Shanoff's WUC: Bowling (Pro, Senior, Super)

Today's Calls: Pro Bowl Miami vs. Pro Bowl Hawaii, Tim Tebow vs. Myron Rolle, Kurt Warner vs. Ken Griffey, Harvard vs. Cornell, Josh Smith vs. David Lee, Blue Turf vs. Red Turf, Carrie Underwood vs. Ke$ha and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: It's a tale of two bowls this weekend. ↵

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↵On Saturday, some of the best college seniors -- but hardly the best Draft prospects -- will play in an exhibition game that is more appropriately labeled "The Tebow Bowl," given the focus of attention Tebow has been this week in Mobile. He is the biggest star to ever play in the Senior Bowl (it will be interesting to see if that translates into increased TV ratings). ↵

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↵My slogan for the Senior bowl is: "Come for the spectacle, stay for the schadenfreude," because based on the draftniks' bearish opinions and many fans' odd interest in seeing Tebow flop, how he performs on the field is an intriguing uncertainty. ↵

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↵On Sunday, many good NFL players -- but hardly the best -- will line up in Miami for an exhibition more appropriately labeled "The Do-We-Have-To-Be-Here Bowl." As a fan, I liked seeing the game put the week in front of the Super Bowl, rather than a week after. I didn't consider that so many players would duck out (and Super Bowl players are, obviously, not participating). ↵

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↵Florio has it right: The proof of concept is in the TV audience. The NFL has been more popular this season than ever; will fans tune in simply for any NFL football on the Sunday before the Super Bowl? If so, this tradition is here to stay. ↵

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↵And so the two marquee sports events this weekend are less about who is playing than who is watching. ↵

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↵Senior Bowl: Or, as it is turning out to be, the "Tebow Bowl." Come for the spectacle, stay for the schadenfreude. (Good post from Alisha Hord about Tebow's uncertain spot in the draft, but as someone who has followed this for a year, I think it's a lot more clear-cut that he goes to the Jaguars at No. 10, defying the McShays of the world. ↵

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↵More Senior Bowl: The second-most intriguing prospect in Mobile is former FSU DB Myron Rolle, who has spent the past year at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. Terrific story. ↵

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↵Super Bowl Ads: Focus on the Family? OK. GoDaddy? Rejected. ↵

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↵More controversy: Is the NFL really trying to claim it owns the phrase "Who Dat?" ↵

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↵Speaking of Kurt Warner, he is expected to announce his retirement today -- although couldn't you see him taking the Favrian approach and saying 6 months or 18 months from now, "Hey, I still want to do this, and I'm still at the top of my game." (If he doesn't, the clock starts ticking down on what should be an easy entry into the Hall of Fame.) ↵

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↵CBB Mania: Games of the Weekend ↵
↵• Harvard at Cornell (Really!) ↵
↵• Duke at Georgetown ↵
↵• Vanderbilt at Kentucky ↵
↵• Kansas at Kansas State ↵
↵• Northwestern at Michigan State ↵
↵• Maryland at Clemson ↵

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↵CBB Good Read: DeCourcy on the essential elements of a team that can win 6 straight in the NCAA Tournament -- and which contenders have them this season. (My reading is that based on those criteria, Kentucky should be the favorite, although Mike doesn't include "killer instinct," which is where Kentucky seems to fall short.) ↵

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↵NBA Talking Points: All-Star Snubs, starring... Josh Smith. Really? Al Horford and Joe Johnson made it. But not the most valuable player on the Hawks, having an absurdly good season? ↵

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↵Gotta find a way to get him on there. The NBA needs a "Final Man" vote like MLB has, for the last reserve slot on the All-Star rosters. (Although it is unclear who would win a popularity contest between Smith and fellow snubbee David Lee.) ↵

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↵Nice win for the Magic over the Celtics (but it's mostly meaningless unless they can do it in the playoffs). ↵

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↵MLB Hot Stove: Is Ken Griffey primed for a career resurgence at 40 this season? ↵

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↵Scandals: Steven Jackson is accused of beating up his pregnant girlfriend. (Jackson denies it.) You know Roger Goodell has his eye on this. ↵

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↵Gimmicks: Painting your turf something other than green is going to be the next big trend for teams trying to improve their national marketing. ↵

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↵The Last Word: "O Say, Can You See?" Carrie Underwood will get the marquee position of singing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl. (What: Like you were expecting Ke$ha?) ↵

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↵Dan Shanoff writes The Wake-Up Call every weekday morning for SportingNews.com and blogs daily at DanShanoff.com. Got any comments, questions or feedback? Email Dan at shanofftsn-[at]-gmail-[dot]-com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/danshanoff. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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