Super Bowl Short Takes
Y'know, with all them media types down in Tampa, there's hardly any fertile Super Bowl ground left to dig through. Hell, even all the minutia has been mined. Factoids? Gone! Sidebars? Done!
Well, not quite.
Below, we offer the last of the Super Bowl trivia. Guard them carefully. Use them to start conversations at your Super Bowl party, but only in emergencies. For very soon, this may be a land with nothing new left to say about the big game in Tampa...a place where original Super Bowl information may cease to exist. And then where will we be?
Stats, Stats, and More Stats
Useless Super Bowl stat of the week: This year's Ravens/Giants matchup will be the 23rd Super Bowl to feature a team named after an animal versus a nonanimal team. Of the 22 previous such games, the nonanimal teams have gone 16-6good news for the Giants!
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Can't figure out how you ever managed to watch televised football without that handy first-down stripe that the networks now project onto the field? The stripe may soon be marking a lot more than just the first-down yardage. Princeton Video, a New Jersey digital-imaging firm, is collaborating with the NFL to suffuse the stripe with advertising. The technology, which will be tried out during foreign broadcasts of this Sunday's Super Bowl, will show the corporate logos of FedEx, General Motors Canada, and Mexico's Banca Serfin superimposed onto the stripe. If the experiment is deemed a success, it could be used in American NFL broadcasts as early as next season. So if you think sponsorship newspeak like "The Nokia Sugar Bowl" is annoying, just wait until Pat Sumerall starts telling us how the Giants have made "another FedEx first down!"
Of course, this being the Super Bowl, the billboard-ization of the first-down marker is only one of many sponsorship maneuvers that companies have come up with for the game. One of the most enterprising gimmicks comes from CNS, Inc., the Minnesota-based firm that manufactures Breathe Right nasal strips. With so many players now wearing the strips, CNS has produced a special run of Breathe Rights in Giants and Ravens team colors for this Sunday's players. So far these aren't available for retail sale, but that will surely change if they're a hit at the big game. Memo to Raymond James Stadium's janitorial-supply company: If you're making special team-imprinted urinal cakes for the men's rooms, we really don't want to know.
It might not be a home field advantage, but the Giants will have the edge over the Ravens come Super Bowl XXXV coin-toss time, as two of the four honorary tossers are Alumni Giganti. Bill Parcells and O.J. Anderson will share honors with Marcus Allen and Tom Flores for their roles in Tampa's two previous Super Bowls: XVIII & XXV.
Howard Z. Unger
These days, the radio airwaves are thick with assorted Super Bowl ticket-giveaway promotions. But has anyone else noticed that most of these contests don't even mention the words Super Bowl? Instead, they promise tickets to "the big game in Tampa," or to "pro football's biggest game." What gives? The same thing that drives almost everything in the sports world these days: licensing. "The Super Bowl is an official trademark of the league," explains an NFL spokesperson. "So if they haven't licensed the Super Bowl name from us, they can't specifically refer to it." Frankly, we find this a bit ridiculous, but hey, if you can't beat 'em, join 'emfrom now on, those who have not received explicit permission will please refer to the Score as "the highlight of the Voice each week."
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