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Super Bowl had super moments

Commentary

February 6, 2013
By John Mehno (jmehnocolumn@gmail.com) , The Altoona Mirror

PITTSBURGH - If nothing else, it would have been remembered as the first Super Bowl with two halftimes.

But an excellent football game developed after the lights went out in New Orleans, and the Baltimore Ravens are the Super Bowl champions.

Quick question from a non-electrician: How does a power failure happen under those circumstances? Don't they troubleshoot things at least a hundred times before the game is played?

Anyway, the biggest issue apart from the power outage was whether a penalty should have been called on the last play. San Francisco 49ers fans will forever believe the non-call cost their team a title.

It sure looked like interference, but former NFL supervisor Mike Pereira disagreed. He told Sports Illustrated's Peter King, "When you read the rules, contact in the air has to significantly hinder the receiver's opportunity to make the catch. I thought it did not. When I look at it, I saw no restriction. Could it be? Might it be? You don't want to throw that flag. Absolutely not.''

If you're looking for a call that the Ravens got away with, the officials should have ejected Baltimore defensive back Cary Williams for putting his hands on head linesman Steve Stelljes during an argument early in the game.

There is likely to be controversy in just about every game. It was worth sitting through the power failure.

Bruno's Hall Call

There's a performer with strong ties to Altoona going into the Hall of Fame.

After years of rejecting offers, Bruno Sammartino has agreed to be inducted into the World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Fame. The ceremony will be in New York, where Sammartino first won the group's version of the world championship 50 years ago.

Sammartino headlined many cards that Gene Dargan promoted at the Jaffa Mosque in the 1960s and '70s.

The beauty of the WWE Hall is it's just like wrestling - you fix the outcome to be whatever will sell. Sammartino, 77, had resisted in the past because of his lingering resentment of the raunchy path CEO Vince McMahon had taken.

Paul Levesque, who wrestles as Hunter Hearst Helmsley and is McMahon's son in law, brokered the deal. He convinced him that WWE has toned down profanity, sexual content and taken steps to eliminating steroids.

Spies report there were other factors, like a $250,000 check, the promise of more money from a DVD release and a promise to fund a movie based on Sammartino's life.

McMahon finally figured out what Sammartino's price tag was.

Mehno can be reached at johnmehnocolumn@gmail.com.

 
 

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