Tag Archives: Super Bowl

The whole truth

As the Super Bowl approached, someone suggested I write about the expression “the whole nine yards.” Why nine, she asked, when the football field is marked in 10-yard increments?

As with many word matters I research, there isn’t clear consensus on any one theory. Various opinion-holders each claim resolutely that the origin of “the whole nine yards” pertains to rounds of ammunition, the volume of a cement mixer, the cubic footage of a grave, the length of a bridal train or nine shipyards used during World War II. The one I’m going with referred to the Long Jump field event. So there we are; it’s not about football at all.

This got me thinking, though, about the whole ball of wax. No clear consensus on that one either. As best I can tell, “the whole ball of wax” has something to do with the way in which inherited property was once identified. Or it derives from “bailiwick.” You choose.

How about the whole enchilada? The whole shooting match? The whole shebang? What is a shebang, anyway?

I recently heard someone say, “That’s a whole different ball of wax.” Nothing like a good mixed metaphor to take us back to the ball game.


Filed under All Things Wordish, Sports and Recreation


I knew I loved Matt Lauer.

This morning on Today, following a preview of this year’s commercials appearing during the Super Bowl—one starring Matthew Broderick—it was revealed shamefully that Matt Lauer had never seen Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Neither have I. It was also revealed that he had never seen Star Wars. Neither have I.

Okay, technically, I did see Star Wars. I was in the theater while it played in its opening week in 1977. But I hated it so much within the first few minutes that I closed my eyes and tried to sleep while the noise gave me a pounding headache that lasted through the weekend. My father, who had taken my brothers and me to see the movie, walked out in the first 15 minutes and spent the rest of the movie in the lobby of the theater.

Matt Lauer has always been my TV personality crush. His picture was posted on the Wall of Men in my office before I redecorated. My husband, God love him, gave me the Matt Lauer magazine cover for my little beefcake display.

I identify with Matt’s germophobia, I love how he both idolizes the greats he interviews and doesn’t let them evade the tough questions. I love the way he dresses. And I love how this TV personality has almost no personality. And now I love his taste in movies.

And I love that my husband helps indulge my little crush.

Come to think of it, I once took him to meet his TV news crush, Paula Zahn, when she hosted CBS This Morning. That’s a story for another day.


Filed under Marketing/Advertising/PR, Movies, Television and Radio, News

Chili Bowl XLV scorecard

Monday morning quarterbacks are analyzing who did what right and wrong yesterday and assessing how outcomes measured up to predictions. I’m reviewing a scorecard of my own sinful Super Bowl performance.

In my Saturday blog post, I anticipated there would be chili, but anticipated avoiding it—and beer—in the spirit of complying with my prescribed dietary restrictions. It’s lonely being a laryngopharyngeal reflux disease sufferer while attending a chili party at which 10 or more varieties of chili are featured. My will power lasted long enough for me to hang up my coat.

After enjoying samples—two to three spoonfuls each—of nine different chilis, I admitted failure. And went to another party.

In all, let the scorecard show that, after 25 bites of forbidden, delicious chili (which we’ll count as one super sin), I consumed enough chips and dip to collapse into a gluttonous stupor. I scooped up layered Mexican dip and chili con queso and discovered a yummy new dip – pepperoni cream cheese.

The only way to shock myself back into consciousness was with two large cookies and a cupcake, followed by two extra strength Tums and a Zantac. At least let the scorecard show that the only thing I drank was water.

To sum it up, the final score of Super Bowl XLV was Sins 7, Virtues 1. Thank goodness the season is over.

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Filed under Food, Health, Sports and Recreation

Chili bowl XLV

Every year, when the Super Bowl comes around and people ask which team I’m rooting for, I almost never have an answer. Not since 1988 have I had a dog in that fight. Every few years I find myself at a Super Bowl party, where I have to feign enthusiasm about a particular team.

Inside I am thinking:  “I’m just in it for the dip.”

I like a good Super Bowl party as much as the next person, but for different reasons. I really go for the food. And the beer. At least I did before my doctor cut off all sources of fun.

I love dip—onion dip, artichoke dip, spinach dip, bean dip, seven-layer dip, guacamole, chili con queso, salsa and even that big bowl of bleu cheese dressing, with or without the spicy wings for which it’s intended. I love Fritos, Doritos, Tostitos and Cheetos. Ah, then there’s the chili, beloved bowl of Heaven. With or without beans (preferably with), white or red, hot or mild, preferably hiding under an obscenely thick blanket of shredded cheddar and sour cream.

If I could plant myself in the corner and have my own chili-and-dip-off, I’d be content. Unfortunately, because I know so little about football (the Super Bowl is football, isn’t it?), I dread that inevitable moment when the person next to me looks away for a sec, or returns from the bathroom, just as a big play is made and everyone is yelling. Then that person turns to me and asks, “What just happened?” That’s when I have no choice but to stuff 27 chips in my mouth and make the sorry-my-mouth-is-full hand gesture. Then I head to the bathroom.

Often I’m happy to stay home and work a crossword puzzle with the game on in the background, and usually I fall asleep about halftime. That historic second during Super Bowl XXXVIII when Justin Timberlake exposed Janet Jackson’s bare tee-tees? Slept right through it.

This year I am braving a party once again. A really big Super Bowl party. The invitation seemed enticing, even though I will know only one of about 100 people who will be there. Maybe I’ll go as Gail from Green Bay and hide beneath a big cheese head. As long as I can still get to the dip.

Or maybe I’ll meet some fellow geeks with whom to debate the merits of switching from Roman to Arabic numerals.


Filed under Food, Sports and Recreation