From The Cheap Seats

Well, I'll be a dirty bird. Of the seventeen times a franchise that has never won a Super Bowl played a team that has, the earlier winner has now won 16 times (Denver last year was the exception). What I, and the many others who selected Atlanta ignored, besides the above fact, was that the Broncos changed their defensive posture for the playoffs. The yardage they gave the Jets was a precursor to the yardage they gave the Falcons…bend but not break became the motto and it worked brilliantly. The defense allowed it's first touchdown drive of longer than one yard with 2:07 to go in the game, at the end of nearly three games worth of brilliant defense against points, not yards.

I don't want to make excuses, but the arrest of Eugene Robinson the night before the game may have had some affect on the Falcons. He was their spiritual leader, both secular and religious. I got worried when before the game, one of the sideline reporters said he talked to Robinson and he said he was "okay, he felt pretty good." Pretty good? The day of the Super Bowl? I almost changed my bet right there, because "pretty good" ain't good enough. And it wasn't, as every big play in the first half involved his getting where he had to be a step late. It might not have mattered in the long run, but it sure didn't help.


One of the reasons I picked Atlanta was their deep speed. They threw one ball to a wide receiver in the first quarter, which resulted in an interference call. It was run, run, run, screen, run, run, etc. Dan Reeves plays this kind of game to not lose, which tends to have the opposite result. Maybe Elway was right when he said that he wouldn't have had to pull out all those comeback victories if Reeves had opened the offense up earlier.


For the record, I think Elway will come back. This one is for fun, either they three-peat, or he waves to the crowd and says goodbye. Of course, I'm not in his body, and if he's in pain, he may be less inclined to go through it again.


Dennis Rodman doesn't want to go to So. Florida because there would be too many distractions. Yet he does want to come to LA Let me translate: "distractions" means Pat Riley getting on his butt on a regular basis, something Del Harris is unlikely to do. I guess he'll help the Lakers, since he won't cost much and there's nothing Corey Blount can do that he can't do better.


Did Yevgeny Kafelnikov send a cut of his Australian Open winner's share to Pete Sampras? At least he should have sent him a thank you note and a cute little koala.

A not so cute part of the Aussie Open was the dyke-baiting of Amalie Mauresmo. I will admit that the first time I saw her on the court, not knowing of her sexual preference, I was struck by the masculinity of her game and her build. It seems unusual for a nineteen year old woman to have the shoulders and stride of a linebacker. She hits the ball frighteningly hard and has a first rate set of ground strokes. We should be hearing a lot from her in the future. Of course, I sort of wonder why we haven't heard from her before now.

Martina Hingis really enjoys winning and the fans, throwing her rackets to them after the match. Beyond her victory celebrations, there is a stunning innocence to her -- she'll say whatever is on her mind, regardless of how tactless it might be. She expects to beat lower ranked players, whoever they may be and says so. Her "half a man" comment about Mauresmo was her honest opinion, almost certainly without malice, but just not the kind of thing you say. Her mother is going to have to talk to her about this sort of thing; if not her mother, certainly her agent.


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