Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Stupid Bowl Sundaze
2007-02-04 06:43
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

I was a devoted football fan from about 1979-87. I rooted for the Cowboys during their declining years and, locally, for the Jets, during their typical Jets years (some promise, much frustration). My favorite players were Tony Dorsett and Tony Hill, Wesley Walker and Kenny Easley (the AFC's answer to Ronnie Lott). The greatest game I ever watched was the Chargers-Dolphins playoff overtime game, a week before the most painful game I ever experienced---"The Catch." I would religiously get together with friends growing up, play a big game of pick-up football on Super Bowl Sunday, no matter how cold. Then we'd go to one of our houses to watch the (usually lousy) game.

I don't care much for football anymore, though I will watch games during the season. It's hard for me to make it all the way through one though (I get bored so easily), and I don't know many of the players and coaches in the sport. Still, I was thinking the other day, that I've watched every Super Bowl since 1979. Haven't missed one. To my mind, the first one I saw is still the best, in terms of sheer excitement and great plays: Super Bowl XIV between the upstart Rams and the powerhouse Steelers, Jack Youngblood playing the game with a broken leg, Vince Ferregamo almost pulling off a Joe Nameth, John Stallworth's brilliant receptions, Jack Lambert's game-ending interception. After that, Super Bowl XXIII (49ners over Bengals) was incredible, as were XXV (Giants v. Bills), and Super Bowl XXXIV (Rams over Titans). Recently, the Patriots have played in two damn good games too.

So, will you guys be munching away, watching the game, or at least the commercials, later this evening? I'm rooting for the Colts, but wouldn't be terribly upset if the Bears won (so long as Manning has a good game in defeat). Whatta ya hear, whatta ya say?

2007-02-04 07:03:37
1.   yankz
Go Colts, go Peyton. I don't know if I can handle all the A-rod comparisons, though
2007-02-04 07:28:30
2.   RIYank
I'm the other way: I like defense, so I'll be pulling for the Bears, but I wouldn't be upset if Peyton got the monkey off his back. (On the other hand I can't stand Bill Polian.)
2007-02-04 07:42:46
3.   Sliced Bread
Jints fan here, so you know which Bowls were my favorite.

One of my favorite SB Sunday memories takes me back to the early 80's. Don't remember which Bowl, but I remember it was Pavano cold that day. A few of us were still up for playing our annual game, but we couldn't get enough guys, so we bagged it --well most of us did -- but not Danny Murphy.
I was treking across the frozen tundra on the way to my friend's house for the game. Completely bundled up, leaning into the frigid wind. Under my hood and ski mask I heard the muffled noise of someone shouting my name. I looked out toward the football field, and there was Danny Murphy with his dog. Murph was wearing not much more than his Brad Van Pelt jersey, and was kicking field goals -- into the wind.
He wasn't a field goal kicker. Wasn't even on the school football team. Murph was a runner.
In the summertime, Murph would show up at my house at 7am ready for stickball. "Wanna play ball... or what?"
Murph followed his father's footsteps into the NY Fire Department. I'll never forget him out there kicking field goals in ten degree weather.

Taking my boys to a birthday party at lunchtime today, then it's off to our friend's place in Westchester for a great Super Bowl bash that's become an annual event. It's a big catered thing, with huge TVs, bartenders, fine wine, Cuban cigars etc.
At halftime last year we were out on the deck with the cigars, watching through the window as the Stones did their thing. Mick Jagger in Hi Def, yikes. Prince will look better as long as he goes easy on the pancake makeup.

Don't care who wins. Let's go numbers (if ya know what I mean)!

2007-02-04 07:43:00
4.   nemecizer
I think football is dead boring. Maybe it'd be more interesting if the winning team got to eat the losing team, or something like that. Pitchers and catchers in 9 days!
2007-02-04 07:45:17
5.   mehmattski
Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Bears!

Actually, I want Peyton to win. But the fact that Da Bears are in the Super Bowl allows me to yell the above over and over, which is an added bonus.

2007-02-04 08:09:04
6.   Mike T
My interest in football is only lukewarm as well; nice to see I'm not the only one who finds it to be rather boring. That said, I would like to see Indy win so people would just stop talking so much trash about Peyton Manning. Give the guy a break; he's one of the best ever at his position.
2007-02-04 08:38:58
7.   OldYanksFan
What's Football?
2007-02-04 08:47:51
8.   OldYanksFan
Please, please, please..... NO FOOTBALL talk.
Will Rajah choose NY over Boston?
And IF he does, do we really want him?
And IF we do, is this just to prevent him from pitching for Boston?
But please... NO Football.
2007-02-04 08:57:44
9.   Sliced Bread
8 - Despite recent hints that he might be leaning toward a return to NY, I still think Rajah finishes in Beantown. And as you and others have suggested he probably should.
Do I want him on the Yanks? Eh, I certainly wouldn't be disappointed if he chose the Yanks, but at this point I'm more excited about the pitchers we already have, especially the kids coming up.
2007-02-04 09:01:34
10.   OldYanksFan
I'm not sure if 39,000 ESPN visitors means much, but I was VERY surprised at the results of this survey, specifically:

1) Which was the best offseason pitcher acquisition?
40.5% Andy Pettitte to the Yankees
23.2% Daisuke Matsuzaka to the Red Sox

2) Which was the worst offseason pitcher acquisition?
35.8% Daisuke Matsuzaka to the Red Sox
24.4% Gil Meche to the Royals

3) Which team will sign Roger Clemens?
64.2% New York Yankees
15.3% Boston Red Sox

4) Which Japanese import will have the better year?
55.3% Daisuke Matsuzaka
44.7% Kei Igawa

Is seems that the general public is NOT as taken by DMats as fans in NY and Boston.

2007-02-04 09:04:14
11.   OldYanksFan
9 Probably just as important an issue is:
I'm not sure Rajah is the answer, but I'll bet we'll need a mid-season SP aquisition.
Aside from Raj, WHO ELSE might be available, and 'gettable' for the Yanks?
2007-02-04 09:33:48
12.   Raf
7 "Football is a ball game played between two teams of eleven players, each attempting to win by scoring more goals than their opponent. Football is played predominantly with the feet, but players may use any part of their body except their hands and arms to propel the ball; the exceptions to this are the goalkeepers, who are the only players allowed to handle the ball in the field of play."

Heck of a game, this football. The world is absolutely nuts about this game ;)

2007-02-04 09:54:15
13.   mehmattski
11 I hear there's this guy named Hughes who can "Phil" in nicely in midseason. And he costs nothing! And he's half as old! I have a feeling a Roger signing will end up making Pavano's contract look like a wise investment. Pass.
2007-02-04 10:04:51
14.   Jim Dean
11 Zambrano. (If the Cubs are WAY out of it and even then they might just let him leave as a free agent rather than admit their failures again by dumping him)

Though the Yanks won't NEED another pitcher given that mid-season they'll have a solid #1 (Huge), solid #2 through #4 (Clippard, Sanchez), and solid 5's (Rasner, Karstens, White) ready to toss in 50 to 100 innings.

I think it would be a mistake to trade the 5's just to get a Loaiza/Lidle back.

And given the price of Zambrano (cash and prospects), I'm not sure trading for him will be worth it. Sure, if he makes free agency then they spend whatever it takes. But if it's going to require four arms (with one of Sanchez and Clippard) and then 100 million, I'd wait. Wang, Moose, Pettitte, and Huge could win a title on their own if the offense cooperates.

By the way, you're more pessimistic than me if you think they'll need to acquire another arm mid-season. They have maybe 10 guys that could give them league average numbers (or close) and then another 10 guys for the bullpen. Pitching is one area they don't need anyone, though Zambrano or Roger could provide a nice upgrade over what they already have. But even then, that's no sure thing given the NL to AL translations.

2007-02-04 10:18:10
15.   Zack
The best thing about the superbowl is that it signals the coming baseball season. Usually the games are putrid, but its a good excuse to eat pub food and be lazy with friends. But then, as soon as its over, there is no excuses left for not turning 100% to baseball...
2007-02-04 10:22:33
16.   Raf
15 March Madness?
2007-02-04 11:07:57
17.   Chyll Will
My brother asked me who I was rooting for in the Super Bowl; I said Indy, since I definitely feel all the things Dungy's been through (in fact, a lot of the players' backstories are very interesting this year) and he said he was too, but he was itching to make a bet. After some prodding on his part, I relented to choose the Bears (he's my Big Brother after all), so now we had to decide the stakes.

"How much you wanna bet? How much you wanna bet? How much you wanna bet?" he kept repeating like a Bhuddist monk on anphetamines. "I'm not giving points on this, by the way. Howmuchyouwannabethowmuchyouwannabet, howmuchyouwanna...

"Okay, umm..." I stammered, "how about fifty?"

*"DAMN!!!" he roared, making me drop the phone in open pot of cooking stew.

Now I'm hoping the Bears win so he can replace my phone.

2007-02-04 12:16:04
18.   Cliff Corcoran
I say Colts by two touchdowns. And for yucks, here's my list of the Top-10 all-time Super Bowl finishes (I's a couple years old, but stands as is):

2007-02-04 12:24:59
19.   Jeb
Football question for a football thread.

Last night I watched super bowl 3 on the NFL network last night. With 2:26 left in the game, the colts faced a 4th and 5 from the jets 19. The colts were trailing 16-7 and had all 3 of their time outs, plus the 2 minute warning. Common strategy would dictate a field goal, but the colts went for it and turned the ball over on downs, after an incompletion. After that the colts D seemed to quit and the jets ran out the clock for all intents and purposes.

Frankly, I'd have taken the 26 yard field goal (remember the goal posts were closer then) and then hoped for some final momentum from the D to get the ball back. I think shula clearly made a mistake. But, I don't recall any controversy.

The announcers didn't make any second guessing type statements. In fact, they didn't even question the decision. The NFL films version of the game makes no mention of the decision and neither does wikipedia. So what gives? Was this not a controversy? It should have been. I mean the colts would still lose probably, but who wouldn't take Johnny Unitsa with 1-2 time outs, 55 yards and 2 minutes to take it down and win 17-16?

In reflecting on shula's decision to go for it on 4th down, rather than take a field goal to put the colts within 6 points with essentially 4 time outs (including the 2 minute warning) with 2:26 to go, I'm wondering why its never been a story?

Seriously, I've watched the NFL films version of SB3 probably 50 times and not once did John facenda ever mention shula's very real screw up. Also, in all the retrospectives that talked about the "greatest upset in history", I've never heard anything about shula's miscue. In fact, I didn't even know about the decision until I watched the actual game last night, which tells me that there was never a controversy.

Even if someone thinks he made the right call, I think it was worth mentioning and defending. For instance if I'd heard something like "well, the correct strategy would normally be the field goal here, but shula knows his kicker is hurt", but that never got mentioned either.

So what do you guys think? Does anyone remember anyone in the press criticizing shula?

Also, why does Buckner get blamed for the red sox losing game 6 in 1986 when his error didn't cause the game to be tied (a wild pitch had already done that), but simply allowed the mets to win a game that they appeared to be ready to win anyway? Is that fair? Is it just a product of changing times and the media scrutiny? (which is what I think - I think that if this happened in 1999 instead of 1969 that shula would be skewered!)

Finally, who ever knew about this before reading my post? Thanks.

2007-02-04 13:35:36
20.   mikeplugh
I used to really enjoy football. Now I could take it or leave it. When the 49ers and Cowboys were both competing dynasties and the Giants occasionally snuck in there, it was good quality sports. Now, with all the parity it sucks. I hate to see a different team win it every year and I hate that you can't recognize the roster from one year to the next.

I'll go to my grave a college football fan though. Go Blue. It may be a crooked system (NCAA) but there's so much tradition and everybody involved in it cares.

Pitchers and catchers before you know it.

2007-02-04 13:39:17
21.   The Mick 536
When Sharon and I started living together in 1981, I still watched football on Sundays. She didn't. We made a pact to keep our relationship on track. If I wanted to watch a game, we had to go to a movie. I saw many movies. Despite her aversion to the game, she liked the idea of Superbowl Sunday. Jim Koenig, Jay Horlick, Carl Andrews came. She chilled beer, squashed up some avocadoes, kept the chip bowls filled and cooked the best amateur chili that can come from a package of three alarm. It was served during halftime, the only part of the festivities she watches. Glasses of watermelon margs with tequila from her private stocks-reposados in fancy bottles-flowed from pregame to the trophy. Jay's in heaven wearing his blue Giant shirt. Jim and Carl still live in Brooklyn. We have been in Vermont for 9 years. Its the same tradition without old friends. Just the two us and Mr. Potato Head and the number one Cubbies fan, our Bear, Theodore Duckman. She and Theodore root for the Chicago. Frenchie and I am root for the Colts. Go Payton.
2007-02-04 15:30:29
22.   rbj
Fargin' A. Opening kickoff return for a TD!
2007-02-04 15:33:42
23.   Chyll Will
21 "Just the two us and Mr. Potato Head and the number one Cubbies fan, our Bear, Theodore Duckman."

Any relation at all to Eric?

2007-02-04 15:41:23
24.   RIYank
Well, I bailed on the Giants when they moved to Jersey, then on the Jets when they did. But I am still a big NFL fan.

I'm almost finished with Blindside, by the way -- Michael Lewis's book about the evolution of football, and more particularly about a particular high school player, a monster who becomes the best high school offensive lineman anyone has ever seen.

2007-02-04 17:00:35
25.   Jeb
No one has a thought on shulas SB3 gaffe???
2007-02-04 18:00:05
26.   OldYanksFan
14 So, if one of either Wang, Pettitte or Moose don't do well, and we're in a dogfight for the AL East, throwing in 1 or 2 league average SPs will put us over the top? And if we win the AL East, throwing 1 or 2 league average SPs will win us the PS?

I'm not so worried about our #4 and #5 spots, but our 1-3 is vulnerable. Pettitte will not have to regress much (now that he's in the AL) to be league average.

Yes, IF Hughes comes up and is #3 quality or better, we are OK. But I'm not sure the Yankees want to rely on Hughes to be the 'difference'.

2007-02-04 18:02:22
27.   OldYanksFan
I assume we will not need to talk football after tonight? Can we talk BASEBALL tomorrow... the YANKEES... here at BRONX BANTER? If not, how about at least discussing National Health Coverage?
2007-02-04 18:16:11
28.   thelarmis
hey bama, did you see the Karim Garcia interview at it's pretty good! (look for the yellow t-shirt behind him! ; )

27 word!

2007-02-04 18:51:31
29.   Jeb
Gee whiz guys, I typed that whole post on my freakin' Blackberry and then I get ignored! I think I made some interesting observations, albeit 38 years too late. Couldn't someone throw me a bone and give some feedback?
2007-02-04 19:46:11
30.   Jim Dean
29 Sorry man, I think you've come to the wrong place for that feedback. I don't know football well enough to comment.

26 Wow, and peeps call me a pessimist. See, I agree with Goldman and think it's more a question of the offense holding up, esp with the 1B throwing AB's away.

But yeah, I think if they score 930 runs again, they win 95-97 games with 4 league average pitchers (which I'm close to sure they'll have with Wang, Moose, Pettitte, Igawa, Meat, Huge, Sanchez, Clippard, Rasner, Karstens, and White). However, if they have trouble scoring those runs, I think they could be in for a tight race.

That's where picking up a 1B (or prospect C)could mean more and cost less than a starting pitcher that would make a difference. Sure, Clemens might work out but I think there are questions there just like for Wang, Moose, and Pettitte.

Zambrano is like a 1A/2, but I'm not sure he'll be worth the cost to acquire in July.

As for the post-season - well, there are scrubs on the team now that I really hope aren't anywhere near the October roster. But then that would involve a rant of mine you're already familiar with.

Phil will be Huge though.

2007-02-04 20:05:10
31.   Bama Yankee
29 Good observation on Super Bowl III, Jeb. I have never heard any critism of Shula for not taking the FG. IIRC, you are a fellow Tide fan so you surely see the irony of a Coach Shula not going for the FG. ;-)

I would have kicked it and took my chances with the onside kick or even kicking it deep if I had all my timeouts (did they have the two minute warning back then?).

One thing that I have always heard about that game is that it was fixed. Bubba Smith even came out a few years ago and said it publically. When you watch the game highlights, it makes you wonder if Bubba was correct. Morrall threw three INT's in the first half (including one on a flea-flicker in which the primary receiver was wide open and Morrall supposedly never saw him).

That game certainly went a long way to change the landscape of Pro Football (helping lead to the NFL-AFL merger). So, could it have been possible that Earl Morrall was convinced to take a dive by someone who stood to gain a lot by a Colts loss?

2007-02-04 20:14:15
32.   Jeb
Thanks bama! And roll tide to you from a bitter cold night in Birmingham. I do think its ironic that it was shula. I liked mike shula, but he was in over his head. Saban is wearing the boys out right now! The tides gonna roll!

Oh and I could not root for peyton because of that little "leading the band" thing at legion field in 97. I was there and it sucked.

2007-02-04 20:22:19
33.   Bama Yankee
32 Roll Tide. I also liked Mike Shula. But it is amazing how much better things seem to be already under the leadership of Coach Saban. I just wish the media would lay off him. He just did what a lot of other coaches have done but he gets raked over the coals for it.

I understand you about the Manning thing. However, I really like Tony Dungy and I guess I have grown to respect Manning as a QB. I would not call myself a Manning fan but I was getting tired of hearing all that "couldn't win the big one" stuff (reminds me of all the A-Rod talk which I also cant stand).

2007-02-04 20:26:01
34.   Bama Yankee
28 Good interview. Although, they must have cut out the part where he gave credit to the Bronx Banter for helping him make it back...

Also, the color on my video feed was all screwed up. What was the deal with the guy in the yellow shirt?

And one last thing:
"Who is Karim Garcia?"

2007-02-05 06:41:30
35.   Raf
34 Quien es Karim Garcia?
2007-02-05 06:50:44
36.   Bama Yankee
35 Bueno uno.

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