Super Bowl With a Smirk is back with our fourth of five daily columns needling the self-important NFL and the excess and gravitas of its big game.
OK, this is war! The New England Patriots, who have never had a perfect season, have somehow won a trademark on the phrase “Perfect Season.”
It's an outrage – the most egregious “alternative fact” yet. It would be like Greg Cote trademarking the phrase “Pulitzer Winner.”
Smirk today is calling upon Don Shula and the 1972 Miami Dolphins – the only team that did have a perfect season – to foment into an angry if aging mob and picket outside Sunday's Patriots-Falcons Super Bowl in Houston.
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The Patriots were undefeated and untied before losing the Super Bowl nine years ago. They deserve a trademark on “Almost Perfect Season.” Or perhaps on “Amost Perfect Cheaters.”
Instead the U.S. Patent and trademark Office in December granted the Patriots-owning Kraft Group legal rights to the phrases “Perfect Season” and “19-0,” ESPN's Darren Rovell reports.
It took eight years for the Kraft Group's petition to finally be approved. The loophole the Pats used to justify deserving Perfect Season was to license the phrase to a Massachusetts high-school football association to commemorate Xaverian High's 24 straight wins.
The Dolphins once filed to trademark “17-0” and “Perfectville” but eventually gave up the fight.
Now New England legally owns what Miami earned on the field, but, galling and absurd as that is, we all know better, and about this I'm not Smirking:
Perfect Season belongs to only one team in NFL history, and it sure ain't the Patriots.
▪ Lady Gaga met the media Thursday in Houston, and declined to pick a winning team, saying, “I'm going to write it down and put it in my shoe.” Gaga is headlining the Super Bowl Halftime Show Sponsored by Smirk's Second-Favorite Cola.
▪ National-anthem singer Luke Bryan also met the media. The Falcons fan from Leesburg, Ga., blatantly did the limbo to compliment the Patriots so as not to hurt his sales in the Northeast.
▪ Spoiler alert! The Patriots will beat the Falcons 27-24 on Sunday. Book it. Bank it. Because EA Sports' Madden 17 video game played it and says it. Madden is 9-4 on previous SB picks, which strikes Smirk as decent, not great.
▪ The group MVPindex took umbrage at Smirk's Wednesday suggestion they might have been drunk when ranking Julian Edelman's social media impact greater than Tom Brady's. Based on criteria including how many times followers engage with a post, “Edelman does it better,” said spokesperson Amber Moore. “So we aren't drunk.”
▪ Stadium security precautions will be tight Sunday. Prohibited items that fans may carry in include umbrellas, lasers, signs and 60-millimeter hand-held mortars.
▪ Two notable Houstonians, former president George H.W. Bush and wife Barbara, ages 92 and 91, will conduct the pregame coin toss. There's a joke there somehwere, but some things are out of bounds even for Smirk.
▪ Counterfeit merchandise update: If that pricey Super Bowl jacket you bought has no logos whatsoever and looks eerily like a 1980s Members Only jacket, it might not be official Super Bowl apparel.
▪ Finally, our Super Bowl Party Tip du Jour: Make your Super Bowl party alcohol-free this year. It'll save you the bother of having to host a Super Bowl party next year.