I’ve got a small piece about Media Day on Page 2 today — here’s the link.
Meanwhile: What is it about the NFL postseason that causes some cities to completely lose their minds? Those purple street lights in Baltimore, for example — that’s just nuts (and believe me, I’d say the same thing if they used red, orange, or even my favorite color, green). And yesterday, a work crew brought a pair of huge, misproportioned Bears helmets to the Art Institute of Chicago and tried to place them onto the stately bronze lions that stand sentry in front of the museum. According to this report, one of the helmets broke; but the wire-service captions to those photos said the helmets “did not fit and were taken away to be resized and installed later in the week.” Either way, serves everyone right for trying to heap such an indignity on the noble statues.
I’m all for civic pride, mind you. I think this, for example, is pretty cool (details on how they did it here). But does a proud, tradition-rich city like Chicago really need one of its two major newspapers to declare that Friday will be “Wear the Bears to Work Day”? I’d like to think that would never happen here in NYC (not that the Jets or Giants show signs of putting that assumption to the test anytime soon). And if anyone ever tried to strap a football helmet on these lions, Super Bowl or no Super Bowl, you can bet some Tank Johnson type would take that sucker out (you didn’t really think you were gonna get through an entire Super Bowl story without a Tank Johnson mention, did you?).
Uni Watch News Ticker: Remember the Baseball Bunch? I’d completely forgotten about it/them until Eric Stangel found this eBay auction. (If this is all new to you, some background info is available here and here.) … Just in time for Barry Bonds’s re-signing, there’s this (with thanks to John Ryan). … “I am from the Dominican Republic and I was digging through some old pictures yesterday,” writes Jean Oliva. “This one, taken in 1934, shows the Leones del Escogido of the Dominican Winter League. Look at the manager’s pants — ahead of its time, don’t you think?” … Scroll down to the last boldfaced section of this page to see how baseball’s best pitcher and my favorite team’s starting shortstop risked frostbite just so New Era could sell a few extra caps. … Illinois and Michigan State went color vs. color last night. … “During last night’s Capitals/Senators game, the TV announcers picked up on the fact the referees — Eric Furlatt and Brad Watson according to the boxscores — were both wearing No. 27,” writes Jeff Barak. According to this roster, Furlatt is the true 27, while Watson usually wears No. 23. Maybe his luggage got lost..? I’ll check with the NHL. … “That’s right, baby, it’s this big!” … True story: At a press conference a few days before Super Bowl III, Weeb Ewbank told that joke whose punchline goes, “All the way down to my balls, and that’s the next question.” Now that was a Media Day. … Perfection.