Keeping up with the Joneses
Reported by Scott Pitoniak
- After emerging from the Pittsburgh Steelers charter yesterday in Big D, linebacker LaMarr Woodley told reporters: “This is America’s Team right here. They say America’s Team is Dallas, but I think the real America’s Team is here playing in Dallas this weekend. They’ll be wearing black and gold.” Or green and gold. I think you could make an argument that either the Steelers or Green Bay Packers are more America’s Team than the Cowboys. There’s no question the Cowboys have a national following, but I believe more fans relate to blue-collar, small-market teams such as the Packers and Steelers. And recent success also has something to do with it. Jerry Jones’ boys have just one playoff victory in the past 14 years.
- Did you know that Super Bowl 45 anthem singer Christina Aguilera is from Rochester? Well, she is. Rochester, Pa., that is, which is outside of Pittsburgh.
- Our country’s battle against obesity will take a huge hit on Super Bowl Sunday. According to Knowteria, a Minneapolis-based business research firm, Americans will wolf down 30 million pounds of snacks, the equivalent in weight of 13,000 NFL offensive linemen. Super Bowl Sunday is the largest food-consumption day outside of Thanksgiving and the biggest party day outside of New Year’s Eve. Is it any wonder that after this national day of gorging, seven million workers call in sick and antacid sales rise 20 percent?
- One media-day story I forgot to mention in yesterday’s column involved former Oakland Raiders quarterback Jim Plunkett and a writer from Philly. Before Super Bowl XV, Plunkett was recounting the adversity his parents faced. The writer, showing up late, got confused and asked Plunkett to clarify. “Jimmy, Jimmy, I want to make sure I have this right,’’ the scribe said frantically. “Was it dead mother, blind father or blind mother, dead father?” Not one of my profession’s prouder moments.
- If you were hoping to air a commercial during Sunday’s telecast, you’re too late. All time slots have been sold. But don’t fret. You saved yourself a boat-load of money because Fox was charging between $2.8 million to $3 million per 30 seconds of air time.
- There’s a reason Fox is able to command that kind of cash. This Super Bowl is expected to be the most viewed television program in American history, breaking last year’s Super Bowl record of 106.48 million viewers. That’s impressive, but still a far cry from an event I covered at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, when there were more than a billion viewers worldwide for the U.S.-China basketball game.
- Parity is more of an NFC than AFC thing lately. The Packers are the 10th different NFC team in 10 years to reach the Super Bowl, while Pittsburgh, New England and Indianapolis have represented the AFC in 9 of the past 10 big games.
- According to Las Vegas bookmakers, about $90 million is expected to be wagered on this game, about $5 mil shy of the record.