Sunday—usually when we take a look at the start of a Peter Abrahams novel including those written under the Spencer Quinn moniker™ but today is Super Bowl Sunday. In Vegas! The NFL always held its nose when it came to Vegas, but money talks, as they say. (A character in one of my earlier books says, “Money talks and it says FU.” Spelled out in the original. I wish I could find the reference but right now my bike awaits its morning ride.) But what’s the over/under on Taylor Swift reaction shots? Restricted to the time between opening kickoff and the clock at 0:00?

Football comes up quite a bit in my work, including briefly in one of the assisted living scenes in Mrs. Plansky’s Revenge:

“A football problem?” Mrs. Plansky said.
“There was an argument about a penalty call,” Jeanine said. “Offensive pass interference, maybe? Is that even a thing?”
“Yes,” Mrs. Plansky said. Jack had played in high school. She knew football.
They walked down the hall on the top floor, a sunny hall with nicely framed prints of clipper ships on the walls. The last door was closed.
“He’s got something wedged against the door knob,” Jeanine said. “We can’t get in.”
Mrs. Plansky knocked lightly. “Dad?”

11 Comments on “Beginnings?”

  1. Superbowl? You mean PUPPY BOWL, right?

    It’s Puppy Bowl XX. I can’t believe it’s been twenty years. I’ve been watching since the first game. I even have DVDs of the first 7 or 8, mayb 9. Don’t remember. It was with the original referee, who was great. When he left they stopped selling DVDs of the game. The production values increased but there was a certain charm with the low production values of the originals.

    The Kitty Halftime show has also become much more sophisticated. It’s actually better because the kittens have more toys and distractions that increase their cuteness and activity.

    The only thing I like about the new version is that they do DNA on the puppies. I think they should do that on all shelter and rescue dogs to increase their chances for adoption.

    This year I notice they have puppies from all over. Before it was mostly the East Coast. They always keep the teams grouped by size so you don’t have Great Dane puppies playing with Chihuahua puppies, but as they have from the start, all teams are mixed gender. Unlike professional human sports, the puppy bowl has always had both male and female players participating. They also receive equal compensation.

    This year there puppy cheerleaders and the “sky cam” is kittens. Previously the hamsters ran the SkyCam and there were a variety of species for cheerleaders. The parrot that used to sing the National Anthem is also missing.

    They now have a hall of fame. Past players are making guest appearances. I don’t think we’ll see any from the original shows with the original referee. They are also featuring different shelters and rescues across the country (mostly sponsored by celebrities) and showing adoptable pups from there. Of course, all of the puppies and kittens in the Puppybowl are also “available for adoption” but by the time it airs they are usually already adopted.

    1. Oh, wow. They have Sarah Jessica Barker from PuppyBowl V. She’s fifteen. She won the adoption lottery and is living her best life.

  2. Unlike Loretta, I don’t know football. But I like the commercials, the half-time show, the snacks, and the Taylor Swift / Travis Kelsey hoop-la! Does that count?

    1. Congratulations.

      We had some from Helen Woodward in North county participate.

      “As the nation gears up for Super Bowl Sunday, another highly anticipated event will unfold on screens – the Puppy Bowl. It will feature five puppies from local shelters, all competing for the title of Most Valuable Puppy.

      In its 20th year, the Puppy Bowl will feature 131 puppies from 73 shelters and rescues nationwide.

      Representing San Diego’s Helen Woodward Animal Center are Fred, a Pomeranian/Australian cattle dog mix; Dory, a pug/poodle blend; and Hana, a Chihuahua/Parson Russell terrier mix rescued from Maui wildfires.”

      “The Animal Pad (TAP) also contributes Frederick, a pit bull terrier-boxer mix, and Dobby, a Chihuahua-poodle mix, as part of the local talent, both playing for “Team Fluff.””

      Not familiar with TAP but I’ve been to Helen Woodward.

      All five puppies have been adopted. One by a volunteer working the flight to the puppy bowl.

      Fred was in the opening line-up so he got screen time. I should watch it again to see if I can spot him. I’ll look for Dallas and Melody too.

  3. Back on the blog, the Super Bowl was always a big event. Although I think the Work Collection has always been the biggest sports event that we followed. And as George Will observed in his column in the Washington Post this morning, after the Super Bowl, we are only two days away from when the four most beautiful words in the English language are uttered: “Pitchers and catchers report “

  4. WTAFP: Out of curiosity, how free are you this evening should we decide to, er, do things?

    More to WTAFP: How good would it be to play fetch with the game ball? Asking for a friend…

  5. WTAFP: Noted on a game of fetch. We’ll put that on the back burner. We found a note on Howie’s Book of Masterplans that reads:

    Collect flags from people in stripes.

    We can’t help but indulge our protege once in a while.

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