Good morning, Baltimore, or wherever you are out there in cyberspace. Sorry about the hiatus, and thanks to all who wrote to make sure I wasn't the victim of an alien abduction.
During the Ravens' playoff run, I was embedded in enemy encampments in Nashville and Pittsburgh in anticipation of those clashes. Now, we all watch from snowy Maryland as the Steelers and -- I can still hardly say this -- the Arizona Cardinals prepare for the Super Bowl in sunnier climes. If Ravens fans are disappointed, imagine how those Philadelphia Eagles fans must feel knowing that the only thing that stood in their way was a team that lost four games by more than 20 points.
On the list of Super Bowls, the 43rd edition is not particularly high on my personal must-see list. However, if one must watch, I’ve been compiling a list (albeit short one so far) of interesting places to watch the Big Game.
In no particular order:
1. The Playboy Mansion. Now that’s an attention-getter. Yes, you can celebrate the NFL's national holiday at Hef’s place as a guest of actress Brande Roderick of Baywatch fame (right). Actually, the party, called Game Day at the Playboy Mansion, is on the grounds of the grand house, but since 20 Playmates are expected to be attending, what's the difference. An organizer said about 1,000 people attended last year's party. There's a scheduled live performance by heavy metal rocker Bret Michaels, and much more including a cigar roller, massages and, of course, food. So how much, you ask? General admission is $1,500. A table for five is $10,000. And a cabana for 10 is $25,000. Here are the details, big spender. Warning: music automatically plays with the link -- you can turn it off at the bottom of the home page.
2. Somewhere in the mountains of Afghanistan. Probably not as comfy as the Playboy Mansion's lawn, but you will be sharing rations with genuine heroes. Raytheon, the folks who brought us the Patriot Missile, along with the Air Force, will provide the technology to beam the live broadcast of the Super Bowl to service men and service women in some of the most remote places where our military serves, such as the mountain outposts in Afghanistan, or in a submarine 800 feet beneath the surface. The technology is the same stuff used in unmanned aerial vehicles, such as the Predator, that send live images of battlefields.
3. Atlantis Casino, Paradise Island. It's a little short notice, but I like this one because you get to do something that the NFL squelched in Las Vegas, which is pay to attend a Super Bowl party where you can eat, drink and watch the game on a theater-sized screen -- even bet on it because the Atlantis has a sports book. The Super Sunday Game Party is $150 per person. It starts at 5:30 p.m., and guests get four hours of an open bar and food and, of course, the commemorative hat and T-shirt. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. No age restrictions. Call 1-800-ATLANTIS for information.
Photo: Michael Buckner/Getty Images