NBC Claims $45 Million Loss From Super Bowl XLIII

Every year we are subjected to stories in the news marveling at the exorbitant and ever-climbing rates charged for television advertising during the Super Bowl. Earlier this year, 30 second ad spots during Super Bowl XLIII were going for the princely sum of $3 million. With all that money floating around, surely broadcaster NBC is raking in money hand over fist, right?

Well, maybe not. NBC’s parent company, General Electric, has released the financials relating to their coverage and broadcast of Super Bowl XLIII, and claims that they — get this — lost $45 million dollars on the deal. Not surprisingly, some observers aren’t buying it.

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Big Ben Played Super Bowl With Two Broken Ribs

Before helping cap off one of the most exciting Super Bowl finishes in NFL history with the touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had spent most of the two weeks leading up to the game just hoping he wouldn’t mess things up. After all, his first trip to the big game didn’t go so well in Super Bowl XL. Yeah, the Steelers won, but it wasn’t thanks to Ben’s 9 completions in 21 attempts, 123 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.

Ben had been hoping that he’d be able to actually help his team win the second time around instead of slowing them down, and he followed through on it. Though Holmes made the big catch and won the game’s MVP award, it could easily be argued that Roethlisberger deserved the award more than Holmes after he completed 70% of his passes for 256 yards and orchestrating that final drive. What makes it more impressive? He did it all with a couple of broken ribs.

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Warning: Matt Millen About To Appear On Your TV

I didn’t watch that much of NBC’s pre-game coverage of the Super Bowl yesterday because frankly, the two weeks of build up to the game was enough for me. I didn’t need another five hours of hearing about how nobody expected the Cardinals to be there, or how Ben Roethlisberger was nervous during his first trip to the Super Bowl against the Seahawks a few years ago. That and I didn’t want to hear Tiki Barber say things like the Cardinals “are a team of density”.

Matt Millen warning

I’m sure a lot of people in Detroit felt the same way, because everywhere they looked there were reminders of how bad the Detroit Lions suck. First of all, they were at a Super Bowl, something the Lions may not even know exists. Then there was Jerome Bettis, who is from Detroit and won a Super Bowl in Detroit, but not for the Lions. Oh, and then there was Matt Millen on the screen every few minutes pretending to know anything about football, when any Lions fan could tell you he clearly doesn’t. Dealing with Millen’s mug on the screen was probably more than any Lions fan could take, so thankfully Detroit’s NBC affiliate made sure to run a warning on the screen whenever he showed up.

Seriously.

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Woman Gets Drunk, Drives Her Car Into A Horse

The ending to last night’s Super Bowl was pretty damn amazing — and even more amazing if you have Comcast in Tucson — but aside from the final score of the game a lot of people are interested in the final tally of arrests made in Tampa last night.  Well, much like the final few minutes of the game, the fine people of Tampa did not disappoint.

All in all there were 26 people arrested during the game, and 18 were ejected from Raymond James Stadium.  There were also the four small planes who entered the secure air space.  Of the arrests, nine were people selling counterfeit tickets and there were a few people selling fake merchandise or credentials.  Still, none of them can hold a candle to what one woman accomplished in her drunken stupor.  After all, it’s not often these days that you hear about horses getting hit by cars.

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Steelers Win Wild XLIII; No Review On Last Play?

Well, those last 10 minutes were some kind of insane, weren’t they? In a game that went from snoozefest to slugfest down the wire, the Steelers were the last team standing, winning 27-23 after a last-minute touchdown grab by Santonio Holmes that will undoubtedly rank among the best plays in Super Bowl history.

Holmes Winning Catch

Holmes’ grab, seen above, came with just 35 seconds on the clock, wiping out a remarkable comeback by the Cardinals that had been capped by an insane 73-yard touchdown pass from Kurt Warner to Larry Fitzgerald Jr. Now, we assumed that would be the final score, since we and the Warners always thought that comebacks were kind of Jesus’s “thing,” you know. And really, the comeback card was still in play… until game officials took it off the table with just five ticks on the clock. Read more…

Cardinals Fans Still Learning Super Bowl Etiquette

(Ed. note: SbB correspondent Tuffy has been taking the pulse of Phoenix just before the Super Bowl.)

A short time left before kickoff (barely enough time for more Snoop Dogg raps) and the state of Arizona has embraced the Cardinals’ upcoming Super Bowl appearance awkwardly, not quite knowing what to do in such a social situation.

To wit, we stopped into the local breakfast shoppe this morning and overheard one employee to another: “I love your polo shirt (with Cards logo)!” “Oh, this? I borrowed it from my dad. I wasn’t going to buy one!”

Cardinals church support from Yuma

(Thanks to Arizona Lifestyle Team for the heads-up)

And there is a red rash across Phoenix this week.  At the Suns’ game last night, the Cardinals jerseys rivaled the Sunswear in number.  Also, more than a few D-Backs shirts and hats made an appearance.  The calculation in each person’s eyes was clear: it’s red, it’s Arizona sports-related, and I can’t bear to buy too-small short shorts from a corner vendor or a T-shirt-in-a-plastic-mug from Fry’s even though everyone else is sold out.

Arizona Cardinals cookie

(Bad call; everyone knows big cookies say “It’s not as bad as supermarket flowers, but I still have the memory of a brain-damaged goldfish”)

(Note to the Steelers’ fans wearing jerseys out to a Suns’ game the night before the Super Bowl: tres douche.)
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WTF: TSA Brings Its Nuisance To The Super Bowl

If you’re headed to the Super Bowl this weekend and you think the last you’re going to see of those TSA agents is at the airport, you figured wrong. The TSA is going to be making a guest appearance at the game, providing a controversial new service at the gates. It’s called “behavior observation,” so if you plan on acting strangely while you’re in line to get in to the game, you’ll getting your own special interrogation before anyone allows you inside the stadium.

TSA security

(She’s nervous about leaving her cat alone for the weekend. Or she’s engaged in a Jihad against America. One or the other.)

TSA agents who underwent seven days of training in this will be looking for things such as “sweating, avoiding eye contact or talking evasively.” In other words, things that people without seven days of training could probably detect as suspicious behavior. The “sweating” provision might not bode well for some of the larger Steeler fans who will be waiting in long lines in the heat. Or John Madden, for that matter.

The ACLU, naturally, isn’t too excited about all of this.

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Super Bowl Smiths Both Battle Through Adversity

Get your hankies out, folks, it’s time for a couple of touching human-interest stories from this week’s Super Bowl. The Steelers and Cardinals aren’t just going head-to-head on the field this week, they’re also matching up to see which teammate named Smith has endured the most recent terrible hearbreak.

Terelle Smith and Aaron Smith

In Arizona’s corner, there’s fullback Terrelle Smith, whose mother raised not only he and his five siblings but also as many as 22 other foster children at the same time. Smith’s selfless mom died last month after a long battle with breast cancer, just before getting to see her kid play in the Super Bowl. In Pittsburgh’s corner, there’s defensive end Aaron Smith, whose five-year-old son is battling leukemia as we speak.

Prepare for your heartsrings to be pulled after the jump.

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Cards And Steelers Joined Forces In 1944, Stunk

We all know the respective histories of the two teams playing in the Super Bowl this weekend. The Steelers are one of the proudest, most successful franchises of the modern era while the Cardinals, uh, aren’t. But you may not have known that the two franchises actually joined forces for one season — and became perhaps the worst team in NFL history (though I know some folks in the great state of Michigan who might disagree with that assessment).

Card-Pitt

As the 1944 NFL season was being planned, there were 11 teams that wanted to play. But the scheduling of a league with an odd number of teams was too difficult to figure out, so NFL commissioner Elmer Layden asked Steelers owner Art Rooney and Chicago Cardinals owner Charles Bidwell to merge. They did, and the team known as Card-Pitt was born. They were so bad, though, that one Pittsburgh sportswriter said they should call themselves the Car-Pitts because “every team in the league walks over them.”

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Young Steelers Fan Has Black ‘N’ Gold Bar Mitzvah

It’s an exciting time for young Tampa resident Ian Chapkis. Not only is his favorite team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, in the Super Bowl, but he turned 13 just in time for the big game. And, since Ian is Jewish, we all know what that means — Steelers Bar Mitzvah 2009!

Steelers bar mitzvah

Chapkis picked up Steelers fandom from his father, who is from Pittsburgh. The family says it had been planning the theme long before the team ended up making Super Bowl. Should the favored Steelers lose to the Cardinals on Sunday, Ian is required for the first time in his life to take it like a man.

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