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So we are going to break down non-game angles leading into Friday's game breakdown and betting guide.
(Thanks, DD for reminding me. Because if memory serves we went a tidy 7-0 last year on all Super Bowl bets and props. Great times.)
Today's query centers on pressure.
Like Brian Johnson trying to explain to Claire in "Breakfast Club" that he understands pressure because he failed making an elephant lamp, the pressure of the Super Bowl is real.
Let's revisit a staple and go backward with a 5-in-10 on the 5-at-10, where we have a top-five less with an explanation in 10 words or less. Deal? Deal.
5. Tony Romo. Yikes, how far has he fallen in two years?
4. SF GM John Lynch. Time is now because the Trey Lance price tag looms.
3. Travis Kelce. The Taylor Swift backlash is real. And it's spectacular.
2. Brock Purdy. Results tell, great QB of great Hallmark movie script.
1. Kyle Shanahan. Your team is favored; can you win the big one bub?
A bundle of...
Cable is dead. Long live cable.
The streaming evolution and the cord-cutting moves have left the cable industry in a place where phone books and fold-out maps and Blockbuster are sending greeting cards that read "welcome to the club."
But now, with news that a large chunk of the biggest mainstream sports broadcast networks are offering a bundled package, the questions start anew.
Here's more on the announcement that ESPN and its full library (past and current) is partnering with Fox and Warner Bros. to include up to 15 sports networks and deals with all four major U.S professional leagues and most of the Power Five conferences.
My first question centers on cost, like, how much will this cost me? If I started the Price is Right bidding at $50 a month, are you going $1 or $51 if you bid next?
Second, how stressed is every commissioner of every major sports league and conference considering if all of those folks band together, there will a very limited number of TV bidders for the looming broadcast deals?
Maybe not as much as we may originally think by the merger of TV giants, because in truth, the streaming world has plenty of heavy hitters ready to step to the bidding plate.
This move certainly ups the ante for an Amazon or an AppleTV in the fight for live sports, but it still is amazingly interesting, no?
Despite every fiber of my being wanting Donald Trump to go away, Tuesday night in Nevada was the exclamation point on his complete return to the forefront.
And the emphatic announcement that he will be the nominee for a Republican Party that I no longer know.
Man, this is deeper than a 5-at-10 diatribe for me. This is more than looking for feedback — although feedback is always welcomed — and this is not playing to the middle, which is the safest place for media members not aligned with networks or organizations committed to and invested in preaching to the choirs of the extreme sides.
This is who I have been and who my family has been.
My mother was a long-time political bigwig in the state of Georgia, believe it or not.
She was national president of Jaycee Women in the late 1970s. Heck, she even gave Jerry Lewis a check on Labor Day at his Telethon in Vegas for more than a quarter of a million dollars back when that seemed like all the money in the world.
She later was the president of the Cobb County Republican Women, back when Cobb County was viewed as arguably the most conservative county in the country.
Heck, Newt Gringrich came to our house in Smyrna for dinner. It was take out. Mom could not cook a lick.
But now, I guess I am a RINO — Republican in name only — because of the staggering results of the Nevada primary Tuesday where Nikki Haley was clobbered by "None of These Candidates" because Donald Trump was not allowed on the ballot because, well, he's facing federal charges, which seems like it should be kind of a deal since he's running for the top office of the federal government.
Sure, we have watched as Donald Trump has continued to thumb his nose at decency and ride the wave of cultist support back to political prominence, but we all did so with a secret belief somewhere deep inside that this bad joke would fade.
Trump's rise eight years ago was a lark built on his SNL-type disregard to debates and mainstream mantras. And his winning mottos of "drain the swamp" and MAGA were politically brilliant.
(Side note: To be fair, he did nothing close to draining the swamp that is Washington, and in fact only made it more quagmaric, and the Make America Great Again stuff is, well, you know.)
(Side note on the side note: Yes, Spy, I made up the word quagmaric. So what? Irregardless.)
Today after the Nevada primaries, the truth is apparent.
It's Donald Trump vs. Joe Biden in November. Excuse me while I go kick a cat and throw up in my mouth.
When has there ever been a worst choice people? Truly.
Biden is a terrible president. A Carter-esque-level disaster as an executive despite being a truly decent guy.
Trump is a terrible human being. A dictator who had his moments in the Oval Office, but someone I would not trust to sit my dogs muchless be the next choice for the person in the most powerful job in the world.
What has become of our political system that we have now had three presidential cycles with arguably the three worst candidates of all time?
We have forever been moving toward a system where so many of us are forced into a place of voting for the lesser of two evils.
Now, it's almost impossible to pick which of these two is the worst for the job.
(Yes, Chas, Trump could very well be the worst human being to ever be considered for this job, but the way Biden is driving our economy into oblivion, well, he may be one of the worst presidents since the Civil War and that has to be considered, too.)
Man, this stinks.
This and that
— Holy buckets of big bucks. This story has McDonald's — yes, McDonald's, which has found its place as the joint that sells billions and billions of burgers and is content offering quick and cheap food quickly and cheaply — vowing to get back to more affordable options. The reason is that several New York Mickey D's have the Big Mac value meal at $18. Yikes. Raise your hand if you remember the Happy Meal — burger, fries, drink — being less than $3. Anyone else's salary or return been increased six fold since the 1980s?
— So Elon Musk is now funding Gina Carano's lawsuit against Disney and Lucas Films after the actress was fired from "The Mandalorian" for her conservative statements. Buckle up.
— South Carolina played. South Carolina won. The Gamecocks are 20-3 and have won six straight. Lamont Paris, national coach of the year. Any questions? Side note: South Carolina was picked DFL in the SEC preseason predictions. The Gamecocks have punched a dance card and are in second in the SEC, a half-game behind Bama and a half-game ahead of Auburn.
— So Taylor Swift, who is arguably the most popular celebrity on the planet at the moment, has made an empire in large part because of social media. She now has sent a cease and desist letter to a social media entrepreneur who tracks private jets of celebrities.
— You know the rules. Here's Hargis on the top 2025 high school football recruit in the area, Baylor's Cam Sparks.
Which way Wednesday starts this way:
Which Super Bowl participant has the most pressure?
Which way are you going for the ESPN bundle, over or under $50 a month?
Which way are you voting, Biden, Trump or neither?
Which item, if forced to eat at McDonald's are you ordering?
Answer some which ways, ask some which ways.
As for today, Feb. 7, let's review.
This one is simply.
We need a moment of silence friends.
"Blazing Saddles" is 50 today. Yes, you read that correctly.
Feel free to pick any "Blazing Saddles" Rushmore you would like to offer and debate. (Moderator willing of course.)
I will try to answer them all, and pick the best one for Friday.
Also of note, "Blazing Saddles" debuted in a drive-in in Burbank, California, and patrons watched on horseback instead of in cars.
God bless you, Mel Brooks.
Go, and remember the mailbag and the props contest.