Tidbits - February 14 2019

TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY



SUPER BORE

  I have seen every Super Bowl, and most of them have not been very good football games.
  In the years when the games have stunk, either the halftime show or commercials, or both, have compensated for the boring contest.
  This year in the three categories, the Super Bowl was 0-3. That rarely happens.
  To me the biggest disappointment was not the game, but the commercials.
  Determining the best commercials in the past has been a point of many discussions on social media. There wasn’t much discussion this year.
  Personally, I don’t like the commercials being aired the week before the game. This year, for instance, “The Today Show” previewed a commercial each day leading up to the Super Bowl.
  It takes a way the element of surprise, and sent many to bathroom breaks during the commercials, rather than during the game.
  I had two favorites.
  As a car nut, I loved the Walmart commercial that featured all the famous cars from TV and the movies using Walmart’s grocery pickup service.
  My favorite by far was one of the most surprising Super Bowl commercials ever.
  It started as what appeared to be another funny “Dilly, Dilly,” medieval Bud Light commercial., but it quickly turned to the Bud knight getting his head crushed by the Mountain, and the castle destroyed by the dragon from “Game of Thrones.”
  It was brilliant, but if you’ve never watched the “GOT,” you didn’t get it.
  I, also, liked the commercial with Jason Batemen on the elevator, but I saw it previewed earlier in the week, so it lost its lustre.
  The halftime show was a bust, unless you liked seeing a nearly 40-year-old man doing a striptease.
  One more song, and Maroon 5’s Adam Levine would have been “nekkid.”
  I don’t dislike Maroon 5, but it’s not a group that exudes halftime excitement.
  The halftime needed some excitement, because the first half ended with New England leading 3-0.
  The third quarter turned into nailbiter, as the Rams also kicked a field goal, and the game was tied 3-3 going into the fourth.
  The Patriots “exploded” for ten fourth quarter points to win 13-3.
  The Rams were one of the highest scoring teams in the NFL this season, so you have to hand it to the New England defense.
  Old Tom Brady now has won six Super Bowls.
  My sister Dibbie has given her son-in-law Jason Donlon a Super Bowl replica ring for five Christmases. Now, he’ll be getting a sixth, I reckon.
  He posted a picture on Facebook before the game of his little girl Emoree “wearing” the five replicas.
  Jason was born in New Hampshire and everyone from New England pulls for New England.
  Tom Brady is “only” 41, so how many more rings will Jason get?
  I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the worst call ever not made in a football game.
  Many think the Rams were in the Super Bowl,  because an inference flag was not thrown against LA in the championship game with New Orleans.
  Had the flag been thrown, many believe New Orleans would have been able to run out the clock, and kick the game winning field goal as time expired.
  Like the rest of the world, I could not believe two refs could not see obvious interference AND helmet-to helmet contact.
  I don’t know the officiating territorial rules in the NFL, but many times I’ve seen two high school refs near a play not make a call, then out of the corner of my eye see a yellow flag from 20 or 30 yards away.
  “He wasn’t even near the play,” we’ll say in the pressbox.
  Had another official on the field thrown a flag, it could have been reviewed.
  Later, the NFL admitted the refs made a mistake, and fined the Rams defensive back $26,000 for a helmet-to-helmet hit on a play where a flag wasn’t thrown.
  I’m sure he was upset .... until his feet touched the field in the Super Bowl!

MARCHING WITH ZION

  I’ll be honest. I was hoping Zion Williamson would be a flop at Duke.
  I’m tired of the top high school basketball talent in this state going elsewhere to play college ball.
  After playing high school basketball at Spartanburg Day, Zion decided to play college basketball at Duke.
  Who can blame him? I can.
  As a junior, Zion followed Carolina through the Gamecocks amazing Final Four run. He even went to Madison Square Garden.
  Last year, he witnessed Clemson make the Sweet 16, and most felt Zion was leaning toward the Tigers and would announce Clemson as his choice.
  Instead, he signed with Duke, who had already gotten pledges from three other top ten recruits in the nation.
  Good, I thought. When he joins all those other stars, he’ll go from the top to just a team member.
  Nope. Zion is as good as advertised and is already projected to be the number one pick in the NBA draft.
  Had he played for the Gamecocks or Tigers, he still would have been number one.
  With Zion, either team would be in the Top 25 right now.
  He would have been a “one and done” at Carolina or Clemson, but what a “one” it would have been.
  Clemson’s Brad Brownell and Carolina’s Frank Martin don’t get “one and done” recruits. They get good players, who get better each year.
  The Gamecock’s trip to the Final Four was led by seniors, who had paid dues for three previous seasons.
  When Rick Barnes left Clemson to take the Texas job, he was able to get one great “one and done,” Kevin Durant, to play for the Longhorns.
  Texas’ athletic department grew weary of Barnes not getting more Durants, and let him go and hired a former Clemson assistant Shaka Smart from Virginia Commonwealth.
  Tennessee, thinking Barnes was still a good coach, hired him. Some thought he was past his  prime.
  Shaka’s Texas team is currently 14-10. Rick Barnes’ Volunteers are ranked number one in the country.
  Frank Martin said Barnes current success is exactly like he built a Final Four team.
  Two years ago, Tennessee was 16-16, and lost to Carolina twice, 71-61, and 82-55.
  The freshmen and sophomores on that 16-16 team are now the top team in the country. None of these recruits were ranked like Zion, but their team is currently ranked higher than Zion’s (until Carolina beat them this coming Wednesday. You heard it here first. Haha).

ET TU, SCI?

  Years ago, the former Court TV, would use the same story in three or four different programs.
  The story may first appear on “The Forensic Files,” then “City Confidential,” followed by “FBI,” and “Cold Case,” or “New Detectives.”
  I liked all those show, so I still watched, even though I knew the ending. One “witness” gained about 50 pounds, and ten years of age from one show to another!
  Two of my current favorite programs are “What on Earth?” and “Mysteries of the Abandoned” on the Science Channel.
  Last week, a new “What on Earth?” featured abandoned ships in the Chesapeake Bay spotted from a satellite.
  Well, I knew what they were, abandoned wooden ships built for World War I. I had seen them on “Mysteries of the Abandoned.”
  “What” wasted 15 minutes of my time trying to guess what the ships were, even speculating they might be blockade runners from the Civil War.
  All the while I’m thinking, “I know what they are. Don’t you watch your own programs?”
  I hope this isn’t a trend.