The Morning AFTER the Super Bowl….
SUPER (BOWL) SMART
There’s a marvelous, understated moment in the original “Smokey and the Bandit” movie when Burt Reynolds’ “Bandit” points out to Sally Field’s runaway bride that, “How smart you are depends on what part of the country you happen to be standing in.” So it seems to go with the Super Bowl. How “super” it is pretty much depends on what part of the country you’re in. Super Bowls around these parts aren’t likely to generate any more interest than it did last year when the Giants played the Patriots. The Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers, however, seemed like a luke warm entre here in the northeast. Traveling around the local sports world yesterday found even a number of sports media types who late in the afternoon were still debating whether to watch or how much attention to pay. The number one sports columnist in the state, who usually spends Super Sunday at the Super site, was busily tracking down information on a column about the future of the XL Center, which is something we should all be more concerned about right now than an out of region Super Bowl. Much of the sports and entertainment future in our market will turn heavily on the decision by the very secretive Capital Region Development Authority to be announced later this week, awarding the management contract for the building to one of three groups with the current firm, AEG, looking like the favorite as we head into the stretch run. Among the assurances AEG gave the authority in it’s presentation is that there will be an American Hockey League team in Hartford next season, it just may not be the Rangers affiliate. No matter, an AHL team should not be a determining factor in the decision. The AEG proposal also includes plans for retrofitting the XL Center, which may already have passed the stage of being worth the effort. In this part of the country that decision is actually more pressing than the Ravens and Niners. While the Super Bowl was more important in other parts of the country it’s always a frame of historical reference for every Super Bowl to come and this one will go down as the “Power-Outage Bowl”. The effect of the 35 minute delay while half the Super Dome shut down would be debated much more this morning, and at future Super Bowls, if the Ravens had lost. It kept their offense, which, until the outage, had totally controlled the game, off the field for more than 80 minutes. After the delay they managed just two field goals while holding on for a three point win. If the Ravens had lost because pass interference was called on the Niners final play from scrimmage that play, which is under minor scrutiny as a non call, would be the topic of the hottest debate of the game. The officials made the right ‘non’ call. Of course, the commercials. My two personal favorites; the Audi commercial with the kid going stag to the prom and boldly planting a big kiss on the prom queen, then driving away with a black eye and a smile and the guy contemplating selling his soul to the devil, played by Willem Dafoe, for a Mercedes. The most effective commercial came from Budweiser, which really has me anxious to try Bud Crown. The commercial that’s getting the most mileage for it’s sponsor is the GoDaddy.Com commercial with the super model sloppily kissing the fat nerd. With a view of the Super Bowl from my part of the country, where on any given day I can be the smartest man in the world, I’m Scott Gray.