Not too long ago, somebody dumped a Super Bowl XXVI program on my desk.
Boy, it's big, I thought. How big?
Curious, I lugged the program and a Lawrence phone book downstairs and placed each on a scale. The Super Bowl program weighed 23 ounces; the phone book 19 ounces.
Yep, the Super Bowl program is four ounces heavier than the city phone book, and it costs a heckuva lot more, too. Ten dollars more. For that $10, though, you receive 256 pages of wonderful Super Bowl information as well as scores of classy color advertisements.
OF COURSE, unlike the Lawrence phone book, it doesn't contain your name . . .unless your name is Vince Lombardi or Bronko Nagurski or Chivas Regal and you have a silent number.
Also contained in the Super Bowl XXVI program is an unusual insert nine football cards depicting various stages in the life of Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle Anthony Munoz, the NFL's Man of the Year in 1991. All you have to do is tear 'em out along the serrated cardboard edges.
Clearly, this isn't your off-the-rack souvenir. Then again, the Super Bowl isn't a cheap shirt, either. . .not at $150 a ticket, assuming you can find one at the going rate.
Incidentally, I see where a group of Indians will use the Super Bowl as a podium to protest Washington's refusal to change its long-standing nickname. That's their right, of course, but I wonder why the Indians aren't more concerned about the word most often used to describe selling tickets for more than face value.
ANYWAY, IN flipping through the pages of the one-pound, seven-ounce program less if the Munoz cards are removed I learned many things.
Here are a few of the tidbits I picked up:
Pete Rozelle isn't selling pencils on street corners in Bemidji. The NFL Alumni will honor the former commissioner tonight when they present him the Old Hero Award. If you weren't invited to the bash, don't feel bad. It's a $1,000-a-plate affair.
Nearly 1,800 people will be involved in Sunday's halftime extravaganza. They've dubbed it "Winter Magic" you were expecting maybe "Equatorial Elegance"? and will feature Dorothy Hamil and Brian Boitano plus a special appearance by "international superstar" Gloria Estefan. What that means is they couldn't get Garth Brooks.
A fourth of the halftime excess. . .er, show will feature a salute to the Winter Olympics in Albertville. Surely it's just a coincidence that CBS owns the rights to both Super Bowl XXVI and the Winter Olympics.
GTE, THE official telecommunications consultant to the NFL, will hand out 63,000 seat cushions for the seventh consecutive year. This is such a good idea I'll bet MCI wishes it thought of it eight years ago.
All 25 rings worn by previous champions are pictured on page 50. Mostly they look like, uh, rings, but I'll swear the stones in the Super Bowl VIII ring worn by the Miami Dolphins look like the head of a Norelco shaver.
Milton Berle, wielding a cigar and wearing a Kansas City Chiefs sweatshirt, is one of the celebrities pictured in an ad hawking NFL properties. You could have fooled me. I always figured Berle for a Giants fan.
AN ARTICLE by Andy Rooney I'm sure it's just a coincidence he works for CBS reveals he was a 185-pound guard at Colgate and that "football locker rooms are good places."
Toshiba is the official fax of the NFL. Just thought you'd like to know.
Super Bowl XVII is Jan. 31, 1993, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. Please plan accordingly.