The Commish Online                                                                                
Super Bowl Frenzy
January 27, 2004
by Ward Lowe

It’s crazy here in Texas, host state of Super Bowl XXXVIII. That’s right, this year the big game is in Houston, and I’m filing this report from Texas to share with you the whole Super Bowl experience.

Of course, I’m in Austin—250 miles from Reliant Stadium. Even if I were in Houston covering the Super Bowl, what would I do for the next five days? Well, besides sit in traffic. Maybe I could pose questions to the players on media day and enjoy the clichéd responses, straight out of “Bull Durham.”

Me: “Hey, Tom, you have the Patriots executing very well on offense. What kind of adjustments do you need to make to keep it going against Carolina?”

Brady: “I'm just happy to be here and hope I can help the team. I just want to give it my best shot, and the good Lord willing, things will work out.”

Now that’s journalism.

He love Super Bowl
Rod Smart, laughingstock of America for his “He Hate Me” jersey as player in the XFL, will be suiting up Sunday for the Carolina Panthers in the Super Bowl. Who’s laughing now?

After the XFL folded, Smart was rescued by the Panthers, who use him as a backup running back and special teams player. This is a guy who was waived by the Canadian Football League—now he’s playing in the Super Bowl. If Smart returns a kick all the way or makes another key play on Sunday, his story might eclipse Kurt Warner’s Arena League-to-Super Bowl MVP tale.

Worst retraction of the season
When most “experts” make incorrect picks, they suck it up and move on—but not ESPN’s Chris Mortensen: “Officially, you might have seen that I picked the Colts to defeat the Patriots, but I made that pick on Friday before I was able to analyze the game with real insiders. After talking to them, it was evident to me that New England was going to win quite convincingly.”

Right, Chris. Try that line on your bookie when he comes to collect.

Another reason for Bostonians to hate Buckner
Carolina defensive tackle Brentson Buckner wants to get another generation of New Englanders cursing the name Buckner. Quoted in a recent edition of the “Boston Herald,” Buckner said, “I'd like to be the one to score the winning touchdown or knock down a pass at the end of the game to keep them from winning so the Curse of the Buckners will live.”

So, Brentson Buckner wants to cause the Patriots to lose and conjure up visions of Red Sox first-baseman Bill Buckner’s error in the 1986 World Series for thousands of New Englanders. I think Billy Buck’s status as Boston’s chief goat is safe. Brentson Buckner has disrupted only two passes this season, and over his 10-year career, he has just one interception and zero touchdowns.

Of course, if I’m wrong about Buckner, I’ll be sure to follow Mortensen’s lead and say that I really thought he would make the big play to beat the Patriots.

Last week's From The Armchair

Ward Lowe is a writer and editor in Austin, Texas, who believes that 2004 will be The Year for his beloved Boston Red Sox. You can reach him at