Last weekend, I heard radio interviews with two of my favorite Texans. First, This is Hell, interviewed Marilyn Clement of Healthcare-NOW. Marilyn was talking about her recent article “Bush’s Health Care Conspiracy.” Then I heard Big Sandy’s Lovie Smith on the Tavis Smiley Show. Lovie, who has seemed ill-at-ease with the press in the past, has seemed comfortable in the limelight this week. (I wonder if Mike North has changed his mind about the comment he made earlier this month: “If Mike Ditka is on one side of Ontario Avenue and Lovie Smith was on the other side the day after the Super Bowl, Mike would be mobbed.” [I’ve heard of Ontario Street, but am not sure where Ontario Ave. is.] Then again, Mike North says a lot of dumb things.)
Much has been made of tomorrow’s historic coaching match-up, but there’s been a lot less said about the number first generation West African players. The Bears have three players of Nigerian origin: special teams Pro Bowler Brendon Ayanbadejo, a Chicago native, has a Nigerian father; Izzy Idonije was born in Lagos. Of course Staten Island’s Adewale Ogunleye, “The Prince,” is the grandson of a king. The Colts’ Joseph Addai, my darkhorse candidate for Super Bowl MVP, is the son of a former Georgia Tech running back from Ghana. [It looks as though Addai, who’s 23 and a year out of LSY, has a MySpace page.]
Some more Super Bowl snippets:
In the New York Times today, John Branch looks at the Latino market for football. It sites a recent report by ESPN Deportes:
In Spanish-speaking households in this country, which account for roughly 10 percent of the population, the N.F.L. is out of sight, out of mind, lagging far behind soccer, boxing, baseball, basketball and other sports in popularity.