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Tackling the Super Bowl and other sports topics

scottteaser-215x160Some Super Bowl leftovers and other sports morsels as I look forward to the start of spring training and dread the blizzard of NFL mock drafts about to bury us:

  • Let’s move the Super Bowl to Saturday. This would increase worker productivity on the Monday following the game as people would have an extra 24 hours to recover from their overindulgence.
  • Stephon Gilmore—not Julian Edelman—deserved the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Award. Yes, Edelman was brilliant with 10 receptions for 141 yards, including eight catches that resulted in New England Patriots’ first downs. But Gilmore had five tackles, three pass breakups, a forced fumble and the clinching interception from his lock-down cornerback position, while helping hold the high-scoring Los Angeles Rams to just three points. If ever there was a game where a defensive player deserved the honor, it was this one.
  • Bill Belichick has joined George Halas and Curly Lambeau as the only head coaches in NFL history with six titles. Actually, the Hoodie is the NFL’s Lord of the Rings, when you add the two he won as a New York Giants assistant. But he still has a ways to go to catch Bill Russell (11 National Basketball Association titles), Henri Richard (11 Stanley Cups) and Yogi Berra (10 World Series titles).
  • The number, though, that really blows my mind about Belichick is 161. That’s how many NFL head coaches have been hired since he took over in New England in 2000. There have been 26 different head coaches in the AFC East in the Belichick era—10 each in Miami and Buffalo and six for the New York Jets. That includes two more head coaching hires in the division since the end of last season.
  • I’ve often said no team would ever match the Bills record of playing in four consecutive Super Bowls. Well, don’t look now, but the Patriots have an opportunity to do just that if they earn another trip next season. And, as much as I hate to write this, the Patriots achievement would be more impressive because they won two of those games (with a chance for a third), and would have accomplished this feat during the free agency era.
  • Despite the measly 16 total points, this was not the worst Super Bowl ever. The outcome of this one was still in doubt late into the fourth quarter. I covered Super Bowls that ended 55-10, 52-17 and 46-10. Believe me, those were worse games.
  • Columnist Dan Shaughnessy wrote an intriguing column Monday proclaiming Tom Brady the greatest athlete in Boston history. He just may have a point. You might argue that Ted Williams was a greater baseball player than Brady was a football player, but Williams never led his team to a championship. Bill Russell won five more titles than Brady, but rarely is in the discussion for greatest basketball player of all-time. He was surrounded by a great supporting cast. Bobby Orr is in the conversation for greatest hockey player of all-time, but he doesn’t have the titles nor comparable all-time stats that Brady has in his sport because Orr’s legendary career was cut short by injuries.
  • The NFL pre-prints and pre-embroiders T-shirts, sweat-shirts and caps proclaiming both teams Super Bowl champions. The correct ones are distributed to members of the victorious team the instant the game ends. The incorrect ones are shipped to an impoverished country and given to people in dire need of clothing. So, somewhere, in Africa, South America, the Caribbean or Central Europe, people soon will be donning gear proclaiming the Rams as Super Bowl LIII champions. Major League Baseball and the NBA do the similar things with their “almost-champions” gear.
  • The pre-printed merchandise that was meant to be sold to fans in the hotels and airports of the host city immediately after the game also is distributed to needy folks in foreign lands. In total, about $2-million-to-$3-million dollars-worth of clothing is donated for this humanitarian cause. So, the losing team can take some solace in that.
  • The football game between defending national champion Clemson and 10-win Syracuse this September figures to be one of the most anticipated sporting events in the history of the Carrier Dome. And one of the most emotional, too, because Tim Green’s No. 72 jersey will be retired. The former two-time All-American defensive end and Rhodes Scholar candidate is battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, aka Lou Gehrig’s disease, and has displayed remarkable courage and grace while raising research funds and awareness about this fatal disorder.
  • Sorry to hear that Jeff Idelson will be stepping down as president of the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum following this year’s induction ceremony. I’ve known Jeff since he was the museum’s public relations director in the mid-1990s, and you won’t find a better person or a better steward of the game’s history. Under his leadership, the Hall grew into a world-class museum—one that chronicled not only the sport’s history, but its profound impact on our society. I wish him nothing but the best as he writes the next chapter of his life.

Best-selling author and nationally honored journalist Scott Pitoniak is the Rochester Business Journal sports columnist.              

 

One comment

  1. Agree with your suggestion. We lost 50% of our work force the Monday after the “BIG” game. Admittedly we are a small business with only 6 employees, but it hurt never the less.

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