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Superblog: Schmaltz, but no stilts

     It's the Monday before, six days 'til gametime, and here's your daily shot of Super Bowl With a Smirk. There is no antidote, although penicillin couldn't hurt...Aaaxli

     "A Salute to South Florida's Super Tradition,'' an extravagant, star-studded event marking the ceremonial start of Super Bowl Week, happens tonight at the Hard Rock arena in Hollywood. Some tables of 10 were priced as high as $7,500 because, again, the NFL is all about keeping everything low-key.

AaaolysAaaolys4       The league launched this official kickoff show a few years ago. It's the equivalent of an Olympics' Opening Ceremonies, except without the flock of doves, the flaming torch or the creepy guys on stilts.

     The dinner and show will be emceed by CBS' Lesley Visser and is to include entertainment (Hootie & the Blowfish, impressionist Frank Caliendo); both head coaches ( Tony Dungy, Lovie Smith); new commissioner Roger Goodell; past and present Dolphins (including Don Shula, Larry Csonka and Jason Taylor); and prominent players from the eight previous Super Bowls held in Miami.

     Taking a wild guess, we will presume the latter category will not include Stanley Wilson, the Bengal who missed the 1989 SB here when he turned up in a hotel bathtub on crack; or Eugene Robinson, the Falcon who missed the 1999 game here after his arrest for offering an undercover cop $40 for sex.

     Turned out Robinson, who had won the Bart Starr Award for ''high moral character,'' was a hypocrite. Even worse, he was cheap!

     (*) The favored Colts are to arrive at the Fort Lauderdale airport this evening. Reebok reports that both starting QBs, Peyton Manning and Rex Grossman, will be shod in that brand. However, apparently they wear different styles of Reeboks. Manning wears the kind that allows you to complete lots of passes and be really good. (Note: Smirk expects nothing in exchange for passing this important Reebok information along. However, in the event we would be surprised by a token gratuity, size 11, please).

     (*) Table 8, a restaurant in The Regent South Beach hotel, is partly owned by a Chicagoan, Josh Woodward, but one of his business partners is Colts defensive star Dwight Freeney. This means the hotel is sure to be a popular hangout for Colts players and fans. (Note: Smirk expects nothing in return for passing this along. However, in case we might be pleasantly surprised, porterhouse, please. Medium).

     (*) About those rumors that Super Bowl capacity at Dolphin Stadium will be greatly reduced: Smirk has heard but has not yet confirmed that entire sections of prime seats have been paved over so that celebrities may watch the game from their limousine in a reserved parking lot situated between the 40s.

     (*) A kickoff party for the Jim Brown Celebrity Golf Classic will be held tonight at Doral. Partyer/golfers are expected to include former star running backs Eric Dickerson, Marcus Allen and Gale Sayers, and dance contest-winner Emmitt Smith. The who's-who of great runners will include just about everyone except O.J. Simpson, who lives in South Florida but who -- in a recent poll of Things Least Welcome at the Super Bowl -- finished second, narrowly trailing a chemical bomb attack.

     (*) ESPN and the NFL Network alone will be broadcasting some 190 hours of Super Bowl coverage leading up to the game. It's an excellent reason to grab one of the many handguns available here in South Florida and murder your TV.

     (*) Former running back Terrell Davis, Rams tight end Roland Williams and two Dolphin cheerleaders are to visit American soldiers back from Iraq at Miami's VA Medical Center today. It is believed the soldiers will enjoy the visit, despite the superfluous appearance of Davis and Williams.

     (*) Habitat for Humanity of Greater Miami's ''Blitz Build 2007'' kicks off today. The NFL involves itself in this every year in an attempt to counterbalance the ostentatious excess of Super Bowl week. It will be a great opportunity for visiting sportswriters who are deep-thinking and sociologically minded, or who have a tee time and are looking for an easy tear-jerk column.

     (*) Bodog.com tells us more than 500 proposition bets are offered for Sunday's game, including the duration of the national anthem by Billy Joel. The over/under is 1 minute, 44 seconds. I have the under. So if Billy holds that last note forever to end at 1:46, that will explain the booing from the press box.