Sept. 16 I confirmed that the Black Eyed Peas would play this season’s Super Bowl halftime show.
The reaction of the public and media to the BEP booking has been mixed at best but criticism of Super Bowl halftime talent booked by the NFL is forever an inevitability. When you combine a colossal audience and hyper-politically correct culture, you can’t expect the NFL to get anywhere in the vicinity of cutting edge.
Though in the case of the Black Eyed Peas, a good many Canadians may be wondering why the NFL booked the act for the Super Bowl after the group was widely-panned in Canada’s media following what many regarded as an offensive performance at halftime of the 2005 Grey Cup in Vancouver.
Give it up for our northern friends, the Calgary Stampeders, for capturing the Canadian Football League’s Grey Cup with a 22-14 win over the Montreal Alouettes. The pride of Temple University, Henry Burris, was named the MVP by totaling over 400 yards from the QB position, while Sandro DeAngelis was named the top Canadian after kicking five field goals. Yes, Canadians get their own award, and yes, it’s probably also in French.
(A typical Calgarian)
So while the Canadian championship may be but a footnote in American sports blurbs, briefs, whirlwinds, and newspaper agate pages, the NFL teams could certainly learn from the Stamps to help further their franchises.
• Tennessee Titans — So you lost your first game? You got whacked by the New York Jets at home 34-13? No worries. The Stamps lost 37-16 at home to the Edmonton Eskimos back on September 1.
• Arizona Cardinals — Don’t worry about the loss to the 37-29 loss to the New York Giants. Like the Stampeders’ Burris, Kurt Warner also played in the NFL Europe for a year. And if that’s not enough solace, then I don’t know what to tell you.
• Bears, Broncos, Dolphins, Bills, Broncos, and whoever wins the Packers/Saints game tonight: You all have five losses. Aw, poor babies. Calgary’s regular season record? 13-5. (Oh, yeah, and the Giants lost six last year. But that doesn’t apply here.)
• Browns, Jaguars, Chargers, Eagles, and whoever loses the Packers/Saints game tonight — you all had high hopes this year, but it’s just not looking like it’ll happen this year. No sweat. Last year the Stampeders went 7-10-1.
• Detroit Lions — You guys, much like many of the players on the Stampeders, still have your health.
Know how your co-worker got an iPhone, so everyone else got one? In a trend of reverse cutting edge technology, college teams are now embracing old solutions to new problems having seen what’s going on in Penn State. Rather than get a trendy receivers coach to lead a big-time program, Kansas State will announce this morning that Bill Snyder, 69 years young, will return as the Wildcats’ head coach. Joe Paterno will now have someone to discuss what it was like to listen to Harry Truman’s speech.
Time once again for a lesson on non-tie NFL rules: A team is allowed to attempt a field goal without an oncoming rush if the team just made a fair catch off a punt. The Arizona Cardinals knew this, and with five ticks left in the first half of their game against the Giants in such a position, Neil Rackers attempted a 68-yard field goal, which would’ve been the longest kick in NFL history by five yards. Let’s take a look-see:
Yum. Can you fit in ten more Thanksgiving metaphors this week? How about links instead?
It’s another NFL Network Thanksgiving miracle, thanks to Sen. Arlen Specter, apparently chairman on the Subcommittee to Fix Sports Things. The Philadelphia Eagles-Arizona Cardinals game will be shown on local Pennsylvania TV stations, although perhaps after Sunday’s loss, this is more of a curse than a blessing.
Old hat: Japanese veteran baseball player. New fedora: Japanese phenom baseball player. Old hat again: the Red Sox sign him, NPB TRACKER reports (or translates SPONICHI ANNEX’s report, which is the same thing). Jinichi Tazawa will get $3 million over 3 years, but will have to develop his Japanese-taught mannerisms in an American-style pitching system. Baseball purists ought to keep an eye on this project.
More from the Fins/Pats game: Matt Light and Channing Crowder could be BFFs for the rest of us know, but at the worst possible time they got in kind of a fight. BALLHYPE has video proof.
Contrary to previous optimism in which the Detroit Lions could win a game this year: the DETROIT NEWS’ John Niyo is reporting the Detroit Lions probably won’t win a game this year.
Cliff Lee isn’t just the Cy Young winner, he also won “Cleveland’s Man Of The Year” as voted on by the local chapter of the BBWAA. Also some guy named Luis Isaac, who was with the Indians for over 40 years, won an award for getting fired and not being a bitch about it. The award, unfortunately, is not a new job.
The TORONTO STAR’s Rosie DiMannoisn’t at all fooled at the Maple Leafs honoring Wendel Clark in a ceremony last night, since the Leafs haven’t won the Stanley Cup in 41 years because Clark isn’t seven people.
And finally, it’s time for your Iranian sports news update. The Grizzlies’ Hamed Haddadi will be sent down to the Dakota Wizards of the NBA D-League. Hey, it beats getting flipped off by your GM. Almost.
(Note: I left Florida out because if Alabama stays undefeated, they will have to beat the Gators in the SEC Championship, putting them at two losses.)
For the first time in 56 years, the Grey Cup, the championship game of the CFL, won’t be broadcast on free television in Canada today. To get a sense of what that’s like, picture Roger Goodell pulling a power play and making sure the Super Bowl is only shown on the NFL Network. But don’t picture it too hard; it’s probably not too far off.
(”Go Roughriders! Beat those Roughriders!”)
Back to our neighbors to the north. Understandably, some fans are very upset that they won’t be able to see today’s Alouettes/Stampeders matchup. It’ll be broadcast on TSN, a cable channel that’s basically the ESPN of Canada. While “virtually 99 percent” of Canadians get TSN on either cable or satellite, a good chunk of people will be shut out. What what they’ll receive instead just adds insult to injury.
PLACIDO DOMINGO TO SING NATIONAL ANTHEM AT MLS CUP: Placido Domingo is ready to hit the high notes for Major League Soccer:
The league has announced that Domingo will be singing the national anthem to help kick off the 2007 MLS Cup.Best known as one of the Three Tenors that isn’t Luciano Pavarotti, Placido will be belting out “The Star Spangled Banner” at Washington’s RFK Stadium on November 18.
For your further enjoyment, Jimmy Eat World will chew up time, as they perform for the halftime festivities. They’re scheduled to play tunes from their latest album, but we bet if you ask nicely enough, they’ll do one of their classics - whatever they are.
We’d love to party with Placido, but we might be spent after watching Lenny Kravitz get his groove on at the Grey Cup.
Wonder no more, our Canuck compadres, as the Canadian Football League has announced that Lenny Kravitz will be highlighting the halftime festivities pour Le Coupe Grey.Mama Said that the multi-platinum artist would want to get away, would want to flyyyyyyy away to the Rogers Centre (a.k.a. Skydome) on November 25, where he’ll be singing & strumming on the 55-yard line during the 95th edition of the CFL championship.
Lenny will be following in the 3-down footsteps of other artists to rock ‘n’ rouge, such as Nelly Furtado, Shania Twain, The Black Eyed Peas and of course, Bryan Adams.
We’re hoping they snag Barenaked Ladies for the 96th Cup. And if the CFL committee needs any help in selecting next year’s show-stoppers, they can always check Wayne Gretzky’s iPod to see what the Great One has going on.