Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Apparently no one at NFL offices saw the DC storm this year

The NFL has made a horrible decision by putting the 2014 Super Bowl in New Jersey. That's where it will be played, not New York. The teams will land there and they will stay there. The media and the parties will be in New York. As someone who's covered Super Bowls in San Diego, Atlanta, Tampa and Jacksonville, I can tell you that's going to be a logistical nightmare. No one cares about the media's concerns though, and that's not why I'm so ticked off about this. The Super Bowl is supposed to be about determining who the best team in pro football is for that particular season. Cold weather teams can earn the benefit of having home field advantage in the conference playoffs if they win enough games, but the title game site is predetermined and has nothing to do with records. Why, therefore, should a team that builds itself for cold weather out of necessity - let's say a 9-7 Cleveland Browns team - have a distinct advantage against a warm weather team which might well have a better record? Thanks to likely evening temps in the teens or lower and a strong possibility of snowy conditions, they would if they reach this New Jersey game. If both participants are warm weather or dome teams, no one will have an advantage but both are likely to struggle mightily against the conditions. How's that any good for those of us who want to say a great game? Why should a fan of a team that might be making the Super Bowl for the first time in decades have to endure such conditions to see his team play their most important game ever? Sometimes the NFL does something stupid as a favor for an owner or a payoff for a stadium. Jacksonville getting Super Bowl 39 was like that - this makes that choice seem brilliant by comparison.

Hiring Steve Yzerman to be their GM is a huge move for the Tampa Bay Lightning. We'll see whether Stevie Y is as good a front office guy as he was a player, but he instantly gives the new ownership credibility that the last embarrassing mess never had a chance of securing. Yzerman would not leave his secure role with Detroit to come to a situation where he lacked confidence in the willingness of ownership to do things the right way. Having been with the most consistent hockey franchise of the past two decades, he's seen what it takes to succeed first hand. If he's convinced it'll be there at his disposal in Tampa, I am too.

I thought I had seen every ridiculous idea possible on how to cram fans into buildings and squeeze money out of them, but I should have never sold the folks who own Madison Square Garden short. They plan to build "sky bridges" five stories over the playing surface and charge fans big dollars to stand on them. Why anyone would want to pay to look down at people the size of ants who may go underneath them and be completely out of view, I have no idea. Think they'll have nets up to keep anyone from deciding to drop things onto the court or ice? Nothing about this plan seems like a good idea to me.

if you get into MMA as a career, you probably want to feel like a tough guy. Unfortunately for Jason Frank, his past is coming back to haunt him a little bit when it comes to that. The reason: Frank's previous gig was being the Green Mighty Morphin Power Ranger. Now he's trying to be an MMA fighter, but one of his opponents showed up dressed as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. My personal favorite part of the story is that Frank says he "just got kind of tired with the whole Hollywood thing" as a way of explaining his career switch. I'm sure producers were knocking down his door with offers.

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