Tom's notes from Super Bowl Sunday

7:45 a.m.: Go outside to get the Sunday paper, and it's not there. This is the fifth time in seven days that it hasn't been delivered, and it's getting somewhat annoying. What's really weird is that the same guy also delivers USA Today, and I haven't missed one day of that. (Please don't ask why I get USA Today. I'm addicted to newspapers, great and mediocre, although most tend to land in the latter category these days. I used to get the Phoenix paper, The Arizona Republic, as well, but The Boss put her foot down. She said the house was starting to look like a place Howard Hughes would have lived in before he went really crazy.)

7:48 a.m.: Go into the house to call the paper.

The reason it took three minutes isn't because I have such a big yard. I just walk slowly. OK, I lumber.

I dial the number and a soulless recorded message says, "Thank you for calling Tucson Newspapers. For service in English, please press '1.'"

Now, I'm an Old World lib-er-al with a Hispanic wife and Hispanic children, but this was most disconcerting. Why should I have to pull the phone away from my head and push a button just so I can conduct business in the accepted (if not yet official in all states) language of the realm? I certainly don't mind if businesses give their customers the choice of speaking some other language; that's good business. I've been known to press that other button just so I can work on my Spanish, at which I stink.

But I don't care if I'm living at the corner of First Street and Pan American in Douglas or 200 yards (not meters) from Quebec; I shouldn't have to choose to speak English in the United States. And people wonder why rednecks form militias.

8:54 a.m.: While reading the previous day's sports page as I wait for the Sunday paper to be delivered by the guy who promises it'll never happen again, I come across not one, but two, SPORTS NAMES. I'm something of a mental collector of SPORTS NAMES. These are names that are either inexcusably misspelled or inexcusably bizarre in nature.

In the former category, there are names like the Braves' Andruw Jones, which should be pronounced Ann-druh-wuh, and Antawn Jamison, which he somehow expects intelligent people to pronounce like "Antoine." In the latter category, which is more fun, there are names like current NFL players Earthwind Moreland and Peerless Price, and my all-time favorite, former college basketball player Scientific Mapp.

Playing against the UA softball team this past weekend were Tulsa shortstop Stacey Walkingstick and Kansas shortstop Destiny Frankenstein. Yes, Destiny Frankenstein. That's just wrong.

4:44 p.m.: I tell my son that I actually went to Super Bowl I, a fact with which he is singularly unimpressed. The game was at the Los Angeles Coliseum, and it was half-empty. They gave out free tickets to L.A. Parks and Rec. Department, and our park director took a bunch of us in a bus that looked like it was borrowed from the prison.

4:56 p.m.: Some Eagles clown, whom I refuse to mention by name, makes a tackle and then does an elaborate dance. You made a tackle, bitch! You didn't cure cancer. Did Jonas Salk do a dance when he came up with the polio vaccine? He deserved to, but he probably didn't. And don't tell me it's entertainment. Think about it this way: You're one of the best football players in the country, but you're a worse dancer than J.C. Chasez. That should keep you from ever doing that again in public.

6:55 p.m.: Arrive at church, expecting to find an almost-empty building. Instead, there had to be 100 people there, at least! I didn't know there were that many communists left in all of North America.

I have an excuse for going to Mass during the Super Bowl: My basketball team was out of town Saturday, so we couldn't go to the Vigil Mass with all of the other football fans, and my wife was ill all day Sunday, so we had to wait until the latest possible opportunity. But what's the story with these other people? Even the priest showed up. The Vegas odds were 7-5 in favor of his doing so, but it was no sure thing.

On the plus side, I didn't have to watch Paul McCartney.

Father Mike did his best hurry-up offense of a sermon. (I didn't time it, but the phrase "two-minute offense" did pop into my head.) Nevertheless, the Mass still lasted almost an hour because of all the damn singing. The rule of thumb these days in the Catholic Church is: Why have the priest say something in four concise words when the choir can sing it in 12 grating, seemingly endless verses?

8:04 p.m.: Get out to the car. Even though I was taping the game, I wanted to hear what the score was. New England's up 24-14, with less than two minutes remaining.

I wonder if I'll be able to read about it in the morning paper.

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