Tag Archives: Super Bowl

How to talk to your kids about Richard Sherman

While trying to keep an open mind, I’ve been watching the arguments unfold the past couple of days in the wake of Richard Sherman’s bombastic remarks after the Seahawks defeated the 49ers in the NFC championship game.

Outrage was in abundance that night, with many football fans denouncing Sherman as an ungracious lout and vowing to root for the Broncos in the Super Bowl to spite him. (I’ve read, too, that there was a lamentable racist slant to many attacks on Sherman, although I  observed none from those I follow on Twitter.)

A contrarian view came up in response to the denouncers, and that is that it was “refreshing” that a player would speak so openly in an era of the NFL devoid of controversial figures.

My take?

I approach it the way my father did when teaching me about sportsmanship, and I hope I conveyed the same message to my own children: Compete as hard as you can. Never taunt, never boast, never gloat. When the game is over, be gracious in victory or defeat. Shake your opponent’s hand and say “good game.

That’s the code you follow to become a man (or woman).

I wouldn’t have to ask my father what he thought of Sherman’s outburst, and I’m sure my kids don’t have to ask me what I think.

 

 

 

 

New York vs. Boston again – but I’m OK with that

On these posts I’ve complained, whined and kvetched about how America’s major television networks and the media overall are obsessed with the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry.

Super Bowl XLVI is upon us, and we have another Boston-New York matchup with the Patriots and Giants. The network executives must be mighty pleased that those two big northeastern markets are reprented, but NFL execs are always  pleased with whatever teams are playing.

The Super Bowl is the biggest thing in sports – in this country, anyway – and it will draw monster ratings even if Tennessee is playing Tampa Bay. The big game rules regardless of the market size of the competing teams.

In the NFL, talent is dispersed, dynasties are rare and most teams have at least a strong  hope every few years at getting a shot at glory. Except maybe the Cleveland Browns.

There’s a lesson for Major League Baseball in the NFL’s universal success. Football has unified national appeal. Baseball, while enjoying broad appeal nationwide, is at heart a region-by-region, market-by-market affair.  And the game pays a price for that.

My TV is too lame, so I can’t host a Super Bowl party

At a measly 36 inches on the diagonal, the low-def television set in our family room  is simply too pathetic for me even to begin thinking about inviting people over to watch the Super Bowl.

Our Toshiba is a hand-me-down from my brother. He gave it to us when he moved overseas back in 2001, when Tom Brady was in his second season with the Patriots and Eli Manning was making his mark at Ole Miss.

The TV darn near broke my back when I hauled it out of my brother’s New York City apartment and ‘rassled it  down the stairs to our family room in New Jersey. Muscle spasms aside, seeing that 36″ screen was a thrill  for somebody whose earliest television memory is of watching a modest black- and-white Admiral catch fire right as Mary Martin came onscreen in “Peter Pan” back in 1960.

The Admiral was replaced by a Zenith (“The quality goes in before the name goes on”), which was to be the set on which I would watch the first football game I can remember. That was the 1964 NFL championship game, in which my Dad and I watched the Cleveland Browns defeat the Baltimore Colts. Even that childhood TV experience was cut short. Electronic “snow” filled the screen late in the fourth quarter as the sun set and we lost the signal from the Toledo station carrying the game.

Although I’m sure it happened a few times, I’m hard pressed to remember watching a Super Bowl in my own home. It seems we’ve always been guests at the home of somebody with a bigger, more manly set. At a co-worker’s place in Omaha as Da Bears won Super Bowl XX. At the home of friends in the Bay Area as the Packers took Super Bowl XXXI. And so on.

This year, we’ll again beg the gracious hospitality of friends across town who have an HD set so big that it’s measured in meters. Wes Welker will appear actual size. And I’ll sit there in a comfy chair, goggle-eyed at the spectacle of punts and pixels, knowing that my TV is today and will be forever too lame to afford me the pleasure of walking over to my own refrigerator for a beer during the big game.

Exit, 49ers, and bring on baseball!

With the 49ers’ overtime loss to the New York Giants still stinging sharply, I turn to my blog and the prospect of another baseball season for solace.

As a (baseball) Giants fan, it was weird — and damned annoying — to hear chants of “Let’s go, Giants” ringing out from Candlestick Park after today’s NFC Championship game.

The baseball Giants have their roots in New York, of course, and I guess that must count for something. In my New York/New Jersey years, I followed the (football) Giants and will likely be rooting for them in the Super Bowl.

But it’s going to take several days before I get the disappointing end to the 49ers’ season out of my system. Give me time to heal, please.

Baseball is greater than football

A simple message for Super Bowl Sunday, 2011: Baseball is greater than football, and I can prove it.

Has anyone ever watched a baseball game for the commercials?

Q.E.D.

Peering past Super Bowl Sunday to the start of Spring Training

We have one more week of bread-and-circus hoopla leading up to the Super Bowl, and then we can shift our full attention to what really matters: baseball.

Spring training is just around the corner. Knowing that pitchers and catchers will soon be breaking out the balls and mitts keeps us going through the cold months.

As much as I anticipate the return of the daily ritual of baseball, I know that these long weeks of winter are necessary to keep the love of the game alive.

For this San Francisco Giants fan, this will be the shortest off-season in my lifetime. I hung on every game through the end of the World Series, which ended in November, for goodness’ sakes. The new season starts early, on March 31.

Bring it on.

 

A great matchup for Super Bowl XLV

The best teams in football advanced to the Super Bowl today – Green Bay and Pittsburgh. On paper this appears to be an epic matchup between franchises with great legacies, and it’s likely to draw a huge TV audience in the U.S. and around the world.

The pairing of the Packers and Steelers also underscores my point from a few days ago that football, unlike baseball, has a universal appeal among fans. If the Milwaukee Brewers and Pittsburgh Pirates were facing one another in the World Series (and that will never happen unless the Brewers go back to the American League, and even then…), network executives in New York would be flinging themselves from office towers in despair.

When they straggle in to work tomorrow morning, Fox Sports executives will likely be sobering up after celebrating their good fortune tonight.

Let the hype begin.

Great moments in radio: Drew Brees on ESPN

What a kick it was this morning to drive to work and hear Drew Brees on the ESPN Radio show The Herd with Colin Cowherd. This was not your ordinary morning-after interview with the winning Super Bowl quarterback.

A few minutes into the  interview, Cowherd asks Brees when he learned the Saints were going to open the second half with an onside kick. The only response is some dead air and shuffling sounds. Then a different voice comes on and says Brees is taking a call from the president and will have to call back.

That was pretty cool — almost as unexpected as the Saints’ kickoff.

But even cooler was that a few minutes later, Cowherd is informed that Brees had called back. And indeed he had, giving Cowherd a few more minutes.

“He’s the nicest guy in the world,” Cowherd said of Brees, and he was right on.

The Super Bowl: Ode to consumerism

New iPhone in hand, I went to the grocery store with my family the other day to pick up a few provisions for dinner. Near the checkout aisle was  row of Super Bowl caps done up in blue and orange in what is either homage to the Denver Broncos, a jab at them or mere coincidence. In any event, as I got a better look at the photo on my PC this morning I couldn’t help but take delight in how the caps are placed in the perfect setting, surrounded by junk food in a modern American supermarket.