A viewing guide for Super Bowl Sunday
Who doesn't watch the Super Bowl? I recently polled all of America and discovered that the only people not hunkering down to watch football on the upcoming gridiron national holiday are the proprietors of the 2,639 nail salons operating in Los Angeles.
Anyway, Packers-Steelers is a wonderful matchup for a wonderful nation. And, as a public service, I am here to provide my 45th annual Super Bowl Sunday Viewing Guide (for Super Bowl Parties of Six or More).
The game will be televised by Fox. Which means, of course, that the network is arranging for Randy Jackson and Jennifer Lopez to handle all replay challenges.
Keep food and beverage preparations simple. I have eight words for you: Pigs in a blanket, PBR in a can.
The NFL is selling $200 tickets to watch the game from outside Cowboys Stadium, on television. That sounds pricey, but it includes a Super Bowl program and a scarf (for real). And if you walk to the game, you can save money on stadium parking spaces that are going for as much as $900 (I assume that includes a car wash or a lap dance).
As you may have seen on those Visa commercials, there are four men who supposedly have been to every Super Bowl. First of all, I need to see ticket stubs from these gents to believe this cock-and-bull claim. Second of all, Couch Slouch has watched every Super Bowl on TV - including the pregame shows - which, I believe, is far more impressive.
Here is a Super Bowl fact that you'll find only here, unless you carpool to Starbucks every morning with Peter King: In the 10 most recent Super Bowls, including the upcoming one, 10 different NFC teams have made the championship game. (Note to my D.C. friends: The Redskins aren't one of them.) In those same 10 years, only the Steelers, Patriots and Colts have represented the AFC, with the exception of Super Bowl XXXVII, when the Raiders inexplicably qualified.
This is actually the Steelers' eighth Super Bowl appearance. That's eight times in the last 37 years, which compares favorably with Spencer Tracy's nine best-actor Oscar nominations over a 32-year period (1936-67) and Laurence Olivier's nine Oscar nods over a 40-year span (1939-78). On the other hand, the Browns, Jaguars, Lions and Texans have never played in the Super Bowl, though Matt Millen once was on course to get the Lions there by 2525.
Terry Bradshaw was 4-0 in Super Bowls, Ben Roethlisberger is trying to go 3-0. In between, here is the list of Steelers starting quarterbacks: Cliff Stoudt, Mark Malone, David Woodley, Scott Campbell, Bubby Brister, Steve Bono, Todd Blackledge, Neil O'Donnell, Mike Tomczak, Jim Miller, Kordell Stewart, Kent Graham and Tommy Maddox. Moral of the story: None of us is promised tomorrow, and even if tomorrow comes, you still might be several seasons away from a well-thrown pass.
I'm a Steelers fan, but it's hard not to like the Packers. Who doesn't root for Green Bay? It's a town of 100,000 and the team is owned by the people - we're talking Norman Rockwell's America, only chillier. In addition, the Lambeau Leap remains an unmatched, beloved celebration; if, say, a Jets player jumped into the stands at New Meadowlands Stadium, he'd probably have to pay for a personal seat license.
Some of you may be unaware that there are new overtime rules in effect for the postseason. It's now called "modified sudden death," which, I guess, is similar to moving to Boca Raton, Fla.
No one really knows what these new rules are. For instance, on the opening possession of overtime, a field goal does not end the game but a safety does. And it gets even more complicated than that - there's a chance not a single soul in Cowboys Stadium will know when overtime officially ends, other than Mike Pereira.