EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

January 27, 2014

Sports in a Minute


The Eagle-Tribune

---- — HUGE TEST FOR NFL

Super Bowl week is here.

And while many folks around have taken the “No Patriots, no care” approach to Sunday’s meeting between the Broncos and Seahawks, I am preparing for the NFL to fall flat on its face with this cold weather “experiment” in the Meadowlands.

You folks have to understand, I’m from the camp that would have the Super Bowl in a city like Las Vegas or Los Angeles, New Orleans or Miami every year. The game is a celebration of football.

Temps in the teens and snow flurries aren’t proper for celebrations. There’s a reason nobody gets married up here on the first weekend in February.

But that brings us to Sunday. Do we really get a quality product in an ice bowl, or if the snow is piling up?

Let’s be honest. The “Snow Bowl” game of the 2001 playoffs simply wasn’t fair to the Raiders. But they had a chance to play in a more suiting climate. They didn’t do it in the regular season.

The Super Bowl doesn’t offer that to a Denver or Seattle or anyone else. This game is meant to be played in warm weather or better yet, a dome.

When this thing all falls apart, the usually wise NFL will see what a mistake they’ve made.

WAY TO GO, BRIAN

Congrats, I think, to Londonderry’s Brian Wilson, for making the rantsports.com “30 Scariest Athletes” list. At number 15, Wilson was sandwiched right between Detroit Lions defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh and the NBA’s Chris “Birdman” Anderson.

Brian, for those of us who know the real you, the Brian behind the beard, we seriously ask that you call for a recount.

STEP UP, CENA!

Ran across the following list of professional wrestlers and their current state of personal wealth.

10. Mick Foley - $15 million

9. The Undertaker - $16 million

8. Shawn Michaels - $17 million

7. Chris Jericho - $18 million

6. Kurt Angle - $20 million

5. The Big Show - $20 million

4. Triple H - $25 million

3. John Cena - $35 million

2. Steve Austin - $45 million

1. The Rock - $70 million

That leads me to two conclusions, one on the national side and the other hitting a little closer to home.

First, the national. I know Hulk Hogan lost a ton in his divorce and Ric Flair has been known to spend it as fast as he made it. But where are those two guys on this list?

Those guys ran the wrestling game for decades. Can you really blow it that fast? Shame on you both, although I would love to write the book on Flair and the life he lived when he’s ready to truly tell all.

The second point, hitting a lot closer to home, comes in at No. 3, the guy from the “Mean Street (yes, singular) of West Newbury.

I know you went off to some hoidy-toidy prep school and then to Springfield College, but how about doing something for the old hometown team.

Pentucket Regional’s football/baseball field remains a laughing stock in the Cape Ann League. It’s a mud pit.

And it’s nobody but nature’s fault.

Step up and buy these guys a nice, economical sheet of artificial turf. What will it run you a million? And it’s a tax writeoff?

I know you weren’t a Sachem, but your brother Dan was. Step it up Cena. Remember the folks at home for once.

Author’s note: We write this realizing John Cena is a wonderfully charitable man, who has been excellent for children’s charities everywhere.

NO TIGER, NO FUN

It’s been a meat freezer in New England for seemingly months now. I’m looking anywhere for signs that there is more to our continent than simply tundra.

Flash on the Pro Bowl last night and I’m blinded by awful fluorescent uniforms. But that’s not the worst break of the weekend.

How about Tiger Woods shooting 79 on Saturday at Torrey Pines to have him cut at the PGA’s Farmer’s Insurance Open from suburban San Diego.

Talk about a way to louse up my Sunday afternoon.

By the way, if you’re interest at all, Scott Stallings beat K.J. Choi and three othes by a stroke for the title.

For me, no Tiger, no thanks.

TURN NOAH LOOSE

This final note is an open letter to Indiana University coach Tom Crean, who has been the only person on the planet to slow Noah Vonleh down on the hoop court this winter.

Hey Tom, Noah is shooting .536 from the field, yet he’s taken a full 116 shots fewer than your gunning point guard Yogi Ferrell, who is stroking it at a .422 percentage.

Give the big fella, the ball.

Haverhill’s Vonleh, by the way, is still tearing things up with 9.6 rebounds a night (no other Hoosier averages 5) and he’s putting up the numbers with Crean playing him only 25 minutes a night.

He had four points and 14 rebounds yesterday in a tough win over Illinois.