What we're watching (all times EST, unless noted): NFL: Sunday NFL Contdown at 10:00 a.m. (ESPN), Super Bowl XLVI Pre-game at 2:00 p.m. (NBC) and Super Bowl XLVI at 6:00 p.m. (NBC).
The quotable Super Bowl: "'But labor activists aren't sure whether protesting around America's biggest sporting event - its world-wide television audience is expected to top 100 million - would generate sympathy or fuel anger that could damage their cause. "Union workers built that stadium, they should have the right to demonstrate in front of it," said retired steelworker Perry Stabler, as he demonstrated inside the Indiana statehouse.'
-The Wall Street Journal, February 1, 2012
'…He pulls for the Rams the way he pulls for the Afghans against the Russian military machine. At half-time a lot of girls in colored dresses and guys that look like fags in striped jerseys dance while about a thousand pieces of California brass imitate the old Big Bands with an off-key blare; these kids try to jitterbug but they don't have the swing, that one beat wait back on your heels and then the twirl… they snake together in what is supposed to be the Chattanooga Choo-Choo and then produce, out there in cloudless California, flashing sheets like tinfoil that are supposed to be solar panels. "Energy is people," they sing. "People are en-er-gy!" Who needs Khomeini and his oil? Who needs Afghanistan? Fuck the Russkis. Fuck the Japs, for that matter. We'll go it alone, from sea to shining sea.'
-John Updike, Rabbit is Rich" [The Classical]
Bill Maher says the NFL is a communist collective: "Let's consider the evidence: The NFL takes money from the richest teams and redistributes it to the poorer ones. Profits from television, the league's largest source of revenue, get dumped into a pot and divided evenly between the 32 teams. Whoever happens to win the Super Bowl gets the last pick in the draft. In other words, the NFL is rigged so that no single team can dominate year after year. As Maher says, that's 'what the Republicans would call punishing success.' Maher's basic point is that all this pinko sharing levels the playing field: Each team has just as much of a shot of making the Super Bowl as the next team, whether you play in the biggest, richest city in America or a 'sleepy little town on the banks of the fuck-if-I-know river,' which is to say, Green Bay." [Co.Design]
Aaron Rodgers wins NFL MVP, predicts future: "'It means a lot to be recognized as a consistent player and contributing on my team,' Rodgers said. "I think it's an award that relies on a player having the support of his teammates, obviously, guys blocking, guys running, guys catching, guys making plays. But I'm very honored to receive the award.' Speaking to Manning, who didn't miss a game for 13 seasons before 2011, Rodgers added: 'We're all really excited to see you back on the field next year.'" [ABC]
Your making and eating a sandwich Interlude:
Thing that happens every year happened this year: "The Giants.com page was headlined 'The Giants are Super Bowl champions!' and directed viewers to the availability of the team's championship gear, according to ESPN. The NFL said the website was prepared for release at the end of today's game if the Giants are victorious at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. 'It is common practice for both teams to create web pages in advance of the conference championship games and Super Bowl,' the NFL said in a statement obtained by Bloomberg. 'In this case, the hidden URL for the page was inadvertently available for a brief period of time while it was being positioned on the NFL server for possible post tomorrow night.'" [Bloomberg]
Jeremy Lin, superstar: "Jeremy Lin cut through the Nets' defense all night before he was finally surrounded. As teammates hugged him at center court while Pearl Jam's "Jeremy" blasted through the arena, it was clear the New York Knicks had finally found a spark. And even the Harvard-educated Lin struggled to explain how it ended up being him. 'This night, it just hasn't really sunk in yet to be honest, he said. 'It's like I'm still kind of in shock about everything that happened but I'm just trying to soak it all in right now.' Lin scored a career-high 25 points and the Knicks salvaged the finale of a back-to-back-to-back set by the New Jersey Nets 99-92 on Saturday night. Lin came in to control a sluggish offense, adding a career-best seven assists while outplaying Nets All-Star point guard Deron Williams." [Wall Street Journal]
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