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Super Bowl XXXVII Weblog

8:03 pm: Memo to Commissioner Tagliabue


Your league is riding high, with great ratings and a swell of popular affection that makes your sport the most popular one in America.

So do something about your officials.

Tonight, on football's biggest stage, your officials have continued to make fools of themselves. A bad call reversal on a Raiders touchdown. A worse review of an unreviewable call on a two-point conversion. And several other confused and odd calls.

Time to pay your referees for full-time duty and eliminate the ridiculous practice of breaking up regular officiating crews who have worked together all season and replace them with mixed-up "all-star" crews who don't know each other.

Oh, and if you can do something about creating a four-point play for the benefit of Sterling Sharpe, that'd be peachy.

--Jason Snell

6:00 pm: Greatness of the ex-Raiders


Let the angry destruction of Oakland begin.

(If the Raiders come back, let the joyful destruction of Oakland begin.)

--Jason Snell

5:55 pm: Sting! Tell Us the Score, Man!

So we were having an argument here in world TeeVee headquarters about who was performing live and who wasn't at this year's Super Bowl halftime extravaganza. The consensus is that No Doubt and Sting were probably singing live -- or at least lip synching along to versions of their numbers they recorded as recently as yesterday's dress rehersal. Shania Twain? Milli Vanilli-action all the way. Though many of us admire her bold decision to dress up as some sort of inter-galactical space whore come to study our planet's primative sex technology.

One way to resolve these arguments in the future would be to require the halftime performers to shout out the score during their musical numbers. Maybe even change around some of the lyrics to reflect first-half action.

Just a castaway
Like the Raiders' game plan
No touchdowns there
Just a field goal

More three-and-outs
Than Al Davis can bear
Rescue Rich Gannon 'fore he falls into despair

See. That took me like 15 seconds to whip up. And I'm half in the bag.

--Philip Michaels

5:40 pm: Buy Our Crap, Jerk

Man -- nothing like an economic downturn to make the Super Bowl commercials suck wind.

As of this writing, we've played 30 minutes of football (by the time this actually gets posted, the Pro Bowl may be underway), and we've had exactly three commercials that didn't make me question the existence of a loving God. Those would be the Michael Jordan Gatorade commercial, the Tiki and Ronde Barber Visa checkcard commerical, and the Yao Ming Visa checkcard commercial.

(Is it too soon to get Yao Ming his own sitcom, incidentally? Maybe a sitcom where he's a wisecracking foreign exchange student with a fractured take on our crazy American lifestlye? You could team him up with Tony Danza, and make them a pair of mismatched roommates. We've got a lot of scientists in this country -- we can make this work.)

As for the rest of the commercials, we're talking a steady parade of life-denying idiocy and nastiness in 30-second bursts. We've seen a guy use a Dodge truck to help him upchuck his beef jerkey. We've gotten to watch a simulation of squirrel biting a dentist in a place where you really shouldn't be bitten, simulation or no. And, of course, there was the commercial where a guy drank a Bud Light through a clown's ass.

Oooh, honey. Roll that one back on the TiVo. I'm not sure the kids saw it.

I never thought I'd say this, but I really miss the Bud Bowl.

--Philip Michaels

5:20 pm: Shania Twain

I never realized that Shania Twain was actually a 1980s pop star. I know, people will claim that she's a country singer, but consider the evidence:

1) Her outfit with the huge shiny pointy lapels is leather. Or vinyl. Or something. Except for her bejeweled bra.

2) There's a guy in her band with one of those double guitars, in case he needs to switch between a six-string and twelve-string in the middle of a verse.

3) There's another guy in her band with one of those portable keyboards that look sort of like guitars. You might remember them from every video on the first two years of MTV.

4) Back on the subject of her outfit, she's wearing about seventeen white belts. It's all very Debbie Gibson.

--Monty Ashley

5:14 pm: Drink This Beer, You Boor

Over the course of this game, we've seen the beer commercial in which men fantasize about hot girls wrestling in a fountain, the one in which bikini-clad babes wander off with some seashell-wielding boor when he name-drops a beer, and the one where the man about to give the let's-be-friends speech to his woman gets the lets-include-my-roomate response.

We've seen guys wearing their dog, pouring beer in their pants, and stealing appliances stocked with bad mass-market beer.

So what is the lesson we're to take away from all this? That beer is the beverage of choice for jerks and jackballs? I'm not expecting Pierce Brosnan to knock back a Coors with raised pinky, but for the love of God, can we at least not make the relationship between alcohol and asinine conduct so obvious?

--Lisa Schmeiser

5:13 pm: Real Men Wear Particularly Ugly Shades of Orange

I'm not afraid to admit it -- I miss the old Tampa Bay Bucs uniforms.

Maybe you don't remember those old Buccaneer unis. Maybe you've successfully suppressed the memory from your brain. But the Bucs used to take the field in these creamsicle orange shirts and pants. The logo on the helmet featured a long-haired, mustachioed pirate -- dubbed Bucco Bruce by the team -- clutching a knife in his teeth and winking saucily at a dubious world.

You have to be tough if you're going to wear uniforms like that. Sadly, the Bucs began their existence losing their first 26 games. At one point, they had a streak of 13-losing seasons. Now they've switched to the pewter-and-red uniforms, and they happen to be playing in the Super Bowl.

Some people would argue that's not a coincidence. I would counter that people have never appreciated the power of creamsicle orange.

Anyhow, Bucco Bruce was retired as well. I believe he and Pat the Patriot are now sharing a home together in Miami Beach.

--Philip Michaels

4:45 pm: No, MJ! You'll Go Blind!

So there's that Gatorade commercial where Michael Jordan plays with himself, and I...

Heh. Heh. Hoo!

Oh God... it's going to be a long afternoon.

--Philip Michaels

4:22 pm: Invest the Money Wisely, Oz

Just saw the Osbournes' Pepsi Twist commercial. They sure enjoyed a good, long run, huh?

--Philip Michaels

4:12 pm: Okay, Now I Can Nap

No sooner do I post to complain about the commercials than I get to see the Matrix preview in all its glory. Quick, someone, give me something else to complain about! I have the power!

--Lisa Schmeiser

4:10 pm: Veritas: The Terrible Show

When I saw the commercial for Veritas: The Quest, I responded just like everybody else: I shuddered at the idea of such an obviously horrible series being inflicted on the viewing public. I also wondered about this "Super Monday" concept. Apparently the Super Bowl is so important that it not only turns Sunday into a holiday, it turns the Monday after it into a holiday-by-association. Like with Easter.

But about Veritas (or, I guess, The Quest. I'm not sure yet how it will be abbreviated). the description from the official site contains the following phrases:

"a hyper-intelligent but rebellious teenager still mourning the death of his renowned archeologist mother"

" Solomon is really head of the Veritas (Latin for "truth") Foundation, whose agenda is to seek the truth behind the mysteries of history and civilization and to protect its secrets at all costs."

"a journey that will lead to the unlocking of universal mysteries and, hopefully, bring him and his emotionally estranged father back together. "

"a fabled vessel that contains a key to the puzzle of how civilization really may have evolved."

So. You've got the Veritas organization, which has two goals: uncover mysteries and protect secrets. To the untrained eye, those may seem contradictory, so let's hope the untrained eye is distracted by the relationship between young Nikko Zond and his estranged father Solomon. And his dead mother, who I expect will be making an appearance as early as the fourth episode, because there are certain similarities to Alias if you look closely.

There's also an enemy group, which I hope has a name that translates to "lies". According to the hype machine that writes these sites, it's both a "mysterious brotherhood" and a "nefarious organization". I didn't know "nefarious" was still a word. I thought it got phased out of the language when people stopped getting tied to railroad tracks.

--Monty Ashley

4:08 pm: Tempo, Frenchy!

Not to pile on Celine Dion -- well, OK, this is entirely about piling on Celine Dion -- but she has historically performed the worst renditions of "God Bless America" in recorded history (And while we're on the subject, when did Celine Dion become the de facto singer of patriotic songs? No other Canadians are available to sing American standards? What about Anne Murray? Gordon Lightfoot? Crash Test Dummies?).

Back when Major League Baseball mandated that teams play "God Bless America" during the seventh-inning stretch, the Oakland Athletics used Celine Dion's recording of the song -- a lurching, screeching rendition that changes tempo about seven times and begins in a key that only dogs can hear. I mean, it was fun on one level to watch thousands of self-conscious Oakland A's fans try to sing along while Celine shrieked her love for a country that she visits occasionally.

Thankfully, the Celine Dion "God Bless America" recording has been banished from Oakland A's games. Would that I could say the same about Celine Dion at Super Bowls.

--Philip Michaels

3:55 pm: When Are The Good Commercials Coming?

Since my knowledge of football is largely limited to saying things like, "Punt? Fumble? First down?" I watch the Superbowl for the commercials.

And unless they break out that new Matrix preview toot-sweet, I'm going to begin fidgeting and whining. So far, we've seen a Quiznos commercial that did not lure me into the sandwich eatery. Rather, it's convinced me that I never, ever want to eat somewhere that hires pantless men willing to starve their parakeets for nine bucks an hour.

Maaaaa-trix! Maaaaa-trix! Maaaaa-trix!

--Lisa Schmeiser

3:40 pm: Kind of Blue

For me, the highlight of the pregame show -- besides the realization that Celine Dion's long absence from the public eye has apparently made the Canadian chantuese batty -- was when ABC ran its Alias promo. In case you missed it, the promo featured Jennifer Garner, the show's very pretty star, and the many pretty outfits she's worn over the last year and a half.

Why was this a highlight over, say, that Bruce Willis movie promo where he single-handedly saves Africa from evil guerillas? Because when the Alias promo aired, I got to hear Jason Snell say repeatedly and fervently, "Show her in the plastic blue dress. The plastic blue dress. Dear God in heaven, show the plastic blue dress!"

And yes -- they showed the plastic blue dress. And I suspect Jason's reaction to that will surpass anything else that happens in the game today.

--Philip Michaels

3:40 pm: My Car Will Go On

I have to believe that I'm not the only man in America who just envisioned Celine Dion plowing her Chrysler full-speed into a telephone pole, and cracked a smile.

--Steve Lutz

3:34 pm: More Gratuitous Military Displays

It was bad when they had the armed forces demonstrating game plays for the bored ESPN talking heads. It was somewhat worse when Penn and Teller appropriated the U.S. Marines to guard their Superbowl predictions. But now -- with the airplanes flying overhead after the Dixie Chicks sing -- we've reached the apex of gratuitous military displays. Short of the Raider Nation nuking Tampa after the game, there's no place else to go with the football-related displays of military might.

--Lisa Schmeiser

3:32 pm: God Bless, uh, Canada

LWith all those American divas this great country is responsible for (Britney, Christina, Fat Ass Lopez, Whitney, Mariah, Axl Rose), they get repulsive Canadian-Frog Celine Dion to sing "'God Bless America"?

--Peter Ko

3:28 pm: OW!

My ears are burning. Is someone talking about me?

No, it's just Celine Dion singing.

--Jason Snell

2:49 pm: Santana!

Carlos Santana is currently performing, along with the help of Beyonce Knowles, Michelle Branch, and a million dancers. I have two thoughts:

1) I saw the Who in that stadium. And I can therefore say pretty confidently that most of the stadium is completely unable to make out what's going on down on the stage.

2) When exactly did Busby Berkeley-style production numbers become associated with football?

--Monty Ashley

2:25 pm: My Ball is Cheesy and Molding

Excitement mounts in the Lutz household, as preparations are made for the annual Super Bowl binge on the most unhealthy food imaginable. Yesterday, Martha Stewart saw fit to broadcast a show devoted to "football food", and my wife took it to heart. As I type this, she is molding a massive lump of spreadable cheese into the shape of a football, periodically calling me over to judge whether it's suitably football-like, and all the while giggling to herself over the ridiculousness of it all. Lord, I love her.

Other artery-clogging highlights on the menu include buffalo wings, chili, and the fifth food group, beer. If you do hear an explosion during the game, it may just be the sound of methane escaping from Chula Vista.

--Steve Lutz

2:16 pm: Chris Berman Sends Women Into Labor

So we're now up to the point in the pre-show where Chris Berman is busy interviewing Sherice Brown in Alameda. Sherice is quite pregnant -- with twins, no less -- and in an effort to jack up the dramatic potential of the SuperBowl, the interview largely focuses on the possibility of this woman going into labor while her husband beats up the Bucs this afternoon.

When asked what will happen if she should, over the course of the next few hours, go into labor, get herself into the hospital, and deliver the children, Sherice answered, "He'll come home to three great surprises." Three? She's expecting twins. What is this third surprise?

Maybe the surprise is that Chris Berman's voice sends women into labor. Can you imagine how this will affect maternity wards all over the country?

--Lisa Schmeiser

2:06 pm: And Now Let's Go to Brent Musberger, Strapped to a Warhead

So on ESPN's pre-pre-pre-game show, there was a segment where Sean Salisbury and his cohorts were aboard the USS John C. Stennis, using Navy personnel to illustrate important strategic points that may or may not come up in today's contest. Then, on the ABC pre-game show, Mike Tirico and crew were broadcasting from the USS Pueblo.

Good thing there's no impending global conflict that would require the use of warships. Otherwise, the ESPN-ABC empire might look silly using the ships as background sets.

--Philip Michaels

2:00 pm: Yay, Pre-show!

Unlike some people, I'm now passionately in love with the very idea of the pregame show. For one, the opening credits indicate that the people responsible for cobbling together this spectacle have decided that Iron Chef is their aesthetic inspiration, and it's hard not to adore any show which features men in capes shrieking at live seafood.

My previous high-water mark for football-related entertainment was the halftime show for the 2001 Thanksgiving game, between who-cares? and i-have-no-idea. The show featured some alleged diva -- I have no idea whom, as all the fake-baked, emaciated belters all run together after a while -- singing about peace and fellowship while the Dallas cowgirls undulated suggestively around a chorus of children, all in the name of charity.

Today, I can only hope that the Dixie Chicks and John Madden bring us a message of peace, fellowship, and more flesh on display than the producers of Sabado Gigante can even dream of. Viva wretched and irrelevant excess! Pre-show, I love you!

--Lisa Schmeiser

1:47 pm: And It's Tampa by a Touch-Goal!

So they're wrapping up ESPN's pregame show and as usual, the anchors are all making predictions. Every single one of them picks the Bucs, but that's not the important thing. The important thing is that one of the picks, by former receiver Sterling Sharpe, is Bucs 13, Raiders 9, in overtime.

Now, I realize several of you may not be football fans. But let me explain this to you: in the NFL, the first team to score wins. There are no four-point plays in existence in the NFL. You can only win by two, three, or six points in overtime.

Except in Sterling Sharpe's world, apparently. So let me say this: if the Bucs do indeed win by four in OT, it will be the greatest Super Bowl in the history of the planet Sharpe.

--Jason Snell

1:42 pm: More Picking on Stuart Scott

I'm less interested in what the talking heads on the ESPN pre-game show are saying than what they're wearing. This is in part because there's only so much bellowing any one man can do before I tune out automatically, but mostly because it's fun to play Joan Rivers on the couch. I can't pick on the uniforms, I haven't had a chance to comment on the Raider Nation's attire, but the anchors are sitting ducks.

Frankly, most of the men look good. The Screaming Sharpe Brothers can wear suits. It's whenever anyone attempts to accesorize that we enter the danger zone, where Stuart Scott is waiting for us.

Those sunglasses? Not at all aerodynamic. You could hang laundry off the earpieces and not muffle one boo-yah!; you could use the glasses as emergency handrails for anyone lurching across the desk.

Next time, Stuart, stick with the classic RayBans.

--Lisa Schmeiser

1:33 pm: No pregame for me, thanks

I turned on ABC's pregame show, and immediately got to see Penn & Teller in the middle of a shrieking Times Square crowd. Then there were some giggling sports buffoons, led by Chris Berman. Then we got to see Celine Dion getting her hair done.

Then I decided I'd rather watch the Junkyard Wars episode on my Tivo. I'm sure I'll get plenty of foolishness during the game itself.

--Monty Ashley

1:32 pm: Super Sunday

Noon: Wake up. Hung over after long night of Dungeons & Dragons. Gain measure of cheer from lack of interest in professional sports.

1:30: Have three bowls of Corn Flakes. Make it four -- milk does a body good.

4:30: Burn CD with Yahoo's Super Collapse and MAME plus several early '80s arcade games. Karnov rules!

Recall Vidiot Super Bowl blog. Gain measure of cheer from exalted geekiness.

--Chris Rywalt

1:07 pm: Stuart Scott, Call Your Optometrist

Okay, I can't get over this. Stuart Scott is anchoring (yes, present-tense -- I'm watching on TiVo, okay?) a national sports broadcast while wearing reflective sunglasses. What's the story there? Off-camera fistfight with Andrea Kremer gave him a black eye? Maybe a lunatic in the crowd insists on aiming a laser pointer in the baron of Boo-Yah's eye? Or perhaps he's just drunk -- given how odd his standard delivery of package intros is, how would we know the difference?

Visine, Stuart. It gets the red out.

--Jason Snell

12:10 pm: Pre-Pre-Pre-Pre... What, There's a Game?

Super Bowl Sunday can be busy. We're having a few people over to watch the game -- that would be Vidiots Philip Michaels, Lisa Schmeiser, and Gregg Wrenn -- and so that means we need to clean up our house and get ready for company.

Thank goodness there's television for me while I'm waiting. Three hours of NFL Countdown on ESPN -- normally my favorite pre-game program. But today, Chris Berman and Steve Young have been bivouacked out by ABC, so the hosts are Stuart Scott (mysteriously wearing polarized shades while anchoring -- too cool for us, Mr. Boo-Yah?) and Suzy Kolber. A few demerits there. Plus, egomaniac Sterling Sharpe's brother, the egomaniacal Shannon Sharpe. Stop yelling at the camera! We can hear you! That's what the microphone is for.

Fortunately, after these three hours on ESPN, we get to move over to ABC for three more. Only six hours of preview? Come on, ABC. Didn't Fox do 20 hours of pre-game last year?

--Jason Snell

11:25 am: Please, Carrot -- Don't Hurt 'Em

So I'm watching one of the myriad Super Bowl preview shows airing over on ESPN this morning because I'm all about the preparation, because all this information I gather up helps me watch the big game on a completely different level, because... um... because...

Because I lead an incredibly dull interior life, and watching highlights from Super Bowl XVIII beats doing chores, OK?

Anyhow, it's a commercial break, one of those 1-800-CALL-ATT commercials starring your friend and mine, Carrot Top. Now, in the past, we've had a few laughs at the expense of Carrot Top and his fairly elusive appeal. And the reason we point at Carrot Top and laugh is quite simple -- he is unbelievably awful at his chosen professional. Just a glimpse of him is enough to start a stampede toward the remote in the Michaels household. If any friends and colleagues happen to feel differently, fear of society's just rebuke has apparently persuaded them to keep their opinion to themselves. To date, Mr. Top's best on-camera performances -- "The Roast" episode of The Larry Sanders Show and a recent Scrubs episode -- have played off the fact that the American viewing public largely finds him unpleasant. His work in the AT&T commercials make prior efforts by the frenetically displeasing David Arquette look like the sort of the thing James Lipton hyperventilates over on Inside the Actors Studio. And despite all of this -- the catcalls, the pleas for mercy, the oversized hooks appearing to drag him off the stage -- all the evidence suggests that Carrot Top continues to take the money instead of crumbling into a heap of self-recriminations and penitence.

So you can imagine how I felt this morning when the latest Carrot Top ad appeared on my TV. I tried to turn away to something more appealing -- an infomercial, say, or the Snuff-Film Channel or even Fox -- when I happened to notice something about the freakish prop comic. For the commercial -- which ties into AT&T's sponsorship of the upcoming NBA All-Star Game -- Carrot Top is clad in a basketball uniform. Which is how I discovered that he's fairly muscular. One might even say that Carrot Top has spent a good deal of time in the gym. One could further deduce -- and believe me, I'm not really going out on a limb here -- that Carrot Top could beat me up and do so with relative ease.

I realize that the same thing could be said for a majority of people in this and any number of countries. Then again, I don't regularly give that majority of people a reason to want to beat me senseless, since I don't spend time defaming them and their particularly hackneyed brand of comedy.

So that's it -- no more making fun of Carrot Top. It's not that he's an easy target and that poking fun at him is a cheap joke of the "Kathie Lee Gifford at the sweatshop variety." It's not because I have bigger fish to fry or loftier goals to pursue. It's simply that the only thing I can imagine worse than having Carrot Top turn one of my internal organs into a comedic prop for his standup act would be to have my widow explain the reason for my untimely demise. "Phil?" she'd say sadly. "Oh, Carrot Top beat the crap out of him."

It's the same reason I don't make fun of Joe Piscopo any more, incidentally.

--Philip Michaels

8:49 am: Señor Seabass

Why is it that I have the sinking suspicion that the most commonly heard phrase around town this week was, "This way to the donkey show, Señor Janikowski"?

--Philip Michaels

4:29 am: Preparation

The Super Bowl is the pinnacle of success in the NFL. There are players who spend their entire careers trying and failing to get there. In preparation for this game, enough weight has been lifted to sink an aircraft carrier, and the complexity of the game plans would put a DNA molecule to shame.

Therefore, it pleases me to know that right now, at 4:00 am before the big game, members of both teams are crawling back to their hotels after a hard night of getting drunk in Tijuana.

--Monty Ashley

3:19 am: Explosive Football Action!

Good morning, and happy Super Bowl Sunday from sunny San Diego!

That?s right, unlike the other Vidiots -- most of whom fled this podunk burg for cities with more street cred, such as Barstow -- I?m reporting to you from Ground Zero. I call it that because this afternoon the eyes of the whole nation will be focused on America?s Finest City®. And because there?s a good chance that various parts of San Diego will explode today.

You see, in addition to there being some sort of big sporting event going on here, San Diego is home to a couple of major military bases. I reckon those Al Qaeda nutcases may have noticed that fact, especially since a few of the guys that flew into the World Trade Center lived here for several months previous to September 11. And you may have heard that it?s not exactly difficult to sneak into this country from Mexico. That tomato on your cheeseburger didn?t pick itself, you know.

So during today?s coverage of the game, you might want to keep an eye out for suspiciously large-scale, inappropriately timed fireworks displays. And be sure to listen for that sound you hear in Bugs Bunny cartoons when the plane or rocket he?s in is plummeting madly towards Earth. Extra bonus points to you if you spot Osama up in the bleachers. Seems like that fucker would be a Raiders fan.

I actually gave some thought to being somewhere else today, preferably someplace outside the blast radius, but my sense of duty as a reporter is too strong. As part of that duty, last night I conducted a whirlwind tour of all of San Diego?s foremost strip clubs, searching for wildly partying Muslims. Evidently, one of the tenets of Islam is that suicide bombers must prepare for their upcoming meeting with Allah by having silicone titties waggled in their faces. I assume this is done to get them warmed up for the thousands of virgins that await them in the afterlife. Either that, or they expect the thousands of virgins to all look like the toothless Afghani hags shown on CNN, so they want one last glimpse of some decent tail.

At any rate, I didn?t locate any suspicious looking characters during my research. I did locate a suspicious looking hair on my $3.99 fish and chips platter at Li?l Honeys Gentleman?s Club & Grille, but I strongly doubt that it was plotting to blow up the Super Bowl.

Don't worry, though. Even without the thrilling spectacle of terrorist attack, there will still be plenty of interesting things to watch for during the broadcast of today?s game. One of the teams involved is the Oakland Raiders, and that means excitement. Raider fans are a very dedicated and lively bunch that really gets into the spirit of football. That?s why every time they come to town there are at least five stabbings in the stands. I think you?ll discover that nothing gets you into the game like the sight of ten grown men dressed as members of GWAR beating the stuffin?s out of an elderly Floridian.

Also thanks largely to the presence of the Raiders and their hordes of still-loyal Los Angeles supporters, today you?ll be given the rare opportunity to see history in the making. Remember this as the camera pans across the assembled throng at Qualcomm stadium: you are seeing more black people than have ever before been in San Diego at one time. The 2000 census lists the African-American population of San Diego at 5.8%, but I?m pretty sure the percent sign was put on there by accident. Yet today, for one shining moment, we are diverse. Dr. King would be proud.

Don?t forget the halftime show! This year, when the second quarter draws to a close, you have a few options. You can stick with ABC and enjoy the musical stylings of Shania Twain, No Doubt, and Sting. Or, if you?re not a fan of bland, by-numbers pop, you can tune to NBC, where you?ll be treated to the bland, by-numbers comedy of the Saturday Night Live Halftime Special. Or you could just slather the extra sauce from your buffalo wings all over your genitals, which should prove both more interesting and less irritating than either of the other two choices.

And of course, you can always look forward to great new commercials for the three American companies that aren't yet bankrupt. The economy being what it is, ABC had to invoke NAFTA and import some commercials from nearby Mexico in order to fill all the ad slots. Among the more noteworthy spots is a new one for ?¡Yo Soy Cola!? which features Christina Aguilera as she portrays different styles of tramp through the last four decades. Es muy hot!

Oh, and there?s also supposed to be a pretty good football game going on. If you?re interested in that sort of thing.

--Steve Lutz

1:00 am: Watch Me: Super Sunday Edition

What? You're not planning on watching Super Bowl XXXVII today? Are you some sort of communist or enemy combatant?

That last one isn't a rhetorical question, incidentally. Mr. Ashcroft would like to know.

The facts of Sunday are these: the Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers will play in Super Bowl XXXVII from San Diego tomorrow. ABC's coverage of the game proper begins at 3 p.m. PT (though, by the time the player introductions, ceremonial coin flips and Dixie Chick renditions of our national anthem are wrapped up, kickoff will be closer to 3:30 p.m.). For those of you who can't get enough up-close-and-personal segments with offensive linemen, ABC's four-hour Pregame Show goes on the air at 11 a.m. PT.

(And, just in case you have plans to completely ignore your family today, CBS offers some pre-Super Bowl College Basketball with Michigan taking on Michigan State at 10 a.m. PT followed by the fourth round of the Phoenix Open at noon. ABC precedes its Super Bowl coverage at 9 a.m. PT with the Senior Skins Game featuring Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino and Hale Irwin. Aging golfers competing for tip money in a made-for-TV golf contest? I guess that's why they call it Super Sunday.)

Some of you will have none of this. The moment you saw the words "Super Bowl" followed by that string of roman numerals, you were already mentally planning which Web site to surf over to next -- some of you may be gone already. And that's a shame. Because while we don't understand why you'd forego a day of bone-crushing tackles, circus catches, and onion dip and we believe you should be mocked savagely for your iconoclastic behavior, we still want to help. Here's what you can watch instead as Oakland Raider fans plot out their swath of destruction through a city near you:

  • A&E: Murder, She Wrote marathon, 4 p.m. - 4 a.m.
  • AMC: Audrey Hepburn marathon: Funny Face, 1 p.m; Breakfast at Tiffany's, 3:10 p.m.; Sabrina, 5:35 p.m.; My Fair Lady, 8 p.m.
  • Animal Planet: The Pet Psychic Marathon, 11 a.m. - 1 a.m.
  • Bravo: Gay Weddings, 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.
  • Disney: Stanley marathon (I have no clue, either, folks), 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.
  • E!: The E! True Hollywood Story: Rock Hudson, 6 p.m.; The E! True Hollywood Story: Doris Day, 8 p.m.
  • Food Network: Two Fat Ladies marathon, 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.
  • Fox Movie Channel: Planet of the Apes marathon; All damn day, you damn dirty apes!
  • FX: Die Hard with a Vengenance, 3 p.m.; Grumpy Old Men, 6 p.m.; Grumpier Old Men, 8 p.m.
  • Lifetime: Degree of Guilt (a four-hour made-for-TV movie with Daphne Zuniga and Sharon Lawrence? Goodbye, Super Bowl!), 4 p.m.
  • MTV: The Osbournes marathon, 3 p.m. - 7 p.m.
  • Oxygen: Lace (Now I don't want to get picky here, but when we did the Watch Me for New Year's Eve, Oxygen was showing this five-and-a-half hour miniseries then, too -- does the network not actually own any other programming?), 6:30 p.m.
  • Sundance Channel: Anatomy of a Scene marathon, 3 p.m. - 8 p.m.
  • TBS: City of Angels, 2:30 p.m. PT; Stepmom, 5 p.m.
  • TNN: Star Trek IV, 3 p.m.; Star Trek V, 6 p.m.
  • TNT: Gettysburg (all six hours of it), 12 p.m.; Gone with the Wind (all five hours of that), 6 p.m.
  • USA: Dirty Dancing (No one makes Baby watch the Super Bowl!), 5:30 p.m.
  • VH-1: Divas Las Vegas, 6 p.m.; Shania Twain: In Her Own Words, 7 p.m.

--Philip Michaels


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