Last Wednesday, I headed to the Sheraton in Midtown Manhattan to pick up this:
It’s my Superbowl week credential. Exciting? A bit. But it wasn’t a game credential, just a press pass to get into all the events leading up to the game, like press conferences, media day etc. And since I was out of town for most of last week, I never actually used it. So, the closest I got to the Superbowl excitement was the actual act of picking up the credential at the media center.
And there was some excitement. I saw some NFL writers and TV guys who I recognized. I got lost in a labyrinth of confusing stairways trying to get from the lobby of the hotel to the area where the media was supposed to gather. And then I found myself standing behind Michael Irvin. He was in the same labyrinth but he was walking confidently. So I followed him. And I ended up exactly where I had started again. Michael Irvin was just as lost as I was. Also, his collar was screwed up in the back. It took everything I had not to reach out and fix it or to at least say, “Hey, Michael Irvin, your collar is screwed up.” But, then I remembered that I’m ostensibly a media professional and I was wearing a semi-clean BU hoodie and sneakers. So, I decided against tapping Michael Irvin on the shoulder in a confusing stairway to give him fashion advice.
But eventually I found my way outside and descended down into the subway, silently praising myself for being nonplussed by the NFL experience I had just had. And then I got to the E train platform and I looked to my left and saw a woman who looked a lot like Sally Jesse Raphael. AND I FREAKED THE FUCK OUT!
OH MY GOD. ITS SALLY JESSE RAPHAEL!!!!
At least I think it was. She wasn’t wearing the trademark red glasses and she’s older now than she was when I watched her ridiculous talk show as a kid. But she was wearing an ostentatious fur coat that screamed monied 70 year old woman and made her standout from the Wednesday afternoon crowd on a subway platform. Plus, she had the type of plastic surgery face that you would imagine a Sally Jesse Raphael type faux celebrity might have 15 years after she was last culturally relevant.
So, that’s the highlight of Superbowl week in New York City for me -It’s entirely possible that I saw Sally Jesse Raphael.
Longtime readers know there are a few major athletic events that I can barely tolerate. The worst is the World Cup. But the Winter Olympics are a close second. Aside from the hockey tournament, I don’t find any of it compelling. So, I’m expecting the next 3 weeks of Sports Illustrated to be terrible.
That being said, I enjoyed this week’s Scorecard section, which focused on Sochi as an Olympic site more than on the fake sports that will be competed in during the games. My brother is covering the games for Fox Sports and will be in Sochi for the next three weeks, so security at the games is of particular interest to me. Its a far more compelling storyline than who will win the luge.
Protect This House by Thayer Evans
Speaking of security.. Evans discusses the efforts made to keep the Superbowl safe this past weekend. Obviously, NJ transit was a disaster, but that was to be expected. It once took me 4 hours to get from the Upper East Side to the Meadowlands via New Jersey Transit for a U2 concert. The Secaucus transfer station is a disaster in even the best of times. Adding layers and layers of extra security could only make it worst.
Bland Bands, Nip Slips and 3-D Bebop by Austin Murphy
I love everything about this article about Superbowl half time shows. I love the title! I love that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. I love how it’s written. It might be the best SI article I’ve read in months.
Words with Terry and Howie by Richard Deitsch
A very interesting, honest and revealing interview with Terry Bradshaw and Howie Long. Terry Bradshaw comes off as a deeply sad guy who is riddled with self esteem issues. And despite the fact that he’s 10 years younger, Howie seems to play the role of big brother, trying to prevent outside forces from denting Bradshaw’s fragile psyche.
EDITORS NOTE: THIS IS WHEN I STOPPED READING THE MAGAZINE. I DID NOT BOTHER READING THE OLYMPIC PREVIEW