Volume 90, Issue 69

Tuesday, January 28, 1997



OVERTIME: NFL on the ball

By James Pugsley
Gazette Staff

Not bad NFL. Not bad.

For the first time in six years you entertained us.

The spectacle of a good Super Bowl Sunday was finally witnessed by the world and we have a couple of people that must be thanked.

First, John Madden. The delightful gentleman who has thrived on his ability to magnify the smallest details in football and discuss them for hours on end had an excellent game. He allowed the viewers to watch the game without having to avoid countless lines and circles that he usually scribbles across the screen.

It is also important to thank the mindless perverts who selected this year's half-time show – a tribute to the Blue Brothers. If anyone stuck around to watch, they would have seen a raw display of ZZ Top surrounded by ZZ Topless women (well, not really, but close). Forcing James Brown to sing without moving his lips, while a group of Harley Davidson motorcycles tore apart the turf offered the world yet another look at fine American culture. It also created more smoke than a tugboat, which lingered in the air for the entire second half and almost killed Madden.

Next, we should thank Budweiser and Pepsi who did an excellent job entertaining us with dancing bears, Jonathan Winters, cavemen, babies and Darth Vader. And for those who could only see Canadian commercials, thank Global.

I think we should thank the entire commercial world for not using this Super Bowl to introduce such products as Clear Pepsi and the Chrysler Neon. And a big thanks to Energizer for its lack of participation.

Finally, thank you to the Buffalo Bills for not winning – again.

Phew. I think we got them all.

No wait, there was something else.

Oh yes, the players!

Let's face it, the Super Bowl is normally a one quarter event. Every year football fans find themselves enjoying the cheerleaders, the banners, the commercials and the Bud Bowl and not the game. But this year, through all of the hype and desire for an solid Super Bowl package, what a treat it was to discover the game was included.

The highest scoring Super Bowl first quarter ever (24 points), the longest Super Bowl punt return ever (Desmond Howard and his 99 big ones), the most sacks by one person in the Super Bowl (Reggie White's three) – it was truly super.

So, the biggest and most important thanks go to the coaches and players of the New England Patriots and the champion Green Bay Packers. There were almost no penalties, plenty of passing, dramatic returns, some solid defensive plays and a heck of a lot of fun.

Now we can relax for another year.

Thank you.

To Contact The Sports Department: gazsport@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997