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February 9, 2011 9:00 AM

Column Awards of the Week (2/2-2/8)

By updating RealClearSports I read hundreds of articles every week but sometimes there are particularly passages that need highlighting. And to make these passages more palatable I'm doing them in award form! The awards are completely random and will change weekly (though some may become reoccurring).

Column Awards for slide.jpgThere's no bigger sporting event in America than the Super Bowl. For columnists, it's like if Brett Favre texted Michael Jordan a picture of a three-way he had with Tiger Woods and Candace Parker (google analytics is going to love that sentence). Surprisingly though, there weren't that many horrible articles after the Super Bowl. Sure there was a lot of the same ones about Rodgers emerging from Favre's shadow, Polamalu's poor performance, the turnovers and Big Ben's redemption falling short but most weren't too outlandish. But there were a lot of stupid arguments made before the Super Bowl started. The topic that annoyed me the most and got far too much coverage was the problems in Arlington/Dallas.

The columnists slammed the area, the NFL and Jerry Jones for picking Cowboy Stadium and for not being prepared for the weather. On top of slamming the logistics (and God), some thought it should never have ended up in Dallas and should always take place in a warm climate. Others argued the NFL should give every team an equal shot at the Super Bowl and thought it was ridiculous that the league favors the new stadiums. Reading all of these insane and inane arguments was exhausting.

North Texas got ridiculously unlucky with the weather. I guess they should've been more prepared but what were the chances the temperatures would be 30 degrees below normal and there would be a freak snowstorm. Cold weather isn't unheard of during that time of year but those temperatures and that amount of snow pretty much are. Let's not write off the best stadium in the world because of a freak storm (although, I'm sure Jerry is working on his weather-controlling machine right now). 

I'm not going to argue for or against where the Super Bowl should be held - because it doesn't matter. This is the NFL's decision and the league will do what will best maximize profits for the league. The Super Bowl isn't some charity to give away. It's not going to take place in Cleveland or Buffalo. The NFL will put it in a major metropolitan area and rake in the cash as it always does. But I'm sure all of this weather stuff will be brought up again next year when it's in Indianapolis and before it heads to NYC (technically Jersey) and the same crap will be regurgitated all over again. On to the awards!


Most Insane Anecdote
I'm not sure if this is true or not but if it is, well, it's insane. Bill Livingston of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes about economic affairs in the NBA in the '70s: Players were out on the street if they didn't win in the '70s. For that reason, they did anything to stay on rosters. Once, the late John Q. Trapp, a forward on the 9-73 Sixer team, was going to be pulled for a substitute. Trapp refused to go to the bench, nodding toward the stands, where an unidentifed cohort stood, opened his overcoat, and displayed a revolver. Trapp stayed in the game.

Cleveland fans everywhere wish this guy had done that to King James to keep him in town and on the court.

Refreshingly Honest
Mike Wise of the Washington Post added this quote from Gilbert Arenas: "Maybe I wasn't worth the contract. Hey, I don't think anyone's worth $100 million if Michael Jordan wasn't, but hey, that's what Abe Pollin thought I was worth, and if someone puts $100 million in front of you, you're gonna take it, too."

This should be the attitude of any athlete that gets criticized for their salary. What would you do if someone offered you that cash?

Blind to the Irony of His Argument

Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe sees a problem with calling it the 'Super Bowl': Excuse me, the SUPER BOWL!!!!! That's what we had here at Jerry Jones's over-the-top edifice last night. We had a football game to decide the championship of a sport commonly played only on our continent, and over the years this game has acquired such a prominent place in American life that no one even questions the pompous manner in which we enumerate the games. It was not the 45th annual Super Bowl. No, indeed, it was Super Bowl XLV. ... I grew up at a time when it was not at all uncommon for World Series games to be broadcast into our classrooms, especially if your teacher was a Dodgers fan named Sister Mary Gabriella, which happened to be the case in my class at St. Joseph's School for grades 3, 4, and 5. Baseball, not football, ruled in those days.

So it's not alright to call it the Super Bowl but it IS okay to call it a WORLD Series when there's one team outside of America competing for the title? It's not like calling it the Super Bowl has any inference that the winner owns the universe or something. And with 111 million people watching, that's pretty damn super to me .

In addition to his problems with Super Bowl, he also sees the event as somewhat of a status symbol: Where, and with whom, one watches the Super Bowl is an important decision. Doing it as a solo act is not really an option. The modern definition of a true loser is someone who watches the Super Bowl alone.

Welp, call me a loser Bob because I think I prefer watching it alone. I prefer to actually WATCH the game instead of hearing people babble on about a fake baby smashing up against glass or another guy getting hit in the crotch in a commercial. Some people prefer watching football and hope to enjoy the play on the field.

Best Analogy
Gregg Doyel of CBS Sports has a great analogy for college recruiting: A college recruiting class is filled much like a hot dog. How did it happen? Trust me, you don't want to know.  ... It's filthy, recruiting in college football. It's a hot dog that fell off the table and rolled under the refrigerator. You're not going to eat that thing. Just leave it under the fridge -- pretend you never saw it roll there. Ignorance is bliss.

Mr. Doyel, don't tell me what I will or won't eat.

Anti-American Rant of the Week
Bruce Arthur of the National Post (Canadian paper) wasn't too pleased with the spectacle that was the Super Bowl. He listed all of the crazy images used by Fox over the course of the night and then added:  They forgot Jersey Shore, but included a commercial for a car that allows you to check Facebook while you drive. If you're looking to parody the Super Bowl, everybody, you might as well give up now.

That's America for ya. It's an insane spectacle where glitz and glamour overshadow any real significance. Where the words to the Star Spangled Banner don't matter and the Black Eyed Peas top the charts. A place where we waste money like it's our jobs (jobs we don't have and money that we're borrowing). A place where...hold on a sec...Facebook's telling me they're running a Jersey Shore marathon on MTV. I've got to go live Tweet this thing. GTL.

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