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Random Thought While Watching the SuperBowl 

click to enlarge How fast are you?
  • How fast are you?
How fast are you?Any doubt that sports and politics don't mix?

Perhaps, you missed the usual pre-game shots of American troops in Iraq. Or the flyover by United States Air Force. Yeah, nothing like a bit of compulsory patriotism with your professional football.

And, just how American is the NFL?

If Left Field had the financial means to establish a professional football club with a desire to join the NFL, well, the league restricts the number of franchises (currently, 32), charges a multi-million dollar entry fee (Robert McNair paid a $700 million expansion fee for the Houston Texans to join the NFL in 1999), and does not allow multiple teams in markets (exception: New York) without compensation to an existing team.

By contrast, 40 professional teams exist in or around London at the eight levels of soccer in England. In fact, five Premier League teams called London home (Arsenal, Chelsea, Fulham, Tottenham Hotspur, and West Ham). If you've got the money, honey, well, you can start a team and join a respectable league. Sounds a bit more democratic than the NFL.

Favorite Super Bowl commercials: The rather overweight, intense tow truck driver shucking and jiving to MARRS "Push It" with jumper cables attached to his chest. Ben Roethlisberger singing Rupert Holmes insipid soft rock classic, "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)."

Describing the strategy of New York Giants' defense coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, color analyst Troy Aikman: "He's going to do what he does." And that is?

After Wes Welker catches a pass and evades a tackler, Joe Buck intones that the receiver is "doing what he does best." And that is?

As a public service, in case you missed the Super Bowl ads (you really can accomplish a number of chores and activities during the numerous breaks): Myspace/superbowlads.

Running backs used to run to the outside. Now, Lawrence Maroney and Brandon Jacobs were running to "the edge." Sounds quite a bit cooler than "the outside."

Did anyone understand anything Tom Petty sang during the halftime show at the Super Bowl?

Hhhmm...Roger Clemens earned, according to Darren Rovell's calculations on CNBC, $982,801 per start, $175,512 per inning and $10,748 per pitch for the New York Yankees in 2007. much did Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers earn per song during the halftime show? (The group played four).

Did the halftime show seem longer than the first half of the Super Bowl?

Peyton Manning appeared in school plays. Eli Manning might be doing commercials without his brother after the Giants' quarterback's performance in the Giants' 17-14 upset victory over the previously-undefeated Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.

If anything critical was falling, Left Field would want Wes Welker at the receiving end.

Well, Tom Brady is human after all. Even with 25 seconds left and three timeouts, the best of quarterbacks cannot pull rabbits out of their helmets all the time.


At a recent 80's theme party, Left Field won one of the "80's Gift Baskets." Along with a DVD of Pretty in Pink, a grape drink and a mini Etch-a-Sketch, perhaps, the ultimate symbol of 80's kitsch, a Rubik's cube, beckoned.

Now in the last couple of months, we've tried to solve the puzzle without success. Our eleven-year old son asked, "Dad, do you think we'll ever solve this?"

Likely only if we call Ryan Patricio. The Temacula, CA, resident averaged 14.92 seconds in solving the three-by-three-by-three cube five times at the U.S. Open. His best individual time: 11.98.

By the way, the world record for cube solving is 9.55 by Ron van Bruchem of the Netherlands set in 2007 at the Dutch championships. Patracio just set the world record for one-handed cube solving with an average time of 20.66 at the UCSD 2008 event on Jan. 27.

Cameron and I usually stare at the cube for that length of time.


Yes, fans pay good money to watch professional and college sporting events. But, how far are fans allowed to venture beyond boos, applause and the occasional heckling before the line must be drawn?

Well, the University of Oregon basketball fans tested the limits when UCLA and former Lake Oswego High School star Kevin Love visited the Pit. Oregon's infamous Pit Crew hurled obscenity-laced verbal grenades, flashed signs insulting the Bruin center and his family and displayed Love's cell phone number on placards. How bad was the Duck supporters' behavior? Duck coach Ernie Kent took the microphone to implore the crowd to find civility.

Fortunately, Love handled the potentially volatile situation with class and poise. "Just a successful trip, that's all I can say." The standout UCLA freshmen displayed a lot more class than the Duck fans.


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