Super Bowl: News and notes

By TOM JONES, Times Staff Writer
Published January 27, 2008

Bet on it

You can bet on almost anything in the Super Bowl. Obviously, most will wager on who will win or the over-under. But check out some of the more obscure things you can bet on:

- How long will it take Jordin Sparks to sing the national anthem? (Over-under is 1:42.)

- How many times will Fox announcer Joe Buck mention Peyton Manning's name (Over-under is five.)

- Who will score more points on Feb. 3, the Patriots or the Lakers' Kobe Bryant?

- Who will the MVP of the game thank first: teammates, God, family, coach, no one?

- Will Don Shula be on the field to shake Bill Belichick's hand after the game?

- Will an NFL player get arrested in Phoenix during Super Bowl week?

- What will be the call on the coin toss - heads or tails?


When the moon hits your eye

Maybe you don't care who wins the Super Bowl, but you should hope it's a high-scoring game. Papa John's is offering everyone in America 100 percent off of a pizza (with up to three toppings) if the Giants and Patriots combine to score 100 or more points. They will offer 75 percent off the same deal if the two teams combine to score 75 points. So that means a $15.99 pizza would cost you $3.99.

The odds of that happening? Not too good. Only three games in the history of the NFL have had more than 100 combined points. And only once in the previous 41 Super Bowls have the two teams combined for 75 points. That was in 1995, when the 49ers and Chargers combined for exactly 75 points in San Francisco's 49-26 victory in Super Bowl XXIX.

To sign-up for the "TEXTra Points 4 Pizza" promotion, participants can either text "POINTS" TO 47272 (4PAPA) or visit www.papajohns.com and register an online account. So far, more than 140,000 people have signed up.


Number of the day

750,000 Pizzas Papa John's expect to sell on Super Bowl Sunday.


Inside Spygate

Here's what Fox analysts Terry Bradshaw and Jimmy Johnson think about the "Spygate" cheating controversy surrounding the Patriots.

Bradshaw: "They've earned every game. They beat the teams on the field. 'Spygate' from Week 1 is not even a thought as far as I'm concerned. Ever since the first week, I've learned from people in the NFL about how so many people do things like that and even Belichick had kicked the Jets' video staff off the sideline. It's not even a thought. It shouldn't be considered."

Johnson: "Having coached for nearly 40 years, I can sit and talk for days about all these types of stories and all the things that coaches have done. There really wasn't a whole lot there. I think the media made more out of it than they should have."


What they're saying

If you are one of the many who criticize the 1972 Dolphins for wanting so badly to remain the only perfect team in NFL history, then you are among the most fraudulent, insincere hypocrites in all of sports.

Sure, the '72 Dolphins are more demonstrative about it than some of us would be, but at their core, they only are expressing the same human emotions you would, I would and we all would under similar circumstances.

"I'm pulling for the New York Giants in the Super Bowl, and I'm not going to apologize for it," said Don Shula, the coach of '72 Dolphins.

Mike Bianchi, Orlando Sentinel

If the Giants are going to pull off their upset of the Patriots this time, on a much grander stage, they have to find a way to beat Tom Brady, and Randy Moss, and Wes Welker and Kevin Faulk and Laurence Maroney and the rest. They have to beat Belichick, too. He is as much a headliner in this game now as any coach has ever been, all the way back to Vince Lombardi.

Another Super Bowl for Bill Belichick. He helped the Giants win two as Bill Parcells' defensive coordinator. Now he has won three more as head coach of the Patriots. Five rings working on six. Even with what looks like no personality, he has become as dominant a personality with these Patriots as Lombardi was with the old Packers.

Lombardi won five NFL titles in Green Bay, including the first two Super Bowls. Chuck Noll won four Super Bowls, Joe Gibbs won three, so did Bill Walsh. Belichick is playing in that league now, and isn't going anywhere. At 55, he is still young enough and so is Brady. The two of them might just be in the middle of something that will eventually separate them from everybody.

Belichick's Patriots aren't just trying to win their fourth Super Bowl, they are trying to go 19-0 as well. If it plays out like that, Belichick can walk away from this game being called the best coach in the history of the Super Bowl.Or maybe just the best coach, period.

Mike Lupica, New York Daily News