Is gridiron greatness based on looks or skill?

Is gridiron greatness based on looks or skill?
Thank goodness Phyllis likes professional football on television, otherwise we'd be � like lots of households � fighting for the remote control.

Or I'd be running into her on the way to the refrigerator and the snacks cupboard during time-outs.

Unfortunately, our favorites � the Green Bay Packers and the New England Patriots � are out of the running this year, so we've had to get new teams to root for.

I judge them by the ability of their players, but Phyllis picks a team by the facial expressions of the coaches.

She says Bill Cowher of the Pittsburgh Steelers is grumpy looking. And she doesn't like the way Mike Shanahan of the Denver Broncos grimaces behind his ever-ready play sheet. When the two of them meet � as they did for the American Football League division title � she had a hard time deciding who to be for.

Mike Holmgren of the Seattle Seahawks doesn't smile, so he is on her hit list, too. She liked him when he was coach of the Packers, but he didn't smile much then either.

When the two of them butt heads in the Super Bowl on Feb. 5 she's got a quandary � but I think she'll pull for Seattle because of our 17 years there.

So we'll watch the Super Bowl, she guided by the way the mentors look and I opting for a startling play. Isn't that just like a woman?

(I'm kidding, of course. I think she can tell John Madden a thing or two about the game.)

We'll ignore the half-time extravaganza, by the way. The Rolling Stones � or whoever will take Janet Jackson's place � are not my idea of a football show. At least they won't embarrass the viewers by tearing off their clothes.

It's bad enough for high school marching bands to dig up the gridiron during the intermission, but to have a couple hundred rockers despoiling the playing field is too much.

And the producers � who obviously don't care what the score is, or who's playing, for that matter � use lots of smoke, too. I suppose it dissipates before they start playing again, but a quarterback with tears in his eyes can't see the wide receiver scooting down the sidelines.

As far as I'm concerned, the game is entertainment enough, but yet there are lots of folks � the younger ones, no doubt � who go for the half-time malarkey. I'd be content with just a John Phillip Sousa march or two.

Come to think of it, I don't even mind the dancing girls in their scanty garb. They wiggle their you-know-whats, and they don't have any idea that a game is going on. Apparently all they're interested in is the brief television exposure and the hope that they will be discovered by some Hollywood scout.

I guess I'm showing my age � or my sports interest, but I'm ready for some football!

(I wonder if the beards of Ben Roethlisberger and Matt Hasselbeck will figure into Phyllis's choice of teams?)

� 2006 Robert F. Karolevitz

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