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Monday, January 30, 2006
If I were at media day ...

By DJ Gallo
Special to Page 2

Tuesday is media day at the Super Bowl. Yours truly won't be there, however. Perhaps the fact that I have zero credibility and make up everything I write is the reason. Perhaps not.

But my absence doesn't mean I am without questions for the players and coaches. Far from it. I can do "legitimate" journalism if need be. So if any of my distinguished colleagues can ask the following questions in my stead and then get back to me with the answers, I would greatly appreciate it.

Bill Cowher
Bill Cowher might throw a football at you if you asked him that question.
Bill Cowher: "With Tommy Maddox's big-game experience as a championship-winning quarterback in the XFL, how tempted are you to start him in place of Ben Roethlisberger -- very tempted or extremely tempted?"

Matt Hasselbeck: "Your sister-in-law, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, is a co-host of 'The View.' No offense to her, but if I gave you 100 bucks, would you do me a favor and throw a football as hard as you can at the creator of that show? Preferably at his or her head, and without warning? And, uh, hypothetically speaking only, of course. I love that show."

Larry Foote: "How much would it mean to you to be able to play in a Super Bowl in your hometown someday like Jerome Bettis is this year?"

David Greene: "Congratulations on making the Seahawks as a third-string quarterback and reaching the Super Bowl. Would you say your success has quieted all the anti-Semitic bigots who turned against you in prep school? And is there any chance we'll now see a sequel to 'School Ties'?"

Jean-Philippe Darche: "Where do you think you rank among the all-time greatest French-Canadian long snappers?"

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Complete Super Bowl XL coverage

D.D. Lewis and D.J. Hackett: "Don't you think it's kind of lame for a guy in his mid-20s to use initials as a first name? I mean, really -- grow up."

Headlines …

Detroit: "Overjoyed Jerome Bettis given Key to the city of Detroit's restaurants"

Pittsburgh: "Friday declared official Bludgeon People Not Wearing Steelers Gear Day"

Seattle: "Starbucks' new Seahawk Droppings latte selling well despite poor taste"

National: "Nation holding its bowels to go en masse at halftime of Super Bowl"

Ten Things I Thought I Thought While Shopping for a Super Bowl XL Coffee Mug …

1. Detroit is pulling out all the stops to keep fans and sponsors entertained while they're in the city. Probably one of the coolest activities is the NFL Experience, where football lovers can meet past and present NFL players and coaches and participate in various games and clinics. As for more adventurous guests, they can head across the Detroit River to Windsor, Ontario, where prostitution is legal. The activities over there are part of the Eugene Robinson Experience.

2. I think the Seahawks are missing out on a big opportunity to win over impartial Detroit residents this week if they don't temporarily rename their 12th Man the "Darko Milicics." I'm sure the Pistons wouldn't mind lending him out for the week. And it would also give him something to do, which would be a nice change of pace for him.

3. The NFL Network had an interesting segment Sunday night in which Detroit Lions tight end Marcus Pollard took viewers on a tour of Ford Field. The stadium seemed like a really nice venue with a lot of character, especially for a dome. The only thing I noticed that they might want to clean up before Sunday is the big urine stain on the carpet in front of Joey Harrington's locker. Other than that, though, the place is pristine.

4. I'm having some people over to watch the game Sunday, so I did a quick online search for Super Bowl party tips. Pretty much all of it was common sense -- have plenty of food, drinks and seating. Nothing I couldn't have thought of myself. What was surprising, though, was that none of the sites advised against inviting Ray Lewis and his friends. To me, that should be tip No. 1. Safety always comes first.

5. Speaking of Super Bowl parties, I saw that Diet Pepsi will be running an ad during the game starring both Jay Mohr and P. Diddy. So take necessary precautions to protect your TV when the ad comes on, as I'm sure some of your guests will try to hurl large objects at the screen.

6. The Jerome Bettis going home for the Super Bowl thing is a story. It will be beaten into the ground by game time, but it's a legitimate story nonetheless. So be prepared for countless shots of his parents in the stands during the game. But if they ever cut to a shot of his parents and Brady Quinn's sister is standing beside them in a half-and-half Steelers and Seahawks jersey, by all means feel free to go on a murderous rampage.

Mick Jagger
Can't wait for the halftime show!
7. I'm not a huge Rolling Stones fan, but I think they're a far better choice for the Super Bowl halftime show than whoever that British woman was that sang last year. Plus, having the Stones perform will help ratings since it should keep their elderly peers awake and tuned in at least through halftime.

8. Speaking of staying awake, Bill Belichick will be a part of the pregame show. That dude is Mr. Personality. Now, I know he has had great success as a football coach, but this could be the stage that finally launches him to mainstream fame as an entertainer -- which I've always seen as his true calling. His three- and four-word mumbled, uninterested answers given without making eye contact are television gold. All he really needs is a straight man to offset his wacky antics. And then it's on to international superstardom. Bill Belichick: Entertainer to the World.

9. I read that more than $150 million is expected to be wagered on prop bets for the Super Bowl, meaning people are putting down some serious money on such things as: Which Team Will Make the Longest Field Goal in the First Half. Or Which Team Will Have the First Holding Penalty. I tend to stay away from prop bets unless I can find this: Average IQ of People Who Make Prop Bets: Under 70. I have yet to lose on that one.

10. Being that I'm 8-2 picking against the spread in the playoffs, I'm shocked that Vegas has set a line without seeing my Super Bowl prediction first. A tad risky on the Vegas people's part, as my opinions are widely regarded as the most respected in all of sports. But hey, I don't tell them how to run their sportsbook and they don't tell me how to have delusions of grandeur. As for the game, I'd love to see it go into overtime so Matt Hasselbeck could win the coin toss and shriek: "We want the ball, and we're going to score!" Only to then throw an interception that's returned for a touchdown. Fortunately for Hasselbeck, though, I don't see this game getting to overtime. Steelers 27, Seahawks 13.

DJ Gallo is a regular contributor to ESPN The Magazine, as well as the founder and sole writer of the award-winning sports satire site SportsPickle.com. He also contributes headlines to "The Onion."