Greg Cote’s Super Bowl With a Smirk: Biggest challenge is enduring four consecutive hours of Terry Bradshaw


America’s TV audience must get through a four-hour pregame show with too much of Terry Bradshaw before it can finally enjoy the game.

The United States in its great history has survived a Civil War, Great Depression, racial divide and terrorist attacks. Now comes America’s next big challenge: enduring four straight hours of Terry Bradshaw on Fox’s Super Bowl Sunday pregame show.

Smirk doesn’t like to over-legislate, but shouldn’t there be a law that a pregame show cannot last longer than the game itself?

When I think of Super Bowl excess, I think of TV as much as anything.

ESPN and NFL Network both have had more than 115 hours of SB-related overanalysis in the buildup to the game.

Fox’s pregame show, broadcasting partly from Times Square and then from the stadium, will offer the usual parade of superfluous stuff having nothing to do with Broncos vs. Seahawks, including:

A feature on Brooklyn-born Vince Lombardi, Bradshaw strolling down Broadway with Joe Namath, a tribute to Pat Summerall, a recitation of the Declaration of Independence by former players and firefighters, and Jimmy Johnson deep-sea fishing in the nude. (OK, I made up that last thing. But the rest of it is true.)

The show also will include a live Bill O’Reilly interview with President Barack Obama.

Taking partisanship to a new level, Republicans are expected to immediately demand equal time and vehemently oppose the president by saying they are not looking forward to a good game.

At last, the Broncos and Seahawks will take the field, and America will erupt as in celebratory cheering.

Not because the game is on.

Because the four-hour pregame show has ended.

• The Heat plays at the Knicks on Saturday night, and players from both teams were expected to swing by Friday night’s GQ Super Bowl party at the top of Manhattan’s Standard Hotel. How great would it be if the bouncer at the velvet rope didn’t recognize LeBron but Mario Chalmers said, “No, it’s cool. He’s with me.”

• Smirk can finally confirm, officially, following a five-day investigation, that it will be cold during the game. And that’s on the record.

• The third annual NFL Honors show is Saturday night at Radio City Music Hall, featuring the naming of the league MVP and other major awards, plus the Pro Football Hall of Fame announcement following private voter deliberations inside the Bob Kuechenberg Disappointment Room. Though not an award winner, Ryan Tannehill is the only current Dolphin scheduled to attend along with his wife. (Aside to Lauren: Radio City Music Hall has a strict no-weapons policy.)

• A second major Saturday event is the Taste of the NFL fundraiser in Brooklyn, where a $700 ticket lets you sample food from chefs from every NFL city. This year, Denver is serving Bison & Pistachio Sausage, and Seattle is offering Skuna Bay Salmon. (Miami, last in the Super Bowl in 1985, is serving Smoked Duck Tartine with a Glaze of Dolfan Tears.)

• Commissioner Roger Goodell delivered his annual state of the NFL address Friday and spoke a lot about concussions and safety initiatives, but it was hard to hear him over the loud snoring of sportswriters.

• The Super Bowl could not start if not for the Highland Mint of Melbourne, Fla., which produces the ornate silver coin with gold highlights used in the pregame flip. Of course, the NFL could use a regular old quarter, but that’d make too much sense.

• An NFL Super Bowl-related community-service initiative went awry Friday when volunteers from rival groups Rebuilding Together and Habitat for Humanity began brawling and berating each other’s newly constructed homes.

• A Super Bowl Celebrity Bowling Classic is Saturday at Chelsea Piers, where dozens of ex-players laboring to bowl will gripe loudly about lack of medical benefits.

• Finally, Smirk signs off for the week with this: Think I’ve seen one too many Super Bowl commercials. Had a nightmare last night in which Betty White was nursing the E-Trade Baby while both rode sidesaddle on a Clydesdale.

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