Tag Archives: super bowl

Painful to your ears!

A few weeks ago, I posted about my appreciation for a well sung National Anthem at major sporting events. I held up Whitney Houston’s version at the 1991 Super Bowl as one of the all-time best.

If you missed the opening of the Kentucky-Kansas championship game, you missed a rendition that rivals Roseanne Barr and Tom Arnold for the bottom of the list.

 

The best ever National Anthem

I am a big fan or critic, as the case may be, of performances of the National Anthem at sporting events. It just drives me crazy to watch a young performer try to put their own spin on the song – a young female singer trying to turn it into a love ballad or a young male singer making it into a country rock song. But I’ll stand and cheer for a really good performance.

This came to mind earlier today when I read that Whitney Houston has died. For whatever else you can say about Whitney, her performance of the Star Spangled Banner at the 1992 Super Bowl may be the best ever.

If you are too young, didn’t see it, or simply don’t remember, I should point out that the performance came just ten days after the air campaign began in the first Gulf War. There was an intense feeling of patriotism throughout the country. Whitney stepped up before a world-wide audience and just let it rip.

Whitney seemed to draw energy from the crowd, but apparently that was just an illusion.  I read today that she recorded the song a few days earlier and lip synced it at the event. Until today, I hadn’t realized that.

At the time, I remember watching it and saying to myself, “Holy smokes! That was really great!” Courtesy of YouTube, here it is.

Sick, recovery and back to work

The last few days have been fairly eventful, at least from my limited, self-centered perspective.

On Saturday, I was a judge at the regional Ocean Science Bowl competition. It involved 16 high school teams from Georgia and South Carolina. It was actually a lot of fun. I was a “rules judge” so my amateur knowledge of ocean science didn’t hurt me. I had one minor conflict with the moderator on my team of judges. He interpreted a rule incorrectly and, at least initially, was not happy about being corrected on it. We discussed it, and when he actually saw the rule in question, he realized he had made a mistake and everything turned out OK.

Mrs. Poolman and I went out for dinner with some friends Saturday evening. It was “restaurant week” in Savannah, and many of the up-scale restaurants had fixed-prix menus. I was not impressed with the restaurant, even though it had an excellent reputation. The chef barely seared my steak that I had ordered “medium.” Once the food was laid down, the waitress did not appear again until it was time for dessert. She didn’t even ask why a perfectly good (but practically raw) steak sat, barely touched, on my plate.

I’m not a complainer. If I’m asked, I’ll answer. Otherwise, I’ll just remain quiet but take my business elsewhere.

I almost nev­­er fall victim to a “stomach bug” or other gastro-intestinal maladies. So I was very surprised to find myself spending most of Saturday night in the bathroom with significant eruptions coming from both ends. What do they say about “thinking you’re going to die, and afraid you won’t.” Ugh. Not a fun experience.

So I spent Sunday like a zombie, laying on the couch, napping and watching TV. I napped through the first half of the Super Bowl. I apologized to Mrs. P for being such lousy company. There are benefits to being married to a nurse. She took good care of me.

Dinner?

On Monday, I recovered enough to drive to Atlanta for today’s Board of Regents meeting and a “Coastal Georgia Day at the Capitol” tomorrow.  I’m off in a little while to meet some of my fellow “coastal Georgia” people for dinner at a Brazilian steakhouse. Is it supposed to be ironic that the representatives of the Georgia Shrimp Association go to a Brazilian steakhouse when they come to the “big city?”

Whatever. I’ll report back on dinner tomorrow or later in the week.

 

 

 

 

Science Bowl, Super Bowl, halubkys and a ‘suite” upgrade

We have been busy the last few days.

On Saturday, I was a “rule judge” for a regional competition of the National Ocean Science Bowl. This was a “college bowl” type competition among high school teams, and the questions were all related to marine science. Actually, it was kind of fun. Some of the kids had really studied. The teams were allowed to protest or challenge anything they thought went against the rules, and that is where I came in. We had two interesting challenges to settle. I enjoyed it, but our moderator, who was in the middle of each challenge, was taking the whole thing much too seriously. I hope the rest of her weekend went better.

That is, I hope she wasn’t a Steeler fan. The guys in black and gold lost a close one that they could have won, with just one or two fewer turnovers. Well, they made it to the big game, which is more than all but one other team can say. Next year.

A bright spot to Sunday was Mrs. Poolman’s effort at an appropriate Steeler Super Bowl meal. No wings or pizza for this meal. She made holubkys (also called golabkys).

Halubkys

These are a ground meat mixture, wrapped in cabbage leaves and cooked with kielbasa, sauerkraut and a tomato sauce. Very Pittsburgh. Very good. Mrs. P also says, “A bit of a pain in the a__.”

Next, I was off to Atlanta for a two-day business trip. I got a nice surprise when I checked into my usual Holiday Inn. I had been upgraded to a suite.

Ain't it suite?

Actually, it’s two adjoining regular rooms, but one of them is furnished as a “living room.” Not too shabby. I guess it’s a reward for my brand loyalty. It’s too bad I’m just here by myself and don’t have anyone to enjoy it with.

Tomorrow evening, I face the “little darlin’s” of my 5th grade CCD class. Last week, we really read them the riot act about their behavior. It worked. Then again, we had only eight kids in the class. Also, some of the kids with the attention span of goldfish were not there. We’ll see how it goes. Our subject matter this week is the Ten Commandments. Last year, it took two classes to get through the single chapter because there was just so many questions and discussion. It was a lot of fun. Fingers crossed. Maybe tomorrow will also be as good.

A bad Super Bowl joke

The Super Bowl is just a couple of days away. Here is a cute, but weak joke that plays on the old golf joke premise.

A man had 50-yard-line tickets for the Superbowl. As he sat down, a man came  along and asked  him if anyone is sitting in the seat next to him.

“No,” he said, “the seat is empty.”

“This is incredible,” said the man. “Who in their  right mind would have a seat like this for the Superbowl, the biggest sporting event in the world, and not use it?”

Somberly, the man  says, “Well… the seat actually belongs to me. I was supposed to come here with my wife, but she passed away. This is the first Superbowl we have not been to together since we got married in 1967.”

“Oh I’m sorry to hear that, that’s terrible, but couldn’t you find  someone else – a friend or relative or even a neighbor to take the seat?”

The man shakes his head, “No,they’re at the funeral.”

Boogers, babies and scarey nuns

It’s been awhile since my last post, so I guess I’d better get to it.

It wasn’t such a great year for my Florida Gator football team, but my pro team, the “Stillers” are making up for it. Ya gotta love the way they manhandled the Jets in the first half last night. Too bad they cruised in the second half and let the Jet’s make it a close game. There were many highlights of the game, but the most amazing clip was a lowlight. Here is Jets QB Marc Sanchez with back up QB Mark Brunnell.

That’s classy!

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Mrs. Poolman called me from her work last Friday and asked me if we had any plans for that evening. Our friend Liz’s husband needed to be out at a work function and she was looking for help with their five-month old twin daughters. Apparently the evening is their grumpy time and it’s a two-person job to get them settled for bed. I went over after work and Mrs. P joined us when she got off. The girls are too cute! We had a fun time.

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I just finished a book that is very non-typical for me – “An American Childhood” by Annie Dillard. It was recommended to me by my sister-in-law. It is a non-fiction “memoir” of the author’s childhood. In truth, the only thing I found interesting was the setting, the Point Breeze-Frick Park section of Pittsburgh. I’m not that familiar with that neighborhood, but I knew my Dad grew up near there. When I told him about it, I asked if he was familiar with St. Bedes school, which was on the same block as the author’s first home. It turned out that Dad actually went to St. Bedes, although about 20 years earlier than the time the author described.

I related one amusing scene in the book where the author describes being terrified of the St. Bedes’ nuns when she saw them on the street in their old-style black habits. My dad’s comment:

“I knew those nuns well, and they terrified me too!”

Random thoughts on a Friday

The NFL has announced the 2014 Super Bowl will be played outdoors at the Jets-Giants new Meadowlands Stadium. That’s just crazy. The game is scheduled for February 2nd.  It’s cold in New Jersey at that time of year. Let’s not forget, Super Bowls are not played during the day anymore. They are prime time extravaganzas. That means you can knock about ten degrees off of whatever was the daytime high. It may not mean much for the players, but I can’t imagine a great Super Bowl experience when my bottom is frozen to the seat. Fortunately (or unfortunately, as the case may be), I doubt I will have the opportunity to find out for myself.

I grew up in and around Pittsburgh, but there is a reason I went to college and spent most of my adult life in the South. I’ll battle the sun and heat at The Swamp any day. No frostbite at the football game, please.

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Another female teacher has gotten in hot water for messing around with her students. She was a “Teacher of the Year” no less. This certainly does not bring back memories of my high school experience. Why would someone think that is a good idea?

*   *   *

Apparently the latest front-runners for the Darwin Awards, aka“How much more stupid can I be?”, involves teenagers pouring vodka into their eyes. Wouldn’t that sting just a little? Besides, it’s a terrible waste of good Grey Goose.

It does give a new twist to the old toast, “Here’s mud (or vodka?) in your eye!”

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Bumper sticker I saw this morning – “My child doesn’t need validation from a bumper sticker.” Ha!

French burkas, racial profiling and the Tebow-Super Bowl flap

Listening to the news on the radio while I drive to work is a great source of inspiration for blog material.

As a sign I saw in a gift shop recently said, “Everyone is entitled to my own opinion.”

They are fighting over burkas in France these days. Those are the robes for Muslim women that cover their entire body including their face. France is considering banning them in public buildings, citing subjugation of women and security as the reasons. Naturally, those on the other sides are yelling about freedom of religion and France’s national identity. It’s interesting how Muslim leaders will cry for religious freedom when they are in the minority. However, try to wear a tee-shirt with “What would Jesus do?” written on it and see how far you get in the streets of Saudi Arabia or Iran. I suspect the mullahs would be singing another tune.

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A bill is scheduled to be introduced into the Georgia General Assembly today that would outlaw racial profiling. I am ambivalent about this issue.

On one hand, I don’t think someone should be arrested or harassed because of the color of their skin. ie: driving while black, etc.

On the other hand, crime is a serious issue in Savannah. Even out in our little suburban enclave, it is something to be concerned with. And at least here in Savannah, the vast, overwhelming majority of street crimes (assault, robbery, burglary, etc.) are committed by African Americans, primarily young, male African Americans. A story in yesterday’s local newspaper described arrest activity from the weekend and showed the mugs of the 12 people arrested. Ten of the twelve were black men. Unfortunately, this is not an anomaly. This brings me back to the initial question:  Do I want to take away from the police one tool that might help them keep myself, my home and my family safe?  I don’t know.

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Our favorite-son quarterback, Tim Tebow, is taking hits this week, and not just at the Senior Bowl practice in Mobile. He and his mom are going to appear in a anti-abortion Super Bowl commercial paid for by the Christian advocacy group “Focus on the Family.” Supposedly, the ad will have Tim and his mom talking about her experience when pregnant with Tim. As the story goes, she had a difficult pregnancy and was advised to terminate the pregnancy for her health. She refused to do so, and the end result is Tim, a remarkable young man by any standard.

I am not a big fan of Focus on the Family, for what little I know about them. Nor have I seen the TV spot, but then again, neither had anyone else.

Nonetheless, the Women’s Media Center, with backing from the National Organization for Women, the Feminist Majority and other groups, are throwing the penalty flags in Tim’s and CBS’s direction.

“An ad that uses sports to divide rather than to unite has no place in the biggest national sports event of the year – an event designed to bring American’s together,” said Jemhu Greene, president of the Women’s Media Center.

“…an event designed to bring American’s together”??? I thought it was an event designed to determine the champion of the National Football League, provide an excuse for some Sunday afternoon parties and to make a lot of money for a bunch of people. I never knew it was supposed to be some kind of national unity event. Silly me.

I wonder if Ms. Greene has ever been to a viewing party or a football game where there were decent percentages of fans of both team? (Super Bowl, Florida-Georgia, Texas-Oklahoma, a BCS championship game, etc.)  I suspect she has not. If she had ever actually been to one of those games, she would know that unity is not a concept that comes to mind.

I don’t believe the women’s advocacy group really have much to complain about except that the Tebows’ message will probably be something they will disagree with.

The funniest shot comes from SI.com’s Greg Doyel.

“If you’re a sports fan, and I am, that’s the holiest day of the year,” he wrote. “It’s not a day to discuss abortion. For it, against it, I don’t care what you are. On Super Sunday, I don’t care what I am. Feb. 7 is simply not the day to have that discussion.”

The irony is just pure honey. According to Doyel, Super Bowl Sun“Thou shalt keep holy the Lord’s…” day is too holy to be despoiled by any talk of morals, ethics, or, God forbid, religion. No further comment is necessary.

For myself, it just gives me something to look forward to watching the game.