By: Bob George/BosSports.net
January 27, 2004

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HOUSTON -- Rice is nice. We dedicate this article to this renowned Southwest Conference institution and the home of the Patriots for this week. We'll let the kickoff honors fall to James Hamrick, who kicked for the Owls from 1983 to 1985. He holds Rice records for most career field goals (33) and most field goals in a season (17). He gets a hold of one, but there's a Texas Aggie named Bethel Johnson right there at the two to haul in the kick and run a long way.

The Super Bowl has yet to begin, and already Bill Belichick has outcoached John Fox.

Let's listen to one of Fox's linebackers, Dan Morgan: \"When we walk away from here with a Super Bowl ring on, I really don\'t care what anybody says…I\'m going to have that Super Bowl ring on and I\'m going to walk around proud, and you really can\'t take that away.\"

Thanks, Dan. Nice of your coach to remember to tell you to shut up.

We hate to keep picking on CBS, but…

Why was Jim Nantz so "surprised" at the crowd's reaction Sunday night at the trophy presentation ceremony? Did he suddenly come to the realization that there are more than just a few yahoos out there who root for the Patriots?

Don't you just love all these "experts" chiming in with their Super Bowl takes?

Cris Collinsworth: \"The Rams, Cowboys and Eagles overlooked this Carolina Panthers team and no doubt the Patriots will do the same.\" This sounds like temporary insanity. Collinsworth isn't this stupid. Just watch the Super Bowl XXXVI postgame show and you'll understand.

Tom "The Patriots hate their coach!" Jackson: "The Patriots will not be able to stop the Panther running attack!" Ted Washington, take notice.

All things aside, I'd prefer to listen to Bill Walsh concur that Tom Brady has "similarities" to Joe Montana.

You need to know Tedy Bruschi's exact status that badly?

You don't. Neither do I. Neither does Coach Fox.

I got three words for you: game time decision.

Geek of the week: Bob Kraft. For letting Warren Sapp interview him for NFL Network.

The halftime entertainment is Janet Jackson. Instead of U2's awesome show, it will be the world's longest potty break.

Besides, doesn't Janet have more important things to do? Like watching over that brother of hers who dangles babies outside of windows and could be Marlene Dietrich's twin sister?

Yuck. It's time to reject anything Jackson. Michael. Janet. Tom.

If there is one good thing to come of Jim O'Brien's resignation as Celtics head coach, it took the spotlight away from the dumbest facet of the Super Bowl, that being Media Day.

I never got to play in a Super Bowl, but if I did, I'd say to heck with Media Day. I'll pay the fine and do something useful, like study more game film and find thirty more ways to beat those Panthers.

Back to O'Brien. His replacement is named Carroll. Bad sign?

Can we please stop with this "Jake Delhomme is the next Tom Brady" jazz until he actually does something to warrant that comparison?

Not that he can't.

Looks like Romeo Crennel and Charlie Weis are staying put.

Sorry, guys, but I take that as great news.

As soon as Eric Mangini is darned ready to take over, Romeo, sit a spell.

Back to school: As previously stated, the Patriots happen to be practicing at Rice University, in whose eponymous stadium the last Houston Super Bowl took place. Hah. The Astrodome was inadequate even in 1974.

Anyone outside of H-Town have any idea what a terrific school Rice is?

One of the most amazing sidebars to Houston Oilers history is that, despite the presence of Rice Stadium, the Oilers were forced to play in Jeppesen Stadium, a dilapidated high school facility, for the first five years of it existence. The vagabond Patriots had it bad, but the Oilers could very well make a case that they had it worse.

The AFC is 1-0 in Houston Super Bowls.

No. Make that the AFC East is 1-0 in Houston Super Bowls.

This makes a nice connection to this year. The team that won Super Bowl VIII was Miami, one year removed from their 17-0 season. The next team to win as many as 14 in a row in one season? Larry Csonka handed its owner the Lamar Hunt Trophy a week ago Sunday.

We're all sitting and waiting for Brentson Buckner to be the next Panther to flap his yap.

I don't care if Troy Brown never learns how to spell Massachusetts.

I only hope that I can spell Steussie.

This writer learned last year in San Diego that print media get crappy hotel accommodations on the road. Ol' Bob G stayed with the Patriots in a Marriott while Ol' Ron B stayed perhaps in a Motel 6. And you wonder why newspaper guys are always cranky.

But this is the Super Bowl. This means probably a Days Inn or a Ramada.

Remember him: Rice running back Dicky Moegle had a terrific Cotton Bowl in 1954, rushing for 265 yards and three long touchdown runs. One of them was a 95-yard scamper in which he ran only 55 of those yards. Alabama fullback Tommy Lewis ran off the Tide bench and tackled Moegle at the Alabama 40. The referee awarded a 95-yard touchdown to Moegle, but Lewis got to be on The Ed Sullivan Show. Rice won, 28-6, and hasn't won a bowl game since.

Not even with Larry Izzo out there on the Owl kamikaze squad.

We don't hope his team wins, but Jerry Richardson has done one heck of a great job with that Carolina organization.

We also hope that Mark Fields and Sam Mills don't go home champions, though they'll always be winners in a much more important game than this Sunday.

With that, we leave you with our all-important Super prediction, and have a blast on Sunday, one and all.

If you know French, Delhomme means "the man";

If anyone can beat the Patriots, he sure can.

But to do so means he solves the Pats' defense;

Can that be done? It just doesn't make sense.

The same could be said for Brady, who'll face

A huge helping of hot Peppers all over the place

But in a taut struggle, for all the world to see,

Vince returns to the northeast, the score 13 to 3.


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