Ready to Take on Super Bowl Week
By BOB KRAVITZ, The Indianapolis Star
So I'm packing for South Florida, and sorry, ladies, no Speedo for this guy. When I talk about The Situation, I'm referring to love handles.
The madness begins, sort of, with Monday night's arrival of both teams, which will be accompanied by the required video of the players and coaches exiting the plane. Really, unless these guys are doing the conga on their way out, do we really need to see this? Big men in suits. Film at 11.
We reach critical mass Tuesday - media day - a harmless little exercise that would best be covered in an altered state of consciousness. (Hunter Thompson, we miss you.)
I have plans for the week, and some of them don't revolve around supermodels:
I will spend 20 minutes near Colts President Bill Polian on media day and play a drinking game I call "Pundit." What will happen is, every time Polian uses the term "pundit" or "punditry," I take a swig from a flask of single-malt in my computer bag. I did this during the Polian radio show after the Dec. 27 game and was so hung over, I couldn't work for three days.
I also will make sure to mention that Polian, who last week was named the Sporting News Executive of the Year for a record sixth time, is an absolute genius at what he does. He's a pain in the backside, but he's the best there is, whether it's undrafted free agents, second-day draft choices or finding guys like Matt Stover to plug a hole.
I will try to figure out why Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard is wagering a St. Elmo's shrimp cocktail in the required mayor's bet. We're going to send shellfish to New Orleans? A smart guy wrote in to my radio show asking, "What do we get in return? Some of that famous Louisiana sweet corn?"
I will watch in horror on media day as the looney-tune from "American Idol" asks selected players to sing "Pants on the Ground." (My comedian friend Scott Long suggests that's Tiger Woods' new theme song.)
I will read and write so much about Hurricane Katrina, it will make Spike Lee's "When the Levees Broke" look like a short subject. I also will hear from Indianapolis readers who are sick and tired of reading and hearing about Katrina.
I will hear about 1,000 times from both teams that their defenses don't get any respect.
I will mention to a Saints defender that his team ranked in the bottom third of the league in most statistical categories, and he will try to tackle me.
I will break the tackle, just to prove the point.
I will figure out which Kardashian sister is with the Saints' Reggie Bush and which is with Los Angeles Laker Lamar Odom. As an adjunct, I also will figure out what it is the Kardashian sisters do for a living besides be famous.
I will wonder out loud on many occasions whether the Saints are satisfied simply with getting to the Super Bowl. You saw the celebrations in both championship cities. In Indy, it was like, yeah, thanks for the Hunt Trophy, but this is about the Lombardi Trophy and the big ring. In New Orleans, with its tortured history, the NFC title set off an early Mardi Gras.
I will hear Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams say that he wasn't suggesting the other day that he wants his players taking a cheap shot at Peyton Manning to knock him out of the game. Honestly, I heard the interview, and Williams wasn't saying anything out of bounds. He wants his guys to hit Manning, and if he ends up like Arizona's Kurt Warner or Minnesota's Brett Favre did, that's good for the Saints. You don't think Colts defensive line coach John Teerlinck is devising ways for the Colts to rough up Drew Brees? This ain't Parcheesi, kids.
I will wonder if the NFL has any issues with the fact The Who's Pete Townshend is a registered sex offender. I also will wonder which demographic the NFL is trying to reach, and assume it means The Kinks weren't available.
I will, for the umpteenth time, fail to wrangle a ticket for the Maxim party.
I will note that this is the first time since 1993 the two No. 1 seeds have met in the Super Bowl. And mention that the last time featured a Dallas-Buffalo game that ended 52-17.
I will require at least one day of rest early in the week to get over the excitement of today's Pro Bowl. David Garrard will be throwing to, I believe, Braylon Edwards. Enjoy.
I will go to bed every night praying something weird and newsworthy doesn't happen that involves a Super Bowl player. True story: Saturday night before the Broncos-Falcons Super Bowl, our whole staff from the Rocky Mountain News went to South Beach to celebrate the end of a long week and a job well done. We woke up in the morning to learn Falcons safety Eugene Robinson had been busted for soliciting a prostitute.
I will go the entire week without hearing anybody ask Brees the question that was posed to poor Rex Grossman: "What do you say when people suggest you're the worst quarterback ever to start in a Super Bowl?" (For the record, Grossman handled it with aplomb. Me? I would have reached for a Taser.)
I will not join Melvin Bullitt and Clint Session in getting a mohawk. I'd be afraid it would never grow back.
I will watch people's appreciation for Jim Caldwell grow with each news conference. As the weeks have worn on, he has shown more of a willingness to bare his intellect, and man, he's impressive. Every angle is covered.
And that's all by Wednesday.