INDIANAPOLIS – Thoughts on a rainy Saturday afternoon in central Indiana:
â—†â€…THERE ARE 433 collections of Super Bowl notes laid out on the rows of tables here in the media room at the JW Marriott.
No. 433 tells us, among other things, that Patriots linebacker Tracy White is questionable with an ‘‘abdomen.”
No. 1 tells us that Patriots head coach Bill Belichick will be available in the White River Ballroom – last Monday.
In between are enough tidbits to start a high-rise fire.
You know, in certain ways, these Super Bowls write themselves – as long as you’re good at copying things.
â—†â€…OH, AND THOSE numbered notes aren’t single pages. Some, such as No. 158, are eight pages long. The notes about commissioner Roger Goodell – No. 429 – are 10 pages long.
So we’re looking at maybe 2,000 pages of info. Pregame.
â—†â€…MY OLD FRIEND Steve Fine, the director of photography for Sports Illustrated, just walked in.
According to Fine, SI has 11 credentialed photographers for the game, all with assistants and at least four cameras. Plus, there are four SI cameras hooked to the ceiling of Lucas Oil Stadium. All these humans and cameras will shoot 30,000 frames Sunday – more than enough for a feature movie – out of which Fine must choose 100 ‘‘selects.”
‘‘After this, I check into rehab,” he says.
â—†â€…DID YOU KNOW that when Logan Mankins, a guard for the Patriots, was asked Tuesday what the best part of being an offensive lineman is, he replied, ‘‘Blocking”?
Did you know that Giants defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka, when asked Wednesday if getting to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was important, replied: ‘‘If you get to the quarterback enough, if you hit him hard enough, it’s going to make him less effective”?
Lastly, did you know how Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes began his career? Well, in high school, his physical-education teacher said the football team needed a kicker. As Tynes relates it, ‘‘He said, ‘Lawrence, can you come out here and kick?’ I said, ‘Certainly.’â€‰â€‰”
The rest, as they say, is gibberish.
â—†â€…TOUGH TIMES here at Super Bowl XLVI for rich folks with private jets.
About 1,100 of the ‘‘I’m-a-big-shot” aircrafts are expected to arrive in Indianapolis, and they can’t all cruise into the local airport or the place would look like a lunchroom during a food fight. So, according to the Wall Street Journal, private planes are being directed to places as far away as French Lick, a two-hour drive from Indianapolis.
If the wealthy swells are disgusted by the detour, they should take a quick tour of the town of 1,800 itself. Larry Bird, sometimes referred to as the ‘‘Hick from French Lick,” is from there. And, gol-lee, this being the basketball-mad state it is, Larry might be out there in the drizzle shooting buckets, enjoying himself.
â—†â€…I’M STAYING in Lebanon, Ind., 25 miles north of Indy on Interstate 65. All hotels and motels in Indy have conspired to gouge Super Bowl attendees to the tune of $300 to $700 a night for regular rooms. So how does $109.99 a night at the Comfort Inn sound? Plus, breakfast of eggs, bacon, orange juice, coffee and a stack of blueberry pancakes at nearby Flap-Jacks for $10.59?
Plus, I’m in Lebanon, the home of Rick Mount, the great shooter who never knew the splendor of the three-point line. At Purdue, Mount once scored 61 points against Iowa. Later research found he would have scored 74 points if the three-point line had existed.
According to reports from my buddy and Sun-Times colleague Rick Morrissey, Mount shoots 500 free throws a day in his driveway.
Maybe before the big game I’ll drive by to see if Mount’s out there. I could ask his son, Rich, who’s a cop in Lebanon, for directions.
â—†â€…THE SUPER BOWL, as you know, is about ads. The game is filler around the messages we get from companies urging us to consume their products.
It could be argued that without Super Bowls, we wouldn’t know what to buy. Seventy percent of the U.S. economy is based on citizens purchasing things. Thus, it could be argued that without Super Bowls, our country would descend into a type of consumer paralysis, followed by business disintegration, and emerge as North Korea.
At $3.5 million per 30 seconds, the ads are about more than things you don’t need; they’re about freedom.
So watch them, please.
Especially the ones with Weego, the Bud Light-dragging rescue dog.
God bless you, Weego. Patriot!