2002-02-02 / Sports

Ode To the A: Party Time In The Big Easy

By Elio Velez

Ode To the A:Party Time In The Big Easy
By Elio Velez

It's Super Bowl time, but I don't get hyped up as usual to watch it. Years ago on Super Sunday, NBC or CBS would have just a 2-hour pre-game show and then get right to the game. It was a straight broadcast with analysis of the game and breakdown of the two teams. That was it, and the fans seemed to like it until the mid 90's came about.

At that point, the NFL decided to make it an even grander stage with more corporate promotions and the networks' ability to promote the game even further. That meant more commercials, longer pre-game shows and more hype than you can shake a stick at. Then the networks decided to merge with entertainment outlets like Viacom and Disney and it was a whole new ballgame.

In 2002, Britney Spears, Pink, Backstreet Boys, MTV, U2 and stars from movies and television are flashed in your face and paraded like they're the main attraction. The focus seems to be more on the entertainment and party atmospheres like New Orleans or Miami than the players. Fans should also be lucky that it's only one week to play the Super Bowl and not two weeks of so much excess blitz that would make one's head blowup. In the next few years, the growing power of the Internet, technology and corporate synergy will bring the Super bowl even more press.

I always love upsets, and I've been thinking that this game might play like Super Bowl 25 with the Giants and the Bills. The Bills was the highflying offense of the day and beat the Giants earlier that year. Giants Coach Bill Parcells told Offensive Coordinator Ron Erhardt to slow the game down. The Giants held the ball for 40 minutes during the game and the Bills was out of sync offensively. Of course Scott Norwood missed the field goal but the Giants won the game 20-19 with ball control, good defense and excellent special teams.

The only controversy is whether Tom Brady or Drew Bledsoe starts and those are not bad choices to choose from. Both are good, but will they be enough to stop the Rams? If Brady is not hurt enough to play, he must start. For the Patriots to have a chance, Coach Belichick may have to use the same strategies that the Giants used when he was defensive coordinator for the G-Men.

Do the Patriots have enough? The Patriots might cover the spread but the Rams should have enough to win. Rams 28 Patriots 17.

Other thoughts:

The Knicks haven't quit yet it seems. With four straight wins, they seem to be (overused expression coming up) on the right track. This still means though that the Knicks should blow up this squad, because once they get back to earth, the problem will still exist. They're not that good.

There have been no reported incidents in PSAL basketball games that required media attention. That's a good sign for now. The PSAL championships will be the real test to see if security is strict or lax.

If Eric Lindros can't stay healthy, the Rangers are dead. It's easy to recognize that if Lindros is going well, the Rangers can beat anyone.

Larry Robinson's departure as head coach of the Devils is a sham and he cannot be blamed for most of problems. GM Lou Lamoriello's inability to sign Alexander Mogilny and replace his 43 goals from last year is one major problem. Bobby Holik's contract problems, and not controlling a divisive clubhouse, must be addressed and a new coach can't solve those problems alone. Time to get to work Lou or Yankee/Nets ownership and Steinbrenner won't be happy with you. Until next week, Peace!

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