A few random thoughts and remarks, some pertinent some not, while recovering from another case of super hype:
I think it was just before halftime that the expected “Game For The Ages” turned into the “Game For The Aged.” That’s when Kansas City coach Andy Reid, with less than a minute left in the half and trailing 14-6, decided to use timeouts in an effort to take the ball away from Tom Brady.
Tampa Bay made it 21-6 just before halftime, and Bruce Arians, the pride of York, Pa., who grew up an Orioles fan (thanks for the heads up, Dan Connolly) was well on the way to showing old goats can have new tricks as he became the oldest coach ever to win a Super Bowl. Meanwhile his quarterback simply solidified his position as “The Old GOAT.”
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What happened immediately after Brady’s third touchdown pass that all but sealed the deal for the Chiefs and their brilliant young quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, was either one of the most spectacular or one of the worst halftime shows in Super Bowl history.
Since, as per custom, I didn’t watch it and to be honest had never heard of the entertainer, I’m not in position to offer a critique. I did, however, happen to see the words to one of his more popular songs, one I’m sure was not part of the program, and to say they were much more offensive than the Chiefs were would be a big understatement.
One of my biggest complaints about the Super Bowl is that teams play 16 games a year with a 12-minute halftime interruption — and then take a 30-minute break during the biggest game of the year. Filling the extra time with questionable entertainment would seem to be … well, let’s just say … questionable.
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Word is out that baseball is going to “deaden” the balls this year, a change expected to reduce the carry on drives of 375 feet by … one or two feet. Hmm, that should cut down on home runs big time.
I’m guessing all the old balls will be relegated to the minor leagues, which we’re being told are going to last only half the length of a normal season. At this stage, the Orioles’ five-year rebuild is probably up to seven years by now.
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Both the owners and the players have now rejected the notion that the designated hitter could be a universal rule for the 2021 season, meaning pitchers get to hit one more year in the National League.
Both sides are using the DH as a bargaining tool for the next collective bargaining agreement, which means both sides are in favor of a change, but only on their terms. So we’ll have to wait until the current CBA runs out at the end of the year to see which side gets to play the chip.
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The agreement between the Maryland Stadium Authority and the Orioles that extends the team’s lease at OPACY seems to be a compromise while a long-term lease is negotiated. But for the conspiracy theorists it most likely provides more questions than answers.
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Observers with good memories got a chuckle when Tom Brady purposely covered up the Nike logo on his shirt while hoisting the Super Bowl trophy. The GOAT still has his deal with Under Armour, which opted out of its connection with the NFL and was replaced by Nike.
All the way back in 1992, when Reebok was the supplier for the Olympic Dream Team, Michael Jordan famously made sure to cover the sponsor’s logo in deference to his contract with Nike. What goes around …
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Happened to catch a YouTube interview with Julius Erving naming an all-star/all-opponent team containing about 9 or 10 players.
Asked who he would have as a coach, Doctor J hesitated only briefly. “The most fun I had playing was the two years with the Nets when Kevin Loughery was the coach — so, yearh, I’d have Kevin to coach that team.”
Nice compliment for the former Bullet (circa 1963-1971), whose coaching career was launched after he was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers.
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Signing off this week on a sad note, reflecting on the passing of Bernie Walter, who had such a great impact on amateur baseball in Baltimore. The long time Anne Arundel coach had a great passion for the game — and the education and development of the youngsters who played for him.
Walter was known as a fierce competitor, and it was never more apparent than during his battle with cancer. The outpouring of emotion as word of his death spread is testimony to the mark he leaves behind.
Without knowing what it’s like on the other side, somehow I can imagine Bernie and Walter Youse, his mentor, comparing notes … and bemoaning the analytical takeover of the game they both loved.
Jim Henneman can be reached at JimH@pressboxonline.com