Supe du jour Mouthwatering morsels and tasty tidbits from the ultimate (until next year) football feast

February 01, 1993|By Susan Reimer

Homeboys hang tough

He sat between the governor of Texas and the governor of New York, 1watching the Super Bowl on the White House big screen and watching his tongue.

"With them on either side of me, you think I'm going to answer that question?" Clinton said when asked about his allegiance. "I've got enough tough decisions to make."

But after the Cowboys beat the Bills, 52-17, Clinton was effusive in his praise for Dallas in a congratulatory telephone call to owner Jerry Jones and coach Jimmy Johnson, who both played college football at the University of Arkansas.

"This is a lot bigger deal at home than me being elected president," Clinton told Jones.

"I tell you right now, you were an inspiration to us," Jones replied. "I saw how to get down on a knee and come back up swinging."

To Johnson, Clinton said: "You've come a long way in a short time. . . . I watched the team all year long, basically wearing people down by hanging in there."

"You know a little about perseverance yourself," Johnson replied.

Memories don't light in the corners of his mind

Johnson lives in the here and now, and today his first Super Bowl victory is probably just so much history.

And so, when he was asked to reflect on winning both a national collegiate football championships -- only five years ago at Miami -- and a professional championship, he was at a loss.

"That was so long ago," he said. "That was a great accomplishment, and so is this. They stand on their own."

Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin, a player who was with him for both, said both accomplishments share one thing -- Johnson and the aggressive edge he gives his players.

"When I'm 50 and he's 89 or 90 or whatever," Irvin said, "we'll be able to look back and joke about it. We can say, 'We did it on both levels.' Man, ain't that something?"

Hurtin'

In Buffalo, Bills fans were feeling the pain of a third straight Super Bowl loss. And they weren't above spreading a little of the hurt around.

"Another year, another loss," said Jeff Barrett, who was one of 3,500 who packed the Buffalo Convention Center for a party. "What can you do about it? It hurts."

"Destiny stinks," said Todd Eacher, a physician's assistant. "Every year, the party ends at 11 o'clock. I'd just rather have them not be there."

The headline in Monday's edition of The Buffalo News read: "Bills lose a Super blowout."

"Elway, Tarkenton, Kelly -- put them all together," said one fan, referring to the three quarterbacks to lose three Super Bowls.

"I wouldn't have cared if they lost every game until I died as long as [they won this one,]" said Mark Kopenski, who traveled about 50 miles from Jamestown, N.Y. to go to the party. "They didn't do it. I can't stand to watch anymore."

The world according to Garth

For only the second time in the 27-year history of the Super Bowl, a country singer -- Garth Brooks -- sang the national anthem. Charlie Pride did it in 1974.

Brooks -- we thought he was supposed to do it a cappella -- had an orchestral soundtrack behind him. It could only have been more impressive if some of his high-profile friends -- the ones that appeared in his expansive "We Shall Be Free" video -- had joined him.

Garth, baby. You can't solve the world's problems with four minutes on MTV.

At your neighborhood video store

The Super Bowl highlight film, including highlights from the Cowboys' regular season, will be on sale Feb. 23. It will debut in Dallas on Feb. 22.

Then he did Johnson's hair

Saturday night -- kickoff eve -- the weather in Pasadena grew tenuous. All week, there had been Santa Ana winds, 80-degree temperatures and postcard sunsets. But out of the blue skies came thunder clouds, and there was rain and lightning late Saturday.

The NFL's lawn specialist, George Toma, broke out a tarp over the Rose Bowl field.

But yesterday morning, the sun shone and Toma exuberantly ordered the tarp back into storage.

He then had helicopters fly low to blow dry the field.

All the world's a stage

It was the largest halftime in Super Bowl history -- they say that every year -- and it was performed on a 10-ton stage that was cut into 22 pieces and put in place by 250 off-duty police officers and firefighters. It took them only 3 1/2 minutes to set it up.

Equipped with all-terrain tires, the stage did not damage the playing surface so delicately tended by Toma. The tires, similar to those on airplanes, distributed the stage weight to 1 to 2 pounds per square inch.

Feel the spirit

At the Cliff Temple Baptist Church in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas, about 100 church members traded their Sunday best for jeans and Cowboys sweat shirts, gathering in a recreation hall to watch the game on a 9-by-12-foot screen. The sports party replaced the church's normal 6 p.m. service.

"We just wanted to have a good time with it, and that's spiritual enough," said pastor Dean Dickens. "There's no sense in people feeling guilty about watching the game while church is going on."

Dickens said members did not call on a higher power to help the home team.

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