The Spectacle Blog

That About Sums It Up

By on 2.6.06 | 11:10AM

Sometimes Howard Kurtz hits the nail on the head, as in this question about why ABC News sent its top anchor into harm's way: "Was this some sort of grandstanding or ratings ploy?" To ask a question like that is to answer it.

UPDATE: A guest on Kurtz's Reliable Sources offers more tough talk: "So what do you do if you have a broadcast called 'World News Tonight'? You bring in an anchor who hop scotches like a pinball from place to place to place to place to place to give the illusion of covering the world." The illusion of covering the world -- again, that pretty much sums it up.

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Super Ward

By on 2.6.06 | 5:14AM

Wlady: Sorry I signed off early. Yes, Randel-el's pass was not only better than Portis's attempts, it was the play of the year. And better than Brunnell. Hurricane Sharon (as you know, another Indiana grad) was screaming when he threw it. Ward really did deserve the Cadillac. The touchdown pass he caught on the run, breaking stride and changing direction, was a thing of beauty. He's been super all season.

Ok, enough fun for one week. On to NSA and the hearings. The hearing will feature riveting testimony, deep-thinkers' questions and fair media coverage. Yeah, well, I don't believe that either.

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Re: Hines vs. Heinz

By on 2.6.06 | 12:56AM

Paul, I was a little embarrassed for Starr -- he should have been walking down a red-carpeted center aisle at Carnegie Hall as he approached the special post-game platform. Instead, he had to wend his way through fans, TV and other cameramen, earphoned producers, who knows who else. It was so unseemly. But he did look great, and he's probably still good enough to give Mark Brunnell a run for his salary-cap busting money.

By the way, where was Terry Bradshaw? He's the greatest Super Bowl Steeler of them all, but apparently he works for another network...

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Re: Hines v. Heinz

By on 2.6.06 | 12:01AM

Wlady: I'd best get to sleep, but I am very happy for Pittsburgh and Cowher, for the reasons you cite and more besides. The Steelers were the great dynasty of my formative years, and I'm glad to see the title restored after so long. It was an odd game, unsatisfying in many ways, but I'm glad they prevailed. As for the postgame, there was at least one note of grace: the presence of Bart Starr to present the trophy. He's as fine a man and ambassador for any sport as we're likely to see, and having him there lent some class to the proceedings, which usually are in need of some.

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Hines vs. Heinz

By on 2.5.06 | 10:31PM

Paul, Jed: I enjoyed your pre-game and first half bantering. Lots of keys to this game, and not just to the Escalade that went to MVP Hines Ward. But in retrospect the bogus offensive interference call that cost Seattle and early touchdown was the biggest key -- the receiver did nothing out of the ordinary, against a defender who was completely lost on the play. No way should the referee have given him the benefit of the doubt. On the other hand, I do think Roethlisberger did score on that first Pittsburgh touchdown. Just for a split second the ball seemed to "touch" the plane of the goal line before not so gentle Ben tucked it back. That amounts to full penetration into the end zone, so far I know.

I paid next to no attention to ads and commentary, so I didn't notice the distinct lack of tribute to our soldiers in harm's way. But it also struck me that no one much mentioned Detroit either; not until the post-game trophy presentation (the worst choreographed annual event in sports -- why don't they just go back to the locker room for those made for TV moments?).

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By on 2.5.06 | 8:51PM

I'm not sure I've seen a Super Bowl where one team has been such a one-sided beneficiary of the officals' calls as Pittsburgh has in this one. If Seattle doesn't get this fumble call review, in which Hasselbeck was clearly touched before he hit the ground, I'm going to start to wonder.

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By on 2.5.06 | 8:47PM

Ok, ok., it's only a MasterCard commercial. But any reappearance of McGyver is worth a lot. Well done, MC.

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Re: Commericals

By on 2.5.06 | 8:06PM

Jed: Yes, the airplane one was funnier, though this is supposedly a family audience, right? I guess I'm several years late with that concern, if not several decades.

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By on 2.5.06 | 7:54PM

Paul: I think it's AmeriQuest that's doing the odd commercials your'e referring to. Tasteless? Maybe. Funny? Yeah, pretty much. Still better than that Burger King awfulness.

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Re: Half Time Show(?)

By on 2.5.06 | 7:43PM

Jed: Failing, that, he might at least spare us a look at his midriff. This is somebody's grandfather, I'm told.

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