The NFL likes to say its Pro Bowl game, being played Sunday night in Hawaii, is the ceremonial kickoff to “Super Bowl Week.” If I were the NFL, I would deny any association with the Pro Bowl and claim I’d never even heard of it. At the very least I’d continue to discreetly move it farther and farther from the mainland until at last it was being held on an undisclosed date in an open field somewhere in northeastern New Zealand.
Super Bowl Week being led off by the Pro Bowl is like the Macy’s Day Parade being led off by an exploding float, like your Super Bowl party being led off by food poisoning.
The Super Bowl is America’s biggest and favorite sporting event, but the Pro Bowl, no matter how much they tweak and re-image it, remains the festering pimple on the NFL cheek, hopelessly unpopular but apparently too embarrassing to simply discontinue.
Even John Madden, America’s Football Uncle, this week called the Pro Bowl “an embarrassment.” He was being kind.
Luckily, a particularly delicious Super Bowl follows.
To me it’s the perfect matchup.
Because it’s Denver’s No. 1 offense vs. Seattle’s No. 1 defense? Well, that, too. But I meant because it’s a meeting of the two major cities from the only two U.S. states to legalize recreational use of pot smoking. Some have already coined this the Marijuana Bowl (which I’m sure Roger Goodell likes about as much he likes a class-action concussion lawsuit).
This might explain why Seahawks and Broncos fans are so famously loud. They’re not cheering for their teams. They’re screaming for more snacks on account of the munchies.
Thousands of fans from Colorado and Washington already have begun the drive east to attend next Sunday’s Super Bowl in East Rutherford, N.J. However, many will fail to get there after stopping their VW vans en route to have a snack and forgetting where they were going or why.
That may be just as well.
I heard that Gov. Chris Christie, angry that New York is getting most of the attention as host, plans to order all roads, tunnels and bridges into New Jersey closed to keep out visitors.• Monday begins the 10-day countdown to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and the State Department already has warned American athletes to not wear their U.S. colors around town because of the threat of terrorism. On the bright side, major security concerns at least have diverted attention from Russia’s human-rights violations. (Nice choice for a host country, IOC! What, North Korea was busy?)
• Update: The NFL/ Ted Wells/Bullygate investigation has been going on for so long now that it has hit a new snag as it finds more and more potential witnesses have died of natural causes.
• The Panthers have seven games left before the NHL’s three-week Olympic break. Given the current standings, could we refer to Florida making the playoffs as Miracle on Ice II?
• UM opens its football season Sept. 1 at Louisville, the team that just routed it in a bowl. Two things will be different, both favoring UM: Duke Johnson will play. Teddy Bridgewater won’t.
• The Charlotte Bobcats played a video in their arena making fun of “bandwagon” Heat fans. Dear Bobcats: You’ve had a team for 10 years and have won nothing. Quiet, please.
• Kobe Bryant was selected to start the upcoming NBA All-Star Game (he won’t) despite missing almost the whole season injured. What was that you were saying about how much you like fan voting?
• Warren Buffett will give $1 billion to anybody who fills in a perfect NCAA Tournament bracket. Yeah and I’ll give $2 billion to anybody who guesses what number I’m thinking of right now.
• Some 25,000 people will be running next Sunday in the Miami Marathon and Half Marathon. I’ll also be running next Sunday. To Publix for more beer for my Super Bowl party.
• It is 10 days from college football’s National Signing Day, in which schools are ranked and given instant grades based on the unpredictable futures of teenagers we’ve never heard of.
• Comeback jockey Gary Stevens rode Mucho Macho Man to a 14-length victory Jan. 18 at Gulfstream Park. Either Mucho Macho Man is that good, or the other jockeys forgot to bring their horses.
• As the new racing season approaches, NASCAR mulls big changes to its Chase format, with one proposal having a four-car, winner-take-all finale at Homestead. NASCAR rejected my proposal, which was to ditch the cars and put all the drivers on horseback with jousting lances.
• The Jamaican bobsled team will be in the Winter Olympics for first time in 12 years. They are not a medal favorite, unless they’ve added a competition for Best After-Party.
• Roger Federer complained to the chair ump about Rafael Nadal’s slow play and grunting in their Australian Open match. Nadal replied by pausing an interminable 30 seconds, then saying, “UNNGH!”
• Parting thought: Babe Ruth’s 1923 World Series championship pocket-watch is up for auction. Based on what I’ve read of the Babe, I’m guessing the watch is permanently set on “time for a drink.”
Visit Greg’s Random Evidence of a Cluttered Blog daily at MiamiHerald.com and follow on Twitter @gregcote and also on Instagram, Vine and Facebook.