The Super Bowl Blauggh (Monday edition)   

Updated: January 26, 2009

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Excited for Super Bowl week? DJ Gallo certainly is. He'll be providing us with wall-to-wall coverage all week long on his Super Bowl Blauggh, updated several times daily.

Yes, we know how to spell "blog." But this isn't a blog. It's even better.

And no, DJ's not in Tampa. Why on Earth would anyone want to deal with that mob scene?

4:54 p.m.

Steelers 28, Cardinals 24
So says a Madden simulation by the folks at EA Sports. But cheer up, Cardinals fans. I also did a simulation of the game on my Electric Football game, and Arizona took that one 17-14. Santonio Holmes almost ran back a punt in the final minute to win the game, zigzagging all the way down to the 5, but then he inexplicably turned around and ran to the 50, where he was tackled. I am afraid small, plastic, vibrating point-shavers might have gotten to him.

4:38 p.m.

Tampa hot spots
Most of the excitement this week in Tampa will be concentrated around Raymond James Stadium. But if you are visiting, be sure to take in other attractions the city offers.

The Tampa area is rich with history -- and NFL history, too. Why not head over to 615 Channelside Drive in Tampa? Located just between the Ice Palace and The Florida Aquarium, this is the address of Banana Joe's. And inside one of the club's bathrooms, two Carolina Panthers cheerleaders made NFL history back in 2005.

There might not be a plaque marking the specific stall, so you'll just have to imagine it. Enjoy.

3:01 p.m.

Images from the Cardinals' departure
The Arizona Cardinals departed from Phoenix's Sky Harbor International Airport today in front of 1,800 fans. Here are some images from the rally.

"Do it with your play, and we will do it with our lack of perspective! Yay!"

"Put that away, Doug! We don't want to attract more -- they could fly into the engine."

"Am I sunburned? I feel sunburned."

"I'm also going to do this during the game."

"Are you from Channel 3 or Channel 33? I hate Channel 33."

"Hmmph. If all you're going to do is stare at me, I'm not going to look at you."

2:18 p.m.

Enough with Roman numerals
So future generations are going to be saddled with trillions upon trillions of dollars of debt and a horrible tax rate. Whatever. You don't eat your vegetables, bad things happen.

The true tragedy of the future will be the insistence on sticking with Roman numerals to name Super Bowls.

XLIII is unwieldy enough. But think about it -- 45 years from now, for the 88th Super Bowl, our children and grandchildren will be stuck watching something called Super Bowl LXXXVIII. That is ridiculous. As though trying to watch a game between two teams with Chinese names won't be confusing enough.

1:38 p.m.

Former Steeler arrested
Former Pittsburgh tight end Jonathan Dekker, who was cut by the team in training camp, was arrested early Saturday in Alexandria, Va., and charged with obstruction of justice.

When police arrived, Dekker "tried to flee but was apprehended." Yikes. No wonder he was cut. That's not NFL speed. That's not even Elliot Vallejo speed.

At least he didn't try to get away by jumping in a getaway car driven by Steely McBeam.

12:38 p.m.

Phoenix vs. Pittsburgh via the U.S. Census Bureau
Population:
Phoenix: 1.6 million
Pittsburgh: 311,218
Looks like that Cardinals bandwagon is really filling up.

Median home value:
Phoenix: $246,600
Pittsburgh: $84,500
But remember that the average Pittsburgh home also contains $247,000 worth of Steelers paraphernalia.

Percentage of residents who are bilingual or multilingual:
Phoenix: 40 percent
Pittsburgh: 11 percent
So on an average day on the streets of Phoenix, you will hear both "We have an NFL team?" and "Tenemos un equipo de futbol Americano?"

Average commute:
Phoenix: 26 minutes
Pittsburgh: 22 minutes
Your die-hard Steelers fan also likes scoring drives that last 22 minutes.

See more data here.

11:43 a.m.

If it's Brown, bring it to your town
What do Arizona coaches Ken Whisenhunt, Clancy Pendergast, Maurice Carthon, Billy Davis and John Lott, and Pittsburgh coaches Bruce Arians, Keith Butler, Ray Jackson and Larry Zierlein have in common? All nine of them were fired by the Browns at some point in their careers.

Somebody wake up Romeo Crennel and give him a job.

11:27 a.m.

The real story behind Pittsburgh's improved offensive line
The experts point to several reasons why Pittsburgh's pass protection and run blocking have shown vast improvement since the first half of the season. Quicker decisions by Ben Roethlisberger, better play-calling, a healthy Willie Parker, and the jelling of an offensive line that was plagued by injury and forced to adjust to the loss of Alan Faneca. And I'm sure all of those things contributed. But don't forget the motivational power of e-mail rewards. "Pick up their blitz and there will be something waiting for you in your inbox."

10:31 a.m.

Cardinal facts
• Cardinals have emotions. Well, probably. Birds have a limbic system, which is necessary for emotion. It's unknown if they are fully aware of their emotions, however. Most likely, cardinals tend to feel happy in the warm spring and summer months -- and then sad and depressed in the fall and winter. That is, until this year.

• Male cardinals are stupid. Male cardinals defend their territory from intruders so fiercely that they can spend hours fighting themselves in reflective surfaces. Now you understand Bill Bidwill's leadership approach.

• The cardinal is the most popular bird, holding the title of state bird in seven different states. The state bird of Arizona is the cactus wren.

• Cardinals are the ones who elect new popes.

Elliot Vallejo update
I just fired up "Madden 09" to do some "research," and it turns out Elliot Vallejo's player rating of 65 was the lowest on the Cardinals to start the season. At least he is consistent. Vallejo was given the fourth-highest Morale rating on the team, with a 95. And if "Madden 2010" has a disrespected rating, Vallejo should score a perfect 100.

9:36 a.m.

The Worst Player at the Super Bowl
Scouts Inc. has released its rankings of all the players in Super Bowl XLIII. At the top is Larry Fitzgerald, followed by James Harrison, Troy Polamalu, Kurt Warner and Ben Roethlisberger. But since there's a top, there's also a bottom. And that bottom is No. 106: Elliot Vallejo, OT, Cardinals: "He's a first-year player with good size. He has limited athletic ability and experience. He is raw and is normally inactive on game day." Ouch. But don't sweat it, Elliot. You're at the Super Bowl. You may be the worst player at the Super Bowl, sure, but every player on 30 other NFL teams wishes they were in your giant, plodding, ill-fitting, smelly, mismatched shoes right now.

Dennis Green = Nostradamus
Dennis Green is no longer the coach of the Cardinals, but he helped get them to where they are today. In 2004, he drafted Larry Fitzgerald, Karlos Dansby, Darnell Dockett and Antonio Smith. In 2005, he brought in Antrel Rolle and Elton Brown via the draft, and Kurt Warner through free agency. And in the 2006 draft, he picked up Deuce Lutui, Leonard Pope and Gabe Watson.

So when Green yelled "They are who we thought they were!" and "If you want to crown them, then crown their ass!" perhaps he was just evaluating Arizona's personnel moves from the future.

Or, perhaps a bit more likely, maybe he was just completely insane.

DJ Gallo is the founder and sole writer of the sports satire site SportsPickle.com. He also is a regular contributor to ESPN The Magazine and has written for The Onion and Cracked. His first book, "SportsPickle Presents: The View from the Upper Deck," is on sale now.


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SUPER BOWL XLIII

In one of the best Super Bowls ever, the Steelers blew a 13-point lead before they delivered their own comeback to beat Arizona, 27-23. Super Central
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