering was the “smart” play tells you the Packers did not have the true “60 Minute” mindset that football coaches like to preach over and over and over again.

I personally think, it’s 50/50 he scores. 70/30 he runs it into immediate field goal territory. And 100% chance he crosses midfield. The fact that Julius Pepper – elected a post-season CAPTAIN – decides to signal the surrender, instead of peel back upfield and start “huntin'” is equally sickening.

Watch if you want, but I warn you: it’ll haunt you forever as a fan.


Maybe not as much as this bitter pill from that other AWFUL night at a frigid Lambeau Field. There was the old gunslinger, with lots of GOOD options… and he chose – the worst. At the worst possible time.


Then of course, if you really want the 3rd photo in the set (I know, you did not ask for it, but here it is anyway) you get the famous Lance Easley “Fail Mary” call.

Two lessons come to mind.

1. Remember what Al Swearengen said in Deadwood: “Pain or damage don’t end the world. Or despair, or fucking beatings. The world ends when you’re dead. Until then, you got more punishment in store. Stand it like a man… and give some back. ”

2. You gotta fight for every INCH, and never look a gift-20-yards or more in the mouth. The movie Any Given Sunday got a lot of shit WRONG about football, but not this speech from the coach.


Liar’s Impulse

I don’t get with athletes and leagues these days. They think they can lie to the world to cover up embarrassing incidents, and that nobody is going to ask any follow up questions.

The biggest such lie was Roger Goodell’s claim that nobody in the NFL offices saw the Ray Rice video until TMZ released it. They also claimed they made repeated efforts to get the video from authorities in New Jersey and casino security.

That was a lie.

The Mueller report – while unable to find a woman in the league’s offices willing to commit career suicide and admit to Mueller their boss is full of shit – did not necessarily clear the NFL.

The report just said: “We can’t prove it.”

Robert Allenby had a helluva a weekend too on the PGA Tour. It looked like he was dragged on his face for 9 holes on the back of a golf cart.

He says he was kidnapped and robbed, basically minding his own business with caddy and friend at a “wine bar.” Well, it does sure seem like he was robbed, as his credit cards were being used around town.

But robbed how? And where? And why? By who?

Did you get “pimp jumped” looking for some strange? Drug buy gone bad? In deep with gamblers?

The full story seems elusive, and now one of the homeless women who saved the golfer contradicts large parts of his tale. It also doesn’t pass the basic smell test. If you want to rob Allenby, stick a knife in his face, and be done with it.

Kidnapping is such a bother! Not to mention much more dangerous in terms of getting caught!

Then came Tiger’s “Tooth-gate.”


Monday morning, the first pics of “Toothless Tiger” came out. People on the internet were like, “what, the bloody hell???” Then about an hour later, Tiger’s agent says the following in a statement.

”During a crush of photographers at the awards podium at the World Cup event in Italy, a media member with a shoulder-mounted video camera pushed and surged toward the stage, turned and hit Tiger Woods in the mouth,” Mark Steinberg of Excel Sports said in an email. ”Woods’ tooth was knocked out by the incident.”

Oh, really?

So that picture of “Eldrick T. Spinks” which features NO facial abrasions, blood, or swelling, happened just hours ago? And there’s no video of the incident? And the photog has not been named? Nor apologized?

Hmmmm. Then came this….

“Race organizers said this was not reported to them. They added that Woods did request extra security and a snowmobile to exit the finish area, and organizers met both requests.”

”I was among those who escorted him from the tent to the snowmobile and there was no such incident,” Nicola Colli, the secretary general of the race organizing committee, told The Associated Press. ”When he arrived he asked for more security and we rounded up police to look after both him and Lindsey.”

So yeah. Expect Tiger to change the subject quickly, the next time it comes up, if at all.

Do we really care about any of all of this? Not really. But give us, the sporting public, a good little lie to untangle like a ball of yarn, and believe me, we’ll get right on it!

Skinner and The Superintendent – The Simpsons from Dave Sawyer on Vimeo.




“Nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to know.”

-Pema Chodron, Buddhist Author

the GIF

Marshawn Lynch’s original best-evah celebration while at Cal: “The hijacked field vehicle” move. Wonder how much the NFL would fine him for THAT!?