On the day before the media world arrives in Tampa praying that Super Bowl participants will (or can be provoked into) providing their opponents some bulletin board material, a few idle thoughts:
* With the ranks of the professional sports media having been culled considerably by the collapse of the newspaper biz (attributable much more to press barons' greed than the Internet or the recession, IMHO), do the TMZ types become belles of the ball at Super Bowl Media Day tomorrow?
* I actually didn't miss football yesterday. For that I thank the Celtics, who put on an exhibition of passing and shooting wizardy against Dallas that made me wonder if this was the same that endured a 2-7 stretch not long ago.
* Yes, it produced 22 goals in 60 minutes. But the NHL All-Star Game still doesn't do it for me. It's like the NBA All-Star Game minus the rappers and renegade players packing hear and vowing to make it rain at da club.
* I'll tell you about something on ice that does it for me: my alma mater, riding a hot streak to the number 2 national ranking, including a sweep of an also-hot UNH squad this weekend. Just in time for Beanpot next Monday night...after BU's streak of 14 straight Beanpot finals expired last year, it's time to start a new one.
* Who'd have believed Providence would be sitting in Big East contention at 5-2? Let's see if that's still true after Syracuse, UConn, Villanova and West Virginia in the next four. That'll settle the contender/pretender debate.
* Why do I get the feeling the Yankees are saving the Manny Ramirez signing as a last-minute bomb to drop just before spring training? If that's not happening, here's a sleeper: San Diego.
* MLB TV is a welcome addition to my cable rotation, but the research staff is somewhat less than crack. Watching its 1986 retrospective, if I hadn't watched that game myself, I would've believed Dave Henderson's home run in the ninth inning of Game 5 of the ALDS gave the Red Sox the victory. Did the editors not have five seconds to spare to say "Boston went on to win in 12 innings"? Don't make me do my impression of Keith Olbermann proctologizing Ken Burns "Baseball" for errors, folks.
* After watching Wake Forest fall on its face at home against Virginia Tech, is this going to be one of those seasons where Number 1 is an allergy that makes each top dog sneeze? Pop that Sudafed, Duke and UConn.
* Rhode Island is still a force on the PGA Tour, even as Brad Faxon and Billy Andrade mark time until they're eligible for the Champions Tour. Second-year PGAer Brad Adamonis laid down a final-round 65 at the Bob Hope yesterday for a top 10 finish and a nice $125,000 check to open the season. I am not nearly enough of a golf expert, however, to explain how Steve Stricker can go from 62 to 77 on Sunday, particularly on one of those desert pitch-and-putt tracks.
* Finally, as pleased as I am that the free world has a new leader, if Barack Obama's driving the lane on me, I get the puppies down and the hands up to deny him (like I'd ever get that charging call).