Posted: Thursday February 10, 2005 1:38PM; Updated: Thursday February 10, 2005 1:38PM
GREETINGS FROM NEPTUNE: I did not witness this, so I can't be 100 percent sure it was uttered, but this sentence appeared on page 31 of the Super Bowl quote-sheet package distributed to the media after the game: "Everyone had pretty much blown us off. Didn't give us a chance. Everyone picked Philly to win this game. It really gave us a lot of motivation to come out here and try to win this ballgame."
Thanks for those heartfelt words, Rodney Harrison.
This just in, from page 26 of the U.S. Armed Forces quote-sheet package, a statement from General Tommy Franks: "No one gave us a chance to capture Baghdad. Everyone picked the Iraqi army to win this war."
THE ONLY WAY PAUL McCARTNEY COULD HAVE ADDED TO HIS LEGEND: Imagine if midway through Drive My Car, the 62-year-old singer had called an audible and broken into a stirring rendition of Why Don't We Do It In The Road? That would've left time for Helter Skelter and an abbreviated version of Revolution No. 9 before the end of halftime -- and would've been a lovely going-away present for soon-to-be-ex FCC Chairman Michael Powell.
CAL SOFTBALL ITEM OF THE WEEK: The top-ranked Golden Bears rolled to a 6-0 victory over San Jose State in their season opener last Saturday and travel to Tempe, Ariz., this weekend to compete in the Arizona State Tournament. Also in the field is Texas, meaning Cal will likely get a crack at wicked lefty Cat Osterman, a 2004 U.S. Olympian who defeated the Bears in the 2003 Women's College World Series.
Not that there's any bad blood between Cal and Texas these days, but it should be a hell of a matchup.
COMMITMENT TO ABSTINENCE: According to the OaklandTribune, the Raiders last week filed paperwork in an Alameda County court requesting the team "be left out of the legal battle" between ex-players Bill Romanowski and Marcus Williams -- a civil suit stemming from Romanowski having punched Williams during training camp in '03.
As my man Mike Gastineau of "Groz With Gas" fame on Seattle's KJR-AM notes, "We are living in a crazy-go-nuts world when Al Davis asks not to be involved in a lawsuit."
THREE GOOD THINGS ABOUT JACKSONVILLE: Yes, it was the worst Super Bowl city of all-time, by a country mile, but I have to concede there were a few redeeming qualities.
First, the stadium was absolutely gorgeous, nestled against the St. John's River and lit up like a sparkling jewel. There should never be an indoor Super Bowl, period.
Secondly, the people of Jacksonville tried as hard as they could to make this a pleasant event. When you're standing in an endless airport security line and smiling well-wishers repeatedly tell you, "thanks for coming," it's hard to be a hater.
Finally, if you're ever hurting on the First Coast, be sure to call my man Dr.Vipul Patel, the chiropractor with the golden touch. Dr. P. -- with a major assist from masseuse extraordinaire, Cami Sutton -- made my wretched back feel good enough to withstand a week of serious partying, reporting and all-night writing, and he expects his booming business to get a post-Super Bowl spike. That's because -- imagine this -- the Super Bowl apparently causes people to get really drunk and do stupid things, leading to fights, accidents and atrocious sleeping positions.
FREE RIDE: Sadly, there is not enough room in cyberspace to detail the reasons why Jacksonville should (and will) not host another Super Bowl. You could tell things were going sour by Wednesday when a massive security contingent began searching every vehicle that approached the Adam's Mark Hotel. The searches, which continued throughout the weekend, focused on two areas -- the glove compartment and the trunk -- meaning one was free to put his AK-47 under the seat and his Molotov Cocktail in his coat pocket. (I considered livening things up by purchasing a blow-up doll, decorating her with some interesting props and then placing her in the trunk.)
The Adam's Mark is about 15 blocks from Alltel, and on Sunday colleague DonYaeger and I boarded a media shuttle the size of a Greyhound and prepared for a short ride to the stadium. Someone asked the shuttle driver which route he'd be taking, and he replied, "I'm not really sure. I'm not from Jacksonville, and I don't know my way around here."
"Well," asked the questioner, "which way did you go last time?"
"Actually," the driver replied, "this is my first shuttle trip of the day."
That was the first bad sign. Then the driver made a series of wrong turns, all the while waved along by oblivious traffic-control workers, with Alltel drifting further and further from our sight.
All we needed was one of my kids' "Wee Sing" tapes, featuring, "The wheels on the bus go 'round and 'round, 'round and 'round, 'round and 'round ... "
The low point came when, prodded by me and Fox Sports Radio producer (and rabid Eagles fan) Sam Betesh, the driver asked a traffic cop how best to get to the stadium.
"I have no idea where anything is around here," the officer replied.
Finally, after being ordered by another cop to "Get the f--- back in the bus," after contemplating commandeering the wheel while the driver got out to ask directions (and obstructed a fire truck for several minutes); and after enduring more than an hour in the media shuttle from hell, Betesh, wearing an old-school '70s headband, helped the driver reach the promised land.
Come to think of it, that trip must have felt a lot like the Eagles' huddle during Philly's excruciatingly deliberate final touchdown drive of the game.