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THE IDLE AMERICAN
Wednesday, January 19, 2011 • Posted January 19, 2011

‘Super-est’ Bowl?...

Millions of people—on these shores and others—are counting the hours until the 45th annual Super Bowl. A few thousand others charged with security, emergency preparation, planning and execution of the BIG EVENT are counting even more hours. They can’t exhale until long after the game’s final whistle, when fans have gone home and media folks have taken their leave.

For the "get ready" planners, my hair hurts and my brows furrow. They are in fate’s hand, hopeful that Murphy will inflict his law on some other planet come February 6.

I wish them luck, the blind hog kind or whatever. Right now, they take little comfort in assurance of "life after the Super Bowl."…

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Bowl brain trusts, working at full thrust toward gear-stripping modes, are determined to give the Metroplex the best "face" possible. Never mind current economic woes that suggest we’re too poor to paint, ‘cause we’re too proud to whitewash. Much is being done to "spiffy up" the place. They’ve even declared war on graffiti, attacking it with machines that belch out hot air and granular baking soda. (There’s a certain irony that baking soda rids us of visual evidence of half-baked minds.)

Texans, try as they may to counter images in the minds of easterners, continue to be viewed as denizens of a wild and wooly back world. We are thought to be cowboys riding vast ranges in never-ending pursuit of truth and justice—or maybe half-truths and occasional justice.

Hollywood hasn’t helped. The late Bob Hope pointed to Texas’ "miles and miles of nothing but miles and miles." Giant, at five million dollars the most expensive movie ever made when released in 1955, added to the lore, as did such TV shows as Dallas, Friday Night Lights and Walker, Texas Ranger….

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Eastern media flocked to Texas in 1966, when Lady Bird Johnson rafted the Rio Grande River. The adventure began in Big Bend National Park. Journalists "poured it on" to spotlight old West myths about the state.

Texans are still snickering about the gullible eastern press. (In truth, they view us the same way we view them.) When a plane load of ‘em landed near Marfa—not far from where Giant was filmed—they noted "deer and antelope" grazing near the runway. Can’t swear if it’s fact or fiction, but I do know that deer and antelope scurry to the next county when their tranquility is disturbed by jet plane engines.

The journalists bragged of seeing deer and antelope "up close." My take: The animals were either sedated or propped-up prizes of a proud taxidermist. (One of the Yankees may have later written about an astronaut’s quail hunt the day before blast-off. He chronicled that the number of quail caught was not released.)…

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Latest lighting and TV techniques, as well as a record number of "further reviews," are expected at THE GAME.

Four dozen cameras—including skycams, "slow mo" and "X-mo"—will cover all angles at all speeds.

Too bad they can’t include Satchmo; he died four decades too soon….

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Fans will crowd the Metroplex, plopping down big money for game tickets and much more. Since most hotels require three-night minimums, maybe some of ‘em may use their 68 "non-game" hours to venture off the freeways. If so, they’ll learn that we’re "people," too, much like they are, except we don’t have as much money.

If they get far enough off the pavement, they might be as surprised as Andy Griffith was back in 1953. That’s when he stumbled across a football game in a cow pasture, capturing details in a comedy routine called "What It Was Was Football."

He spoke of two bunches of guys fighting over a pumpkin and convicts trying to maintain order. In all the excitement, he "spilled his big orange drink." Griffith said the object seemed to be gettin’ that pumpkin to the other end "without getting’ knocked down or steppin’ in sumthin’."...

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I "Googled" to fetch details of the ditty that rocketed him to stardom. It did, it did, it did.

Upon reading the lyrics, one might think "How stupid!"

Watch it on YouTube, though, and it’s funny all over again. Had it not been a national "smash hit," he might still be playing summer stock in North Carolina and teaching high school English. Alas, back then, football was just a game….

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Dr. Newbury is a speaker in the Metroplex. Send inquiries/comments to: newbury@speakerdoc.com. Phone: 817-447-3872. Web site: www.speakerdoc.com.

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