SUPE DU JOUR Tasty tidbits from a feast of football


Worth the wait?

Super Bowl teams are understandably agitated before the game, and the wait until kickoff can seem endless.

That was particularly true for the Bills and the Giants, who had to wait longer than any teams in past Super Bowls for their contest to begin -- 6:18 p.m. EST.

"I hate waiting," Giants coach Bill Parcells said, "Games should be at 1 o'clock in the afternoon."

Parcells spent the time as he usually does: in the lobby of his hotel before dawn, drinking coffee with his backup quarterback, Matt Cavanaugh, and his one-time high school basketball coach, Mickey Corcoran.

Most of the Giants remained in their rooms watching television until it was time for the team's pre-game meal early in the $H afternoon.

Beats a tie and some perfume

Norm and Dolly Hostetler were just a little bemused by the Christmas gift son Jeff gave them a year ago.

It was a picture of their son at work -- but not the kind you'd find on a trading card.

Their son's gift -- to farmer parents who have struggled at times to raise their seven children -- showed a passer under severe pressure from several members of the Phoenix Cardinals. In the picture, Jeff Hostetler was falling backward, trying to make the best of a difficult situation.

And the inscription said, "You think you've got things rough."

F: Maybe next Christmas, he'll take them to Disney World.

And now a word from our sponsors

ABC sold all 28 commercial minutes -- at a record $800,000 per 30-second spot, for a total of about $45 million.

That's an increase of $100,000 per 30 seconds over what CBS charged last year -- despite the fact that Nielsen ratings for the 1990 Super Bowl were the lowest in two decades.

But advertisers still figure they are getting quite a bang for their buck -- surveys indicate the 118 million Super Bowl fans pay closer attention than other television viewers -- and they used the Super Bowl to kick off their campaigns.

Here's what you missed if you left for the kitchen:

* Levi Strauss Co., making its first Super Bowl appearance, paid more than $2 million to promote its Dockers line of leisure slacks.

* Budweiser and Bud Lite met again in their annual battle of the bottles, a barrage of commercials that Anheuser-Busch calls Bud Bowl 3. The brewer, the game's biggest advertiser, says the first Bud Bowl, in 1989, boosted January beer sales by 17 percent.

* Two new shoes stepped forward -- Nike's Air 180 and L.A. Gear's Catapult. Because Nike plans to air its commercial worldwide, it was silent, saving a lot in translation costs. One of the greatest of contemporary basketball players, Utah Jazz forward Karl Malone, spoke out for Catapult.


Out of respect for U.S. troops in the Persian Gulf -- a connection that was not immediately clear -- Pepsi announced it was canceling the largest viewer call-in in history, which carried $1 million in prize money, for fear of tying up phone lines in a crisis.

Coke one-upped Pepsi by not only scrubbing its Super Bowl promotion, but announcing a $1 million donation to the USO.

Best nicknames

Buffalo place-kicker Rick Tuten, known as both "Rootin' " and "Bootin'."

Giants place-kicker Matt "Cash" Bahr, whose fourth-quarter field goal won the Super Bowl.

And, our favorite, "The Freezer" (in Bud Bowl 3), also known as the "Appliance of Defiance."

They said it

"That's what the cat looked like when it ate the canary." -- ABC color commentator Dan Dierdorf on the smile on Giants coach Bill Parcells' face when Scott Norwood's last-second field goal for the Bills was wide.

* "Every swing of the leg is critical and this one didn't work out. You don't get a second chance on a kick like that." Bills placekicker Scott Norwood, whose 47-yard attempt to win the game was just wide.

* "As this and every day draws to a close, it is your mothers and fathers, your sisters and brothers, who are the true champions, the real heroes." -- President Bush, in his message to the children of American troops in the Persian Gulf who were part of the halftime festivities.

Let's do this again

Super Bowl XXVI will be played Jan. 26, 1992 in the Metrodome in Minneapolis. And there again will be two weeks between the conference championships and the Super Bowl.

Everybody's an entrepreneur

Outside Tampa Stadium, Steve Buck, dressed in a red, white and blue "Uncle Sam" suit and top hat, sold Desert Storm pins and yellow ribbons.

"Sales are very good, fantastic," Buck said. "I expect to sell several thousand. Everybody wants something to show they support the troops."

My parents went to the Super Bowl and all I got was this stupid . . .

Cat-litter box, complete with cardboard goal posts and "Buffalo Bills End Zone" stamped on the side. Price? $22.99.

The game plan

The New York Giants' game plan was simple enough.

"We wanted the ball, and we didn't want them to have it," Parcells said. "That was the whole plan."

The Giants succeeded, keeping the ball twice as long -- 40 minutes, 33 seconds to 19:27, a Super Bowl record for time of possession.

Sstrategy lkike that must be the reason why Parcells is "one of the big guys" now.

Words of war

The ABC commentators were notably careful about using phrases that compare football to war. All except ABC newsman Judd Rose in Saudi Arabia, who described what the game menat to the U.S. troops in the desert.

"It's hard to take Giants and Bills too seriously when your life depends on Patriots and Jets," Rose said.

The longest drive

It certainly must have seemed that way to Marv Levy and the Bills defense.

The Giants took 9 minutes, 29 seconds off the clock to open the second half, scoring on Ottis Anderson's 1-yard run after driving 75 yards in 14 plays to take a 17-12 lead. It was the longest drive, time-wise, in Super Bowl history.

Because the Giants offense also had the ball to end the first half, and because of the extended halftime presentations, the Bills defense was off the field for more than an hour.

Marino takes the gloves off

Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino teamed with Ken Stabler and Mick Luckhurst to bring the Super Bowl telecast to the European audience. "This will be fun," Marino said. "I can say anything, becuause they won't know what I'm talking about, anyway.

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