It's Saturday, which means welcome to Super Blog Day 6 (that's VI to your Romans). Big game almost here, and thank God. Click back; we update throughout the day...
[Colts' and Saints' Saturday Pool Reports are at bottom of this post].
HALL OF FAME ADDS 7: Obvious choices Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith are joined in the 2010 Canton class by Russ Grimm, Rickey Jackson (of Palm Beach), John Randle and senior nominees Floyd Little and Dick LeBeau. Surprised by Jackson. Shocked by Little. The denied include ex-UM'er Cortez Kennedy and briefly-a-Dolphin Cris Carter.
PLANNED SUPER BOWL STREAK?: One of our longtime blog readers passes along this cartoon. Much appreciated, OC! I think the streaker is supposed to be me. OY!
THE ROUGH LIFE OF CHAD OCHOCINCO:The thing about a guy like Miami's Chad Ochocinco (left) is, other than being young, handsome, rich, famous, adored by women and blessed with mad skills, what's he got that I don't have!? Also, apparently he is modest, too, based on this photo of himself posted on his Twitter site.
SUPER POLL: GREATEST SUPER BOWL IN MIAMI: Best. Most memorable. Favorite. However you define it, what to you have been the greatest of the nine Super Bowls played in Miami? We invite you to select your top TWO. Hut one, hut two, vote!
IT'S JERRY AND EMMITT AND, AND...: Today's Super Bowl With a Smirk column by me is not in the newspaper but is exclusively online and it primarily is a preview of who's in and who has no shot in today's Pro Football Hall of Fame vote. I handicap the 17 finalists. After obvious picks Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith, it gets interesting. Sneak peek: Who the hell let Don Coryell in the room!? Click Smirk VI to partake.
HUMAN RED CARPET: Jermaine Dupri (left) taking picture of "human red carpet" at last night's Rock 'n Soul party hosted by agent Drew Rosenhaus at Hard Rock. Somethin' 'bout that ain't right!
WHO DAT BAT: A company is manufacturing Who Dat Bats, unaware, evidently, that the Saints do not play baseball but, rather, a different sports called football. Note: Anyone attempting to bring a Who Dat Bat into It's-Still-Dolphin Stadium-To-Me on Sunday will be swarmed by security personnel and federal agents and never heard from again.
WE'RE WATCHING YOU, CONGRESS!: A political watchdog group called ProPublica.org invites you to snap a candid photo of your Congressman at Sunday's game or preferably at play, like at a Super Bowl party, perhaps in the throes of inebriation and -- if it isn't asking too much -- surrounded by Snoop Dogg, two buxom, rented women and a haze of smoke.
SUPER LIST: Super Bowl single-game records:
Passing yards: 414, Kurt Warner, Rams, 2000
Rushing yards: 204, Timmy Smith, Redskins, 1988
Receiving yards: 215, Jerry Rice, 49ers, 1989
COLTS SATURDAY POOL REPORT: Not a great deal changed in the health department for the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday, as the team held its final practice of the week before Super Bowl XLIV. Defensive end Dwight Freeney sat out once again, making his absence a clean sweep for the week as he spent Saturday’s entire session on a golf cart. Cornerback Jerraud Powers once again did light work, and wideout Reggie Wayne returned to his duties with the first team offense, showing no effects of a minor fat pad injury to his right knee on Thursday.
The light 35-minute walkthrough was held in gentle breezes and the mid 70’s, and the Colts moved swiftly through their final tune-up. Freeney spent the session circling different personnel groupings in a cart, wearing his standard practice dress, including cleats. After practice, he exited his cart and walked gingerly into the locker room, however his right ankle was not wrapped and he didn’t receive treatment of any form during the short session. Colts coach Jim Caldwell said that Freeney had improved since Thursday, but wouldn’t comment on his availability for Sunday’s game.
“He’s better than yesterday,” Caldwell said. “He and Powers both are better than yesterday. It’s still day to day.”
Powers was limited to light work.
Wayne left Friday’s practice 20 minutes early after injuring the fat pad in his right knee, but he was available for the full session Saturday. The fat pad is the soft tissue below the kneecap. Wayne has been playing much of the season with some irritation in the pad. But he moved without restriction Saturday, and at the conclusion of practice ran about 40 yards to the locker room without favoring the knee in any way.
With the slate of practices wrapped, Caldwell said he was pleased with the week and that all of the work “went according to plan.” Caldwell also said the team’s overall health had improved during the course of the week, and was pleased with the slightly varying conditions, which included some gusting wind and rain at various times.
“The weather has been great,” Caldwell said. “Obviously yesterday we got a little taste of rain, which was good, just in case we have some. A shower could pop up at any time. The wind has been fairly consistent. We got a chance to throw with the wind, against the wind. That’s all been good.”
“We’ve done extremely well and been attentive. The [players] have been very, very focused and our practices have been sharp as well. Overall we’ve been moving in the right direction.”
SAINTS SATURDAY POOL REPORT: Under a sunny sky and with the wind whipping across the field, the New Orleans Saints held their final walk-through of the season at 12:30 p.m. today at Sun Life Stadium in preparation for Super Bowl XLIV. All 53 players on the active roster were present.
Wearing shells and shorts, the players opened the 45-minute walk-through by running and stretching. The first-team offense ran through a handful of plays, followed by the first-team defense and special teams. Drew Brees wore a red No. 9 jersey, and he laughed with Reggie Bush after one particular play.
“I’m excited, just excited,” coach Sean Payton said afterward. “You get to this point and your concerns are always the scheduling and the logistics and the travel, and all of that was pretty smooth. So it’s good. At this point, everyone’s ready. It’s been two weeks already, so we’re ready to go.”
Reserve cornerback Randall Gay, who was absent from Friday’s practice with an illness, was on the sideline during the walk-through. Payton said that Gay had had a cold, with congestion, but said he would be ready to go tomorrow night. Reserve running back Lionel Hamilton, who missed practice the entire week, also watched from the sideline. When asked Hamilton’s status for tomorrow, Payton said “we’ll see how he does on Sunday.”
Payton said it will be business as usual leading up to the game, with meetings scheduled for tonight and tomorrow morning. Payton set curfew at 11 p.m. Although he has had guest speakers address the team at times during the season, Payton was noncommittal about whether he would do so again tomorrow, when the team has its final formal team meeting leading up to the game.
As is customary on Saturdays during the season, Payton invited all sons of players to attend the walk-through. About two dozen did – more than usual – and while the players practiced, the boys posed for a group photo and played touch football on the sideline. After almost everyone had left the field, Payton’s 9-year-old son Connor attempted five field goals with a black-and-gold football and with his father acting as his holder. Connor hit the cross bar once and the upright another time before making his last attempt from the nine-yard line.
“There’s a lot of challenges with coaching, in regards to family time,” Payton said. “Every once in a while, you get one of these opportunities, and it helps make up for it.”Twitter.com/gregcote