Super Bowl LIV: Who Will Party With The Lombardi

Super Bowl Sunday this year is a special day? How so you ask?

How’s this for a calendrical trifecta: Sunday is Super Bowl Sunday. And it’s Groundhog Day. And it’s a rare eight-digit palindrome when written as 02/02/2020 — the only one of its kind this century.

A palindrome, as you might know, is a sequence that reads the same forward as it does backward.

Apparently the only palindrome in recent memory. But also Groundhog Day too (when will that inanity give way)? If you want to add some other calendar stuff on, 2020 is also a leap year.

We will get to the last NFL game of the season in a minute, but first a couple of quick things.

First, in the middle of the night last night, there was a stunning Women’s Final in the Australian Open. Barely 21 year old American Sophia Kenin, who slayed media darling Coco Gauff in the fourth round, and then world number one Ash Barty in the semi-finals, in straight sets, was also victorious over two time Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza. And she did it with quite a bit of aplomb. Lost the first set, and then took over. Kenin may be around a while, get used to the name. And, if you can catch a replay of the match, do it. The announcers universally thought a star was being born, and they might well be right. It was something.

While Kenin was a breath of fresh air early this morning (the Aussies are in a far different time zone), last night was the first Lakers game after the tragic death of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gigi, John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli and Alyssa Altobelli, Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester and Payton Chester and pilot Ara Zobayan. The Staples Center was purple and blue, and, given the obvious emotional difficulty, it was all beautiful. LA and the Lakers got it right. The videos are out there, take a look. The tributes, music, and sometimes combination (the cello guy during the video tribute was spectacular).

Okay, on to the Super Bowl we go. There are, as always, a lot of weird “proposition bets”. I don’t really get into that, but here are a bunch of, um, interesting ones. The current overall Vegas line is vacillating between 1 – 1.5 points, with that historically slim line in favor of Kansas City.

So, what’s the deal? Lol, I dunno. But, in the long run, balance and defense wins. KC has the more explosive offense, but that is partially because they have had to rely on it, and Mahomes, so often to climb out of holes. On the other hand, they have been able to do so, and especially impressively so in the playoffs. The 49ers are different though. The SF defense starts with that they basically only rush the front four to create the havoc they do. Nick Bosa, Dee Ford, DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead are relentless and really good. and with Richard Sherman and Mosely patrolling the secondary, the Niners are extremely solid.

The Chefs, however, while having a winning defense are nowhere near as consistently solid as SF. Frank Clark is not a beloved character in the NFL, but he is extremely good as a pressure point. Chris Jones and Tyrann Mathieu are first team all pro worthy types in the secondary. Honeybadger was here in Arizona his first few years and, when healthy, which he is now, he is a big play game changer of special talent. And as good of a player as he really is, he has grown up to be an even better person. This is a great piece in the WaPo on Tyrann:

For all the new plans and pieces, Kansas City’s defensive transformation began with the player teammates still love to call the Honey Badger. Mathieu is a storm of calculated mayhem, a worker bee who wakes up at 5:45 each morning and a heat-seeking missile who can line up or strike from anywhere on the field. He has changed the Chiefs in elemental ways with his all-pro performance and his mere presence.

“He’s a special person,” Chiefs General Manager Brett Veach said. “It’s really hard to explain the power someone like that has unless you’re actually in the building. . . . You have to get talent. You have to build a deep roster. You need corners, and you need rushers. Until you get a catalyst, it’s hard. You need that one guy that will make everything go. He’s certainly that guy. To have him on our team has meant everything to us.”

Again, what do I think? First off, what I think is beyond irrelevant anywhere but here. Secondly, I am a dope. So, given those caveats, here we go. Honeybadger can sit and snipe on Jimmy G enough, or the Niners O-Line gives Jimmy G the time that San Francisco’s D-Line does not afford Mahomes. I have no real idea, but with betting no real money, I think….think….The balance on the Niners is better and wins. No, I do not feel good ab out that pick.

As a parting note, today’s music is Heart playing Stairway To Heaven at the Kennedy Center for the remaining members of Zep, assorted dignitaries and President and First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama. To say it is stunning is a gigantic understatement. I had never seen it before last night, when I stumbled on it by accident. WOW. Shared it with numerous friends and the universal reaction was still WOW. It is that good, especially when the choir/chorale kicks in. It is soooo good. Check it out. I was almost lifetime tired of Stairway to Heaven before I saw this, and was immediately mesmerized. Yeah, it is that incredible. And if you want full screen, just click to embiggen it.

Rock and roll, and enjoy the Super Bowl!

207 replies
  1. Ed Walker says:

    Fun fact: Sofia Kenin was born in Russia. Her parents immigrated to the US when she was just 2.

    I’ll take the Chiefs. Mahomes makes the fastest decisions of any QB I have ever seen, both passing and with his feet, and his receivers all run sharp and decisive routes. Richard Sherman is great, but I don’t think he can cover Tyreek Hill all over the field. Jimmy G is good, but neither he nor his receivers are in the same class. I just don’t think the Forty-NIners can put up enough points.

        • bmaz says:

          You clearly saw it very shortly after I did and replied to it.

          I was gobsmacked. Almost worried about whether to put it up here today, but it is so good, it needed to be featured.

          And, yes, thank you for noting the initial interchange It is hard to keep track of things from one platform to another sometimes, that is my bad.

          • AndTheSlithyToves says:

            Nobody’s bad, bmaz! As I said, I was there when it happened (KC Honors 2012) and it was a phenomenal performance, although the YouTube video is almost as good (and in some respects, better) than the live performance. I’ve probably watched it 50+ times, on and off over the years and am not done yet. Am thrilled you found it! P.S. Back in 2018, I gifted very dear friends of mine a pair of box seats to Hamilton, which was playing in the same venue at the Ken Cen, and who should be sitting in the box next them but John Bolton. We all split a gut when his new book tried to come out recently. lolol

    • BobCon says:

      Mahomes is easily the biggest reason to watch. I have to assume the refs will be instructed to look hard for defensive penalties to avoid a low scoring game like last year. That probably works to Mahomes’ benefit, although SF may run so much that there isn’t a lot of time for the KC offense.

      • Peterr says:

        The Titans thought that their run game would put a brake on Mahomes. That didn’t work out so well for them.

    • Paul Miller says:

      thanks for highlighting that performance of Stairway, sooooooo pure and enjoyable, back when hope existed and shared joy was a thing, greatest rock and roll song ever, masterful performance

    • BobCon says:

      That article words it pretty awkwardly. It actually says it’s not that it’s the only eight digit palindrome date. 11/02/2011 was another, for example. It’s just that in the US notation that represented November 2 and in Europe it was the 11th of February.

      February 2 is a palindrome in multiple date systems that doesn’t represent a different calendar date, which is rarer but also somewhat confusing to explain.

      • P J Evans says:

        I happened to notice it worked both ways. (Some of my automatically-dated files use YMD format, yyyy-mm-dd. And others the visible date is DMY, European style.)

  2. Jharp says:

    I’ve lost most of my interest in the NFL. Just don’t much enjoy watching anymore.

    That said I have two comments.

    One is the athletes playing today are simply amazing.

    Two is I’m pissed off at the 6:30 kickoff.

    The last thing I need is to be up at 11:00 PM on a Sunday night watching football.

    • bmaz says:

      The start time is seriously too late, as is the insane rune time with bloated halftime and too many commercials.

      • P J Evans says:

        starting at 1 or 2pm PST would be better. The pregame stuff can be done earlier – most people aren’t watching it. And I suspect a lot of the audience doesn’t watch the half-time show, even the ones in the stadium. (I was in a marching band one fall in college – that’s actual work, given the hours of marching in practice.) I agree about halftime being too long – but I think the NFL and the channels showing it like the revenue from the ads too much to want to cut those back.
        (I saw a news story with stills from the ads. They mostly don’t look interesting.)

        • BobCon says:

          It’s interesting to me that Super Bowl ads are still in such high demand in an era of Google and Facebook targeting. I think it hints that advertisers have lingering doubts about the honesty and effectiveness of the online ad market — probably wisely.

          Facebook’s net earnings have slowed a lot, they claim they have 2.5 billion users but that number is wildly inflated — we may see their foundation cracking a bit in 2020.

            • BobCon says:

              One of the disturbing things about them is how much data they harvest on non-users.

              They suction data from user contact lists that includes non-users, they vacuum up photos which they use to calculate relationships with non-users, and they obtain info from third parties which they use to build shadow profiles.

              And if you don’t have an account they won’t tell you what they have, won’t give you a chance to edit it, and don’t give you any idea how they might be using it or sharing it with others.

  3. roberts robot double says:

    The only winners will be the 32 owners and their corporate partners.

    We the American public will be burdened with yet another generation of brain-damaged men whose impulse control problems will be exponentially worse than they already would be (for being testosterone-adled men). It is a barbaric sport celebrated by a barbaric society that is more than willing to ignore the problems caused so long as they get to drink beer and cheer for their favorite laundry. Yes, I have spoken with a seven year old young man who just played both ways in a tackle football game; his mind was very foggy.

    Make no mistake, every single lineman, linebacker, d-back and running back in this game are well on their way to debilitating brain damage, as well as plenty of others, like receivers, as evidenced by Antonio Brown’s issues.

    If football took the pads off, there would be much less damage (same as if boxing took off the gloves), but America doesn’t really want to have the truth of their brutalities paraded in front of their faces. Like our GOP senators, America prefers to lie to themselves and others so long as they get some short-term pleasure from whatever God-awful traditions they deem `Merican.

    As the Senate Chaplin said the other day, “We all reap what we sow.” Me, I’m not a fan of barbaric sports or corporate celebrations because I see no joy in either, but, then again, I believe in self-evolution and in very, very critical self-evaluation of all Earth’s societies’ traditions. America would do well to re-evaluate what and whom we celebrate.

    This is no more of a sad trombone than Einstein remarking in 1933 that he was witnessing a mass psychosis.

    • bmaz says:

      What a complete fucking sourpuss load of shit. Do you ever have anything useful to offer in our comments? If not, please feel free to get out. I am weary of your garbage.

      • roberts robot double says:

        Garbage is how the NFL low-balled the players on their health-care lawsuit. It was so garbage that the Goddamned judge threw the first settlement out, even though the ex-players, in their desperation, accepted it.

        This league *NETS* over $9B per year, yet haggled their debilitated ex-players — the ones that made the owners all their money — down to $750M.

        Outside of America’s fossil fuel industries, one would be hard-pressed to find a better example (and by better I mean the absolute worst) of corporate greed leading to widespread societal harm than the NFL.

        I thought this blog was here to make America (and the world by extension) a better place. Nothing ever improves without first HONESTLY evaluating the status quo.

        That’s why our glorious host, Ms. Wheeler, swears like a fucking sailor, as do I: because America, even with its greatest theory of govt ever, has some seriously FUCKED-UP problems that have been glossed over in the interest of willful ignorance for far, far too long.

        • P J Evans says:

          Try making your comments shorter and more relevant, instead of spending all your bandwidth complaining about how everyone else is doing it Rong.

          • roberts robot double says:

            Complex, multi-dimensional issues necessarily require non-trivial analysis, and my various points were made as succinctly as possible.

            And the point *IS* that tackle football *IS* very, very WRONG on every single level, unless one is a huge fan of the Romans and their brutalities, which I most certainly am not.

            Every single snap of that football is LITERALLY resulting in brain damage. Every. Single. Snap.

              • roberts robot double says:

                Two sets of bad-ass 300lb athletic lineman crash into each other at the line of scrimmage all-out on every snap. If they weren’t wearing helmets, their heads and faces would have more scar tissue than Nate Diaz’ eye sockets. And the padding only makes it worse, but this is all academic vis a vis science via physics and human physiology. Remember: our brains would pour out like jello if it wasn’t contained.

                And I love you all, but that doesn’t mean aspects of my perspective can’t expand yours and vice versa. As I explained to bmaz, I used to pay for an even worse sport: the UFC.

                I’m here because I love America, especially folks like yourselves that are trying to make it better, but that has nothing to do with the damage that occurs on a football field on every single snap. We all have our blind spots, even if we each detest the GOP.

        • bmaz says:

          Hi there “Roberts Robot Double”. You are getting to be a pain in the ass scold.

          That was obvious before you decided to “take your talents” to Trash Talk. We appreciate smart discussion here. But show up just to fuck with people and scold them and, well, not so much.

          Proceed accordingly, we certainly will. And if you have nothing more than common scoldery, that may not work well in the long run.

          • roberts robot double says:

            Best version of STH I’ve ever heard, thanks for that, and for tolerating the intensity of my perspective.

            It’s so bittersweet to see Mr. and Mrs. Obama there, but I simply love the fact that not even a B-list band will ever play for Trump.

            As for scolding, I used to pay money for the UFC, so I’ve already scolded myself quite a lot, with more to come, I’m sure.

            I just can’t come up with an argument to how America wouldn’t be immediately much better off without either tackle football or MMA or boxing. It seems obvious to me that their very nature has attracted very unsavory ownership, to put it mildly — not unlike the GOP.

            I hope this entire crew enjoys your Sunday — Superbowl or not — as you all deserve it, for the work you do to make America better every day.

  4. rosalind says:

    a Bay Area girl born & bred: Go Niners!!! and fond memories of staying up until 2am to watch the 1989 49ers/Bengals Super Bowl in Miami from my London B&B. bonus points: at the go ahead touchdown the camera panned to a couple of my co-workers, there to create amibiance for some sponsor tents.

    as for Heart, ah. watching Ann&Nancy up on that huge stage at an Oakland Stadium Day On The Green was the first time i got to see women taking center stage rocking out. a huge inspiration for a rock’n’roll obsessed teenaged girl. i too stumbled upon that Kennedy Center performance a few months back and was equally stunned at having never seen that amazing performance.

    another live performance i’m partial to as i was in the audience is Heart as their side band “Lovemongers” performing another Zep tune “The Battle of Evermore” at Pegi & Neil Young’s Bridge School Benefit concert:


    • P J Evans says:

      I remember the one in 1985, where I got home from work just in time for the last quarter. (It was a very long week: we started at 6:30 am on Saturday, and finished at 4pm on Friday, having worked seven days sorting 18 four-drawer file cabinets *full* of paper. 70-some people, including the manager and his secretary. But he had it all planned out, and it worked really well.)

      • rosalind says:

        ha. i was up the road in r.c. working retail, trying to sell ski gear in the middle of the drought. vague memory of the manager bringing in a small tv for us to watch. also remember the network and VIPs were horrified at Stanford’s wooden benches and lack of luxury suites. and also pissed off the Niners made it in, depriving the local economy of the expected tourist money.

      • P J Evans says:

        I do remember that one with the Bengals – it was so very, very close!
        And then the next year they played the Broncos, and ran over them so thoroughly that I realized how good the Bengals were the previous year.

    • rosalind says:

      p.s. the drummer in the “Stariway to Heaven” vid is Jason Bonham, son of the late Led Zep drummer John, giving extra meaning to his hand to heart salute to the band at the end.

      • bmaz says:

        Yes, indeed. And this was not a one off by my understanding, I think he has played with Ann and Nancy (Heart) before and/or after.

        • rosalind says:

          as has John Paul Jones. he produced & played in the Heart live shows recorded at the late/great The Backstage in Seattle in 1994, released as “The Road Home”. (and yup, i was there. was a lucky sod.)

    • rosalind says:

      another favorite part of the Heart video: the spouses/partners sit behind the honorees. a quick online check confirmed that John Paul Jones is indeed still married to his “original” wife, since 1967. working in concert production i was always tickled to see rock men who were still married to their #1s, with so many #3 & #4 running around backstage. my favorite remains Shirley Watts, wife of Charlie. she is and remains stunning and blows away the wannabes.

      fav audience cutaways: Yo Yo Ma in his seat rocking out, Bonnie Raitt on her feet bowing down in musical genuflection.

  5. Jim White says:

    Thanks again for the awesome Heart performance. I listened a couple times when you put it on Twitter and I’m sure I’ll hit it a few more times tonight.

    As for the game, I’m happy with either team winning. May pull for the Chiefs mostly, though, through family loyalty and because it’s been a lot longer for them since winning.

  6. Pete T says:

    The weather is running about 12 hours behind earlier forecast for perfect game day. It’s been drizzly last two days down here. It’ll probably be super game time – I mean J Lo and Shakira’s hair come on – which I too think is a silly kickoff time.

    Trump may be there to screw up an already chaotic situation.

  7. Fran of the North says:

    bmaz I wasn’t aware of that Heart performance, it was pretty darned excellent. Thanks for pointing it out.

    Tomorrow’s game will be the classic demonstration of when the irresistible force meets the immovable object. I lean Chiefs, but am hoping we have a well played close game. And I hope Jimmy G plays well enough that Robert Kraft gets a serious case of sellers remorse.

    • jo6pac says:

      “Robert Kraft gets a serious case of sellers remorse”

      Jimmy G. already showed in the season it was a mistake that I’m happy he made it and for 2nd round choice no less;-)That was cheap for the 9ers.


  8. Badger Robert says:

    I am a Broncos fan. Based on experience, I assert that defense travels better to the SB. I like the 49’ers chances.

  9. Eureka says:

    Fox is about to air an hour-long special investigation into what happened to TB12’s jersey after SB LI: set your DVRs.

    As one of the SI columnists wrote, “When does 90% of the internet agree on anything?” He pulled polls last week: Philly is overwhelmingly rooting for Andy Reid and the Chefs. If anything, I’d bet the numbers are higher this weekend.

    Did any of you Angelinos see the meteor show the other night?

  10. jo6pac says:

    9ers by 17 or more. KC hasn’t played anyone over the last 5 games and their big come back well if you think they can do that against a healthy 9er D good luck with that. KC has to many mismatches on D that KS O will take apart. The D has been able to control every running Q and RB this season. The 9er D has the lest amount of passing plays over 20yrd in the last I think 12yrs of the NFL their deep safety takes care of that. Jimmy G. only passed a few times in the last games because who cares how win and the running game was a killer and will be again. We also need to remember when 9ers needed passing Jimmy G. lite up at NO.

    Richard S has 1 intercept and so does Mosely other CB, At lest 5 sacks and 10 hurries and the RB has only 10 yards in the first half because he is mostly caught in the back field as is the Q.

    Then again what the F@!# do I know?

    bmaz your new friend is?

    Time to open some whine and I love that utube clip I watched a few days ago over and over. Thanks for the info on the drummer.

  11. I Never Lie and am Always Right says:

    While I enjoy sports generally, I’m not a fan of pro football, even though I made my national tv debut in a NFL halftime show playing in a high school marching band.

    That being said, I’m going to demonstrate my own insanity by predicting the exact score: Niners 21, Chiefs 13.

    • jo6pac says:

      Coach of the year WTF I don’t see him or team at SB. It should KS.
      Come back player of the year should have been Jimmy G.
      At lest the D Rookie of the Year right and wasn’t happy when they drafted him but he has changed my mine in play and attitude.

      See all tomorrow. It’s warning;-)

        • BobCon says:

          Jackson not winning O player of the year too seems really odd to me.

          There are years I think you can justify a split decision — you might give the MVP nod to a guy who wins a bunch of games with heroics over a guy with somewhat better stats. But that doesn’t seem to be the case with Jackson, who was both a great passer and runner and unquestionably did more for his offense.

  12. Molly Pitcher says:

    Looking forward to enjoying a very competitive game with the Niners ultimately winning !!

    Today has been fun, the local Niner’s station has been playing a marathon rebroadcast of all 5 of the Niner’s Super Bowl wins!! Major blast from the past and lots of great memories.

  13. PhoneInducedPinkEye says:

    Goddamn that Heart cover was good. I like her voice a lot better than Plant’s. Solo was a bit stilted but Page was enjoying himself and better than I can do… Thanks for sharing.

    • bmaz says:

      It is stupid good. I have seen Zep live a couple of times, and have all the vinyl. But, damn, pretty sure that is the best live version I have ever seen.

  14. Tracy Lynn says:

    I, too, suffered from Stairway burnout, but I NEVER knew Heart did the Kennedy honors for the Zep. Ann Wilson’s preach gave me chills and the choir, goosebumps. Ann still has the pipes! That was one of the most poignant music videos I’ve seen in a very long time — the Led Zeplin guys still look pretty good. It reminded me of the good times of having a president and first lady who appreciate a good performance and good music. Thank you for posting this, @bmaz. As far as Trash Talk — I am agnostic on this one — I would like to see the 9ers win this, but I won’t be heartbroken if the Chiefs pull it out — 50 years is a long time between Super Bowl wins.

  15. Valley girl says:

    I went off on a palindrome search, to see if there were any in French. First one I found was “Engage le jeu que je le gagne” (Start the game so that I may win.)

          • scribe says:

            A friend works with Troy’s piano teacher from college, a tiny, demure lady of impeccable class. One day, the lunchtime discussion turned to him. The piano teacher wondered what had happened to him after graduation. She was quite shocked when told he was a real star and one of the most violent men in the NFL, saying “but he was such a nice, fine young man”.

            He was one of those players who, while they didn’t change the rules because of him, he did change the game.

  16. Savage Librarian says:

    OMG, bmaz, you actually got me a little choked up on this one. Your whole post was so fantastic, quite moving. And the music was perfect. I have to say I was a little curious when you referenced the cello man. Then I saw Yo-Yo Ma grinning in the film (which was so well edited.)

    The funny thing is that I had just been revisiting my back burner project before I read your post. It’s about 50 pages of some fiction I wrote and haven’t looked at for many months. But the freaky thing is that a palindrome is central to the story, a very complex palindrome. And there are universal spiritual references, as well.

    Thanks for doing this. Made my day! Below is a link to the same performance which also explains the lyrics.

    “The true meaning of Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven” – Dario Giardi
    “Here it is, therefore; our stairway to heaven: our goal in life, according to Led Zeppelin, must be to discover the power of the community, the need to live together, in harmony with our souls and with nature. Only in this way can we we really improve ourselves and others, escaping the real evil of society, framed in its materialism, selfishness and disinterest towards others (“When all are one and one is all / To be a rock and not to roll”).”

    “Stairway to Heaven, in conclusion, is everything but a perverse ode to evil and darkness. In fact, it’s quite the opposite, a splendid message of solidarity, brotherhood and equality. Together, we can really change the world around us. To be a rock and not to roll. Maybe it’s just an illusion. Perhaps we will never be able to really get together and do something concrete to make our lives better. But the message is there, and that’s what Led Zeppelin wanted from us.”

    (For the complete explanation see link below)

    • roberts robot double says:

      Dr. King gave his life to teach This Message of Universal Love.

      If only we would let that Light guide our way, individually and in our groups.

      Then, like Pops said, “this world would be a gasser.”

      • Peterr says:

        Let’s be clear here: King did not give his life – it was taken from him.

        Yes, he was uncompromising in his vision of unconditional love, whether standing against rabid segregationists who proclaimed hate or milquetoast moderates who urged waiting. He was absolutely unrelenting in his speaking on behalf of the outcast and the downtrodden, whether talking about race or poverty.

        But make no mistake: his life was taken. God gave him life, and an assassin’s bullet took it.

        • roberts robot double says:

          The night before he was murdered, he received yet another death threat on that specific hotel room phone. He was filled with a special peace, the peace of one who gives their life for the Great Love.

          Every time that man moved about in this world he risked his life, at least for the last many years of his life.

          He submitted himself to the Divine Love, and he gave our most precious posession — nay! our only posession — to that Love. But Love would not let him take shelter, not that his courage would have contemplated that for but a moment.

          Love had one final lesson to teach us with his person, his greatest lesson: non-violence in the face of hatred is not what Jesus taught. Because it is not God’s Way; for God loves us, especially those of us who seek unifying love for all human beings, and does not want us to come to harm by those who reject love. That includes requiring us to defend the innocent from the oppressors, no matter what they say they are. We must all be free to worship as we see fit, including not at all and that means we are all authorized to defend ourselves from any and all oppressors.

          The only thing we are not permitted to do is harm others. And Love dictates that we treat those who harm others as the vermin they are. Yet their free wills are equal to our own, their own negative-morality guiding their decisions as their own form of anti-worship, for hatred can be worshipped just as love can, and anything can be called love by the insane and/or corrupt.

          Of course, one need only study WWII to understand why. Few have the courage to give so that others have the means to happiness that there own family has. That’s why a connection with our Creator is required, for only there resides the Strength to selfless and the Discernment to not involve one’s ego.

          Life is a tricky business indeed. Happiness and unhappiness are no accidents.

    • Mooser says:

      I thougtht “Stairway to Heaven” was about a woman who claimed she could build Plant a fantastic deck on his house. She spent more than she should and did not produce the deck.

      • Tracy Lynn says:

        Um, was that the dog sh*t story? I saw only 2 stories–one was about Dusty Baker being hired as the Astros manager for the year. The other was about — dog poop.

  17. Peterr says:

    I lived in Chicago when they had their epic 1985 season, and never thought I’d see a city go so nuts for a Super Bowl game ever again. Now I’m in KC, and I admit that I was wrong.

    There are grocery stores 2 hours outside KC that are closing tomorrow afternoon, and one of the checkers there said that the staff basically told the store manager that he could open the store, but no one would be coming to shop during the game, and none of the staff want to be there either – so why are we going to open? The manager thought for a minute, and said “You’re right – we’re closing at 4pm.” Gotta love labor-management harmony.

    At the other end of the spectrum, our local large liquor store was a madhouse this afternoon, and they had signs up saying they would be open later than usual tonight and opening earlier than usual tomorrow. The meat counter at my favorite grocery is basically running non-stop, trying to keep up with the shoppers who each want 10 lbs of ribs and 20 lbs of chicken for the grill and six pork butts for the smoker. I head to church early on Sunday morning (before sunrise) and usually have the roads to myself. Tomorrow, I am sure I will see smoke rising from backyard smokers at about every third house.

    Local media, as you might imagine, has been really going all in on the game. The most WTF story was when they reported that by NFL decree, there will be NO TAILGATING at the Super Bowl. “You can go to Florida, and you can go to the game, but you can NOT tailgate there. Leave your grill at home.” They say it is for security reasons, but folks here just cannot get their heads around a ban tailgating. It’s kind of a “You can have my tongs when you pry them out of my cold dead hands” mentality. One of the anchors wondered if this was some anti-Chefs bias from King Roger, but the reporter in the field said that his has been the practice at other recent Super Bowls but KC never noticed because the Chefs were not in the game.

    Here are our place, it’s Mrs Dr Peterr’s year to cook (we alternate years), and she’s doing up her epic red beans and rice. Combined with the late start to the game, this means that I can come home, get my post-church nap, and be set to enjoy the game.

    As for the game . . . The way the Chefs D shut down Henry in the AFC championship game two weeks ago demonstrated that the Chefs finally have the defensive ability to handle the run, and Mahomes is . . . Mahomes. Also, say what you will about Andy Reid (and I’ve said plenty), but he is stupidly successful when he has a bye week to really game things out against his next opponent.

    Chefs 43 – Santa Clara 24.

      • bmaz says:

        But that seems silly. If the fans came to the stadium where there are huge ass TV’s, why not just take the gate numbers admitted and attribute that to the network supplying the HD feed? The gate numbers are a more accurate number that a single home TV where you may not know whether it is a couple and their dog, or a big house with 75 people in it.

        • Peterr says:

          The NFL probably didn’t flat out say “no,” but rather “Sounds like a good idea as long as you send us 50% of the gate. Not the net, but the gate.”

          The NFL could give Trump lessons on how you do a shakedown.

        • P J Evans says:

          Yep. But it’s a soccer stadium, not an NFL stadium, so the NFL wouldn’t get a direct cut of the take. Yeah, they are that dim.
          (Friend I used to watch the game with has birthday tomorrow. Told her I wished I was watching the game with her: chips and salsa, and going out for more chips and salsa at halftime. Which is how we missed the whole costume malfunction thing.)

          • Peterr says:

            It’s an NFL game, and they Will Have Their Cut.

            NFL owners watched Game of Thrones and said “This is all you’ve got?”

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Monopolists gonna monopoly. As with DeBeers – or Trump’s closing off half the hall at his rallies, to jam those who do come into a smaller space – price and popularity are about manufactured scarcity.

  18. Bay State Librul says:

    I’m going with number 6. A three way tie.

    Lombardi Trophy winners:

    Pittsburg – 6
    New England – 6
    San Francisco – 5

  19. biff murphy says:

    IANAL… First comment but, I come by regularly to read Marcy’s opinions on the Justice Dept, and Spankys gang of thugs, and to read bmaz berate the wise guys on emptywheel. That being said, my take.

    As a Pats fan my hope is that Jimmy G pulls this off. Brady threw a lot of shade on Garappolo over the years but anytime he played he gave 100%.(think deflategate) When he needs to go the air watch out. I think the 49ers ground game is good, and the defense tough.
    Mahomes is fearless, a great QB, and commands a very talented offense, many times running the ball while we at home cringe and wonder how he got out of that jam. I think the Chiefs D is underrated and will be a good match up with San Fran. Point spread is 1 and I think San Fran will win by 7. Have a nice day!

    • bmaz says:

      Hi Biff, and welcome to comments! Stop in often, it is a good group.

      I too think KC’s defense is better than people think, but still not quite as good as the Niners.

  20. rosalind says:

    BobCon: thanks sooo much for the Unnamed Temporary Sports Blog link! There are now many articles up, very funny, very enlightening articles.

    Bmaz: you should check out the one on the women’s Australian Open final “Sofia Kenin Is Mad As Hell And She Won The Australian Open.”

  21. MattyG says:

    I’ll go contrarian here. The least interesting result is a KC blowout since it would be an exagerated confirmation of consensus strengths and weaknesses. A tight game would be fun but just what Vegas predicts. An SF blowout would flip the consensus view but seeing a defense snuff out Mah down would be interestesting.

    I’ll wander off the reservation and go with with “both Ds show up”. Final 17-16, with a pair of late 8-point KC TDs against a gassed D keeping it interesting.

    Ooops I just dropped the crystal ball…

  22. Jim White says:

    Forty years of marriage to a Kansas City native.

    Ten years of living in the Bay Area.

    I’m so conflicted.

    I’ll probably root for KC while watching the game and drinking an Anchor Steam.

    • bmaz says:

      Oh, Lisa is going to know immediately the outrageous abandonment signal the Anchor Steam is. Could get ugly in Casa de Blanco!

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Having known the former mayor of KC, I suspect he would say the answer to that is the same as is there any good steak in KC.

          He would not take sides, of course, but craft beer is booming, Boulevard Brewing and Cinder Block Brewery among them.

        • Peterr says:

          Boulevard Beer. Great stuff from a local microbrewery that grew way up without losing their way.

          I too am married to a KC native, and spent a decade in the East Bay (think Oakland/Berkeley rather than SF). Given the cross-bay rivalry, I never got into the 9ers, even before they left town for Santa Clara.

          My question for Jim is what kind of meat will be on the BBQ, to accompany the Anchor Steam. My pastoral advice would be to go with a KC-style brisket, and give Lisa all the burnt ends.

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              With the crispy bits mixed in. Yum.

              I’m more Marin man than East Bay, Bolinas way when I can get there. Otherwise, Winters, Woodland, Esparto are familiar. More local than Santa Clara, smack in the middle of Silicon Valley. Some nice organic places there. Beer tastes the same.

              • Molly Pitcher says:

                We used to live just outside of Fairfax, in Baywood Canyon, and spent a lot of time around Pleasant Grove, Arbuckle, Cottonwood, Gridley; anywhere there were Quarter Horses. An uncommon life for a born and bred Berkeley girl.

                • earlofhuntingdon says:

                  North Berkeley would be my guess.

                  I have friends in Guinda and Woodland. Lots of horse country near there, plus the occasional almond tree and the odd row of tomato plants.

              • P J Evans says:

                Grew up in Livermore and San Jose. My sis lives in San Pablo, and my brother and his wife are in Davis, along with a daughter and her family. (I’m really familiar with CA-99, from childhood, when we made the trip to visit family in Long Beach and Gardena. I remember when the oleanders in the center divider were only three or four feet high.)

                • jo6pac says:

                  Grew up in Niles now called Fremont but now live outside of Tracy in a house I’ve rented for over 40yrs. Great owners as my rent hasn’t changed in over 20yrs. The house is on 60 arecas of farm land. Heated by fire place only and need to go out a make some kindling to start a fire.

          • Jim White says:

            Well, folks, Lisa’s been away this weekend at the church’s women’s retreat and will be back home soon. Yesterday I committed the worst possible sin against KC barbecue by smoking some beef ribs. I mean, they had to be cooked because they were still sitting in the freezer after being cut off the Christmas roast. The dogs enjoyed the bones afterwards and there’s one rib left for Lisa to try–of course with lots of her KC sauce which we always have on hand.

            And then today I did a barbecue experiment where I found that I can actually get a really good reverse sear cook on a steak with my old Kamado grill that is usually looked at as a specialty for smoking. The experiment was a raving success, saving me a couple hundred bucks in add-on equipment, and I had a one pound ribeye for lunch.

            And so, alas, I’m planning for us to have a lazy a dinner time for the game and just have ham sandwiches and some chips with queso.

            And my bottle of Anchor Steam.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Anchor Steam is the drink of celebration and the remedy for any malady. But as bmaz points out, even after its sale to the Japanese, choosing it abandons any pretense of neutrality.

    • Molly Pitcher says:

      Going with Guinness and a local micro brewery, Devil’s Canyon here in the Bay Area. It might morph into some Dark and Stormies as gusts of 50 mph are predicted weather-wise today.

        • Molly Pitcher says:

          HA ! Just saw that on their menu at a fundraiser for Australia last week. Haven’t tried it yet. Going back for the Flyfishing Film Festival in a couple weeks. Will try it then.

          We should have been drinking it all week. Might need to stock up for the election season.

  23. jaango says:

    I want to see the “overtime” game and who ultimately wins, is not of much importance. Thus, the Competence Factor will determine the NFL’s future.

  24. Bobby Gladd says:

    I’m now watching the Netflix Aaron Hernandez documentary. Wow. Anyone else see it? Creepy.

    Hope there’s a good football game tonight amid all the hoopla. I have no idea who will win. I have no preference. Now that I’ve moved to Baltimore, I’m one of those insta-deflated Ravens fans.

  25. SomeGuyInMaine says:

    Go Niners. Grew up there not far from Kezar while the played there last games there.

    Bias yet informed football note: Niners defense is better than the season stats, key pieces were banged up all year. Team is finally mostly healthy, with 3 key players back on D (Kwon Alexander, Jaquaski Tartt, Dee Ford).

    KC got to the game on the back of two amazing comebacks led by Mahomes arm. Expecting a third performance like those against even an better defense seems unlikely. Could happen.

    Niners by 13, 35-22 is my prediction.

    Today’s beer selections include Lagunitas IPA and a Sierra Nevada IPA to go with the Columbus Salami, Monterey Jack cheese and sourdough bread.

    Off to watch Stairway to heaven, as I get ready head out to hear Angus Kings live listening session post impeachment in Brunswick, ME


    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Bowdoin? Good read on KC and the Niners.

      Lagunitas is good beer, but it’s part of Heineken now. I’m fond of the Dutch, but I prefer privately-owned Sierra Nevada.

      • Bay State Librul says:

        Imagine being 75 and the Junior Senator from Maine.
        I’d loved to see (Moustache #1) interview Bolton (Moustache #2).
        Maine’s Allagash — Sixteen Counties (6.5%) is my favorite for today–
        Let’s wash away last weeks horror film and give a toast to Wendall Berry.
        “Take a simpleton, and give him power,” Berry writes, “and confront him with intelligence – and you have a tyrant”

    • biff murphy says:

      Hey Maine Guy, I love that area of Maine, I was stationed at Brunswick Naval Air Station for 3 years. My wife and I go to Oar’s and Bailey’s Island in the summer. Have you tried the Lagunitas Little Sumpin’s, not bad atol, ayuh. best, biff

      • SomeGuyInMaine says:

        Yep. Little Sumpin sumpin is good. Got Lucky 13 too. And the wife got some anchor steam too. All set beer-wise

  26. rosalind says:

    hmm, y’all already put up the “Craft Beer Bat Signal” and still no appearance by the Lady of the house in this thread.

    we may have to break out the bacon. Zingerman’s, of course.

  27. Peterr says:

    Oh great. Our power went out & they say it will take about 3.5 hours to get it back. Lovely.

    Somehow, this has to be PG&E’s doing, to sabotage some folks in metro KC.

      • Peterr says:

        Indeed. The problem is that we have to run a generator to keep our sump pump going. After snowing earlier this week, it’s in the mid 60s and all that water is trying to into our house. Gotta go find a working gas station because we need gas for it and someone (looks in the mirror) used the last of it the last time the lawn got mowed in the fall.

            • bmaz says:

              Rabbit ears dude, use a modified clothes hangar if you have to.

              Old School solutions to old school problems.

              • earlofhuntingdon says:

                The wooden hangars or the plastic ones? Or do you still send your stuff to the cleaners, who send it back on those nice metal ones?

                  • P J Evans says:

                    I had one of those on one car. It worked well enough.

                    We had a long length of two-wire flat antenna cable as an actual cable in one house: about six feet of it was split down the middle and tacked to the wall, high up. It got most of the stations we watched – that was before cable.

                  • Valley girl says:

                    I see why I was misunderstood. I was amused by EoH’s comment re: wire, wood or plastic. I didn’t mean that you, bmaz, were joking about a wire hanger as an antenna.
                    Done it myself and know it works.

                    • bmaz says:

                      I remember watching a game in Boulder long ago with that in place of rabbit ears, and it was not half bad as long as some human was touching and grounding it.

                      It all seems so hilarious now….

                    • earlofhuntingdon says:

                      Grounding’s the hard part. It’s like having a designated grounder. Unlike driving, you could alternate. That is, if the grounder is sufficiently stable and blood alcohol content does not affect the quality of the grounding.

            • Peterr says:

              We have video and wifi once more, thanks to the generator and lots of extension cords. Gotta be careful not to trip on them as they run all through the house.

              The red beans and rice, however, will not be happening. It takes about 3 hours to cook well and Mrs Dr Peterr was just getting ready to start that when the power went out. The menu will be a selection of cheeses and sausages, with plenty of Boulevard. Once the power comes back, more may be added to the menu, but not the red beans and rice.

              • Eureka says:

                Whew! So glad to hear you’re up and running. (With those temps, at least you can wait til later to hotwire the furnace out to the generator.)

                • Peterr says:

                  Yeah. The ice storm isn’t supposed to arrive until Tuesday at sunrise.

                  I wish I was kidding. I hate ice storms.

                  • Eureka says:

                    eeh they are the worst. I hate them, too. Never a good memory of ice storms. The last power outage from one of those took out a special poinsettia that was too close to a window.

                    Mr. E, making us cheesesteaks for dinner with the game on in kitchen, popped out to propose we trade Wentz for Mahomes. Lengthy discussion of what could have been, minus some injuries and helicopter-coaching. Like they’ll ever let him out of the pocket again, sigh. QB envy.

                  • Eureka says:

                    *note I omitted the more terrifying aspects of ice storms because, terrifying.

                    Also, cheese whiz is terrifying until you get past the first few whiffs/ bites. Bracing for incoming shortly…

              • Peterr says:

                And we have power once again. Now gotta plug the tv and Google stuff back into the wall, reset everything, turn off the generator, . . . oh, and eat dinner.

  28. P J Evans says:

    bmaz says: February 2, 2020 at 6:59 pm

    I remember watching a game in Boulder long ago with that in place of rabbit ears, and it was not half bad as long as some human was touching and grounding it.

    It all seems so hilarious now….

    I had a TV where I had to tie the rabbit-ears in place at a particular angle to get decent reception, or stand there touching them (so I couldn’t see the screen well). That was in east Pasadena, where it was line-of-sight (and not many miles) to the antenna farm on Mt Wilson.

    • bmaz says:

      Exactly. It could go from perfectly acceptable to a non reception snow storm screen with micro movements.

  29. earlofhuntingdon says:

    I can’t tell if Flipper has arisen from a watery grave or Mr. Peanut has arisen from the mulch and tears of Mr. Kool-Aid, aided by a heavenly light.

    The cultural mishmash and appropriation in these ads make me worry for the future of the human race. It is as if the world were becoming addicted to Donald Trump’s diet and diction.

  30. Peterr says:

    Having gotten J-Lo and Shakira to be the halftime show, the folks in the Fox truck seem to be very nervous about showing the hips that both are famous for. “Pull back to a wide shot . . . closeup on a backup dancer . . . whatever you do, don’t show a pelvis in motion!”

    Fox, if you didn’t want to show moving female hips, maybe you should have signed different singers.

  31. Jim White says:

    Whew. Seems like a pretty good game, but there was a sudden influx of grandbabies just before the game, so my attention was definitely divided. They left just before halftime, and the dishes are done and toys put away.

    Wasn’t watching closely, but halftime show was…something.

    Sigh. I miss baby shark.

    Oh, and fuck Fox Nation (hoping the native American tribe by that name goes after them if I heard that name right) or whatever drivel that was that they were hawking.

  32. bmaz says:

    Super Bowl Halftimes rated:

    1) Prince
    2) Gaga
    3) Michael Jackson
    4) Bruno Mars
    5) Springsteen
    6) McCartney
    7) Gloria Estefan, Stevie Wonder, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
    8) Diana Ross
    9) Beyonce, Destiny’s Child
    10) U2

  33. RMD says:

    Both the announcers and the refs seem to like KC….
    encroachment not called against KC
    on replay, obvious encroachment is framed as,”there’s that near false start”
    pass interference not called against KC

    Go Jimmy

  34. Peterr says:

    2:44 left, and The Kid is chanting “C’mon – No School Wednesday! No School Wednesday!” as he urges the Chefs to win. Apparently the word around is that if the Chefs win, the parade would be Wednesday, and so many teachers want to go that there aren’t enough subs to cover all the classes.

  35. earlofhuntingdon says:

    And KC puts an egg on it. Another touchdown….And an interception. As I said, 49ers not even on the field.

  36. Eureka says:



    I know I should not say this with time on the clock but darn. (*From experience, I am withholding this until 0:00 or Gatorade! )

    (And I can joke again now that Reid has a ring.)


    I am so happy for the months-long swell of joy that will overtake the people of KC.

    • Peterr says:

      I laughed very loudly at the first line of your comment, and Mrs Dr Peterr said “What?”

      When I told her, then SHE laughed very loudly.

      • Eureka says:

        (Well, we do know your plight here.)

        Fortunately, you will all get to live an extended special joy, a social harmony and well-being, that I cannot explain in words. People’s faces will just have a more pleasant set, everyday interactions will have a different ease.

        In terms of community impact, KC winning after so many years is about as close an equivalent to Iggles getting their first in the SB era two years ago.

        I am so happy for you all to enjoy this. (And happy for Big Red.)

        • Eureka says:

          This ‘happiness factor’-per-win-distance theory partly includes the notion (which BSL will correct me on as needed) that NE-environs cannot possibly have gotten as big or enduring a happiness surge with each (nearly) successive year — Courtesy of dopamine and friends.

          • Bay State Librul says:

            I agree with your “happiness factor”
            For me, the most “happy” time was 2004 when the Red Sox beat St. Louis.
            Our 2007 win (Colorado), 2013 (St Louis), and 2018 (Los Angeles) were less and less “elate full.”
            Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are the eight best words even written to a Republic, and number eight, at least for me, is so “cool and amazing”
            A shooting star has landed in Kansas City.
            Fans rejoice, good work.

  37. Peterr says:

    There’s a farm pond behind our house that a hundred geese love, and when I stepped outside just now, the geese are very upset at all the fireworks.

  38. Molly Pitcher says:

    Oh, that last ten minutes was painful to watch as a 49er fan. Shanahan was WAY too conservative today.

    Glad Reid got his ring and we can soon stop hearing about Mahomes.

    Time to go off and use alcohol to purify the wounds.

    • Peterr says:

      It was a great back-and-forth game, Molly. Savor your beverages, even if the game didn’t end as you wanted.

      But I don’t think you’re gonna stop hearing about Mahomes any time soon. If he can stay healthy, he’s going to be a presence for quite a while, like Montana and Young.

  39. Molly Pitcher says:

    This is rich. Our stable genius President just tweeted congratulations on the Super Bowl win to all the citizens of Kansas…..

  40. Peterr says:

    School districts are already announcing closures on Wednesday. No word yet from The Kid’s district, but I am sure they’ll close too.

  41. BobPDX says:

    As a KC native, the Chef’s trademark comeback was very satisfying. Happy for KC!
    Enjoyed a few Laurelwood Workhorse IPA’s along the way, here in PDX.
    Thanks bmaz for the STH link, great way to cap the evening. Seeing the president and first lady was a bonus, better times. Optimistic that we’ll be able to right the ship in November.

  42. punaise says:

    Eh, bummer for the Niners, letting it slip away like that. Respect to Mahomes and KC; props to SF for a great run.

    On the plus side KC’s final TD made my brother and me winners of my office pool. Having turned off the TV immediately I didn’t even realize it until the group text thread started blowing up.

  43. Eureka says:

    Twitter is very abuzz with all of the imagery and other symbolism J Lo and Shakira deployed on national TV about racist policy in Trump’s America: kids in cages (literally, on the set), singing Let’s Get Loud (PR flags, kids singing Born in the USA — see comments below, or search for more):


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